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Texas Faith 10: What do your spiritual paths say about the role of play?

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Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

We live in society where so much attention is devoted to work. But we're headed into August, the vacation month. What do your spiritual paths say about the role of play?

What do your spiritual paths say about the role of play?

Read on, because there are some terrific answers from our panelists:

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas

All work becomes leisure and play in the service to God. Just as the hand becomes nourished by feeding the stomach, similarly the soul becomes satisfied in serving God with love. No other means will provide proper nourishment of the body separate than feeding the stomach.

Similarly endeavors for satisfaction that are separate from the practice of connecting to God are useful as much as the rubbing of mashed potatoes on the fingers of a hungry person. Thus service to God is where substantial leisure and play is found, it is called Līlā.

In the Bhagavad Gita chapter 6.19, it is understood that leisure is a part of a balanced life, "He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system."

Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita, did not give up his work and recreation to become spiritual but rather he learned the art of offering everything to God with love, Bhakti. Our recreation becomes an offering to God if our thoughts are of God and/or our purpose is His purpose.

Another point is that pure devotional activities are very blissful on their own merit. Such activities include singing the Names of God, eating delicious blessed food, and dancing in glorification of the Lord.

Hare Krishna :)

Your humble servant,

Nityananda Chandra Das

To see all the responses from the Texas Faith Panel click here