Contributing to the Family of the Earth
By spiritual constitution we are all one--individuals of the same nature and family of God. We come into the material world and accept a false ego that tells us we are the material body, mind, intelligence and emotions, and that we should act for this selfish self interest. We believe we must compete with others for what we perceive as scare resources and facilities for survival and enjoyment.
At times we may feel like this: "How pitiful that although I believe in my and everyone's spiritual identity and also have experience of myself beyond the perishable body, I am still affected by the same selfishness." It is a question of degree. We can be confident that we are making progress, though at times it is--or may seem painfully slow. After so many years of spiritual practice (sadhana) we sometimes forget how we have changed. Our soul is gradually awakening.
Just think of the devotees of the spiritual world, and the pure souls here. They are our inspiration, though at times, their position seems unattainable. This is material thinking of course, and though due to circumstances we may embrace it due to the lower modes of nature affecting us, we have to throw it off by taking shelter of Krishna and his pure devotees. We can remember, "This too will pass."
Imprisoned in the illusory world of Maya or illusion. Wanting to be excited by the tasteless, boring world of no substance. There are hints of happiness and promises of fulfillment, but it is like a post dated check in a closed account. There is no possibility of realizing the money, though the promise of the future money drives us onward. Material happiness and fulfillment are right around the corner, over the next mountain, just up ahead. You just have to keep moving toward your goal.
This promise is just like the proverbial carrot before donkey--always within reach, though never really achieved. And there is no unadulterated material happiness or peace. It is like sweetrice (kheer) mixed with sand. There is some sweetness, but it is spoiled and temporary.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, we look to movies and T.V. for the life we would rather live--a life with everything we don't have now. We would rather watch someone else's exciting life, then live our own humdrum existence--or heaven forbid endeavor to change. And then we die and try another life to find fulfillment. This is the soul's eternal search for its home life of spirit channeled through the temporary fleshy body. Like a fish out of water, out of our element.
When we are working to truly satisfy Krishna--and we succeed even partially--all our needs will be fulfilled. Under Shrila Prabhupada's desire we worked in that spirit while he was physically present, out of love or duty or some combination of material and spiritual necessities. Most of us were unable to maintain that standard of "do the needful", and we were thus forced to follow our need for fulfilling our karmic mission.
At the current time most of his disciples are in their 50's and 60's with grown up children, and are again trying to revive their previous mood of surrendered service--this time with the maturity that comes from living and working in the world and trying to see Krishna in all circumstances. Our "preaching" is now the outgrowth of our experience. One's experience shared is a powerful testimonial for the effectiveness of our Krishna consciousness process.
If we are successful in using our full time or a good deal of it for Krishna's service that is a manifestation of his mercy. Practice and prayer makes perfect. Keep on keeping on with determination, and just give this one life to Krishna. It is very short, but long enough to make significant spiritual progress if we are determined and humble. At the same time we have to be patient. Krishna will help us more than we can imagine. And if we are helping others become Krishna conscious as well we become very dear to Krishna. The world will change one person at a time. Every person who truly becomes Krishna conscious with the good qualities of a pure devotee helps the world be a better place--and it all begins with us personally.