A Second Chance at Love
My dear friend! It has been so long since I have been able to sit down to write you. One of my many prayers is to do better from now on. Though it takes discipline to do so, it is one of my labors of love and service. When I write about my life, I want to connect it with Krishna, and bhakti, and though this medium is an informal talk between friends, (or potential ones) I want it to also have substance. I realize there are many things that you can read, and that today’s reader can be overwhelmed by so many demands in life, and with online reading material. As I was out shopping a few days ago, I happened to hear an old Rock song, “A Second Chance at Love” or something like that. As is so often the case in such songs, if one listens with a Vedic ear (from years of study of the Gita and other such spiritual literature), the whole struggle for existence in the material world is outlined. Although music is ultimately meant to elevate our consciousness through being combined with words about God, spiritual philosophy, and especially His holy names, when we do hear ordinary songs or experience mundane media, we can endeavor to see it in relationship to the interest of our soul.
Spiritual or religious music are designed to awaken our feelings for God, and material music often awakens our hankering for material enjoyment and relationships. This was quite an interesting and emotional song, about someone who lost his “love” relationship with a girl (typical fodder for so many songs). He knew he made a mistake, and was lamenting. He wanted a second chance to make things right, and most of us understand his sentiment from personal experience. However, the material world not only gives us a “second chance at love,” but gives us unlimited births or chances to find love and happiness, with the caveat, that we are in a plane that only gives us a short time to do so, before we are kicked out, and have to begin all over again in our next birth.
The very things most people don’t like about the material world and that some complain to God about, are meant to foster reflection as to why. The fact that many of us feel eternal—we know we are more than our body and minds—but are in a temporary place in which our conventional sense of self seems threatened by non-existence (the struggle for existence), can point us in the direction of the soul, if we can accept and apply the philosophy of the Gita. Another way to say this, is that our pain or misery points the wise in the direction of the soul and its eternal relationship to God, or for Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Shri Krishna. This brings us to the picture that opens this blog, which perhaps you were wondering how it relates to getting a second chance at love.
Feeling the pain of a failed relationship, and my having the ladder smash my finger are related. In either case we might bemoan our fate and call out to God, “Why me?” Or if we are a spiritual inclined theist, we may look for a deeper positive meaning for our benefit. On the path of bhakti, or pure devotional service to our conception of Divinity, or Shri Krishna, we endeavor to understand that we live in a purposeful universe that is meant to awaken our dormant spiritual consciousness. We all have amnesia, and have forgotten our true spiritual identity and relationship with Krishna. Our conditioned material identity is compared to ice, which is the frozen and unnatural condition of the soul.
Water is by nature liquid, and in its liquid state has so many uses—drinking, washing, bathing, adding to other substances, etc.—while ice (from the human perspective)—has only a few uses. Think of the difference between being on the South Pole in the middle of winter, and being in a beautiful place in an unspoiled park next to a flowing stream—this is the difference expressed very simply between life in the material world, and the true life of the soul. Through the holy names of Krishna, we are meant to experience spiritual ecstasy by a spiritual awakening. This melts our frozen hearts and enables us to flow toward the Supreme Spirit, or the Lord of our spiritual hearts.
Water drops join together in rivers (by combining together with others in sankirtan, or chanting the holy names) and return to the ocean. We return to the ocean, or to God, not to simply merge into the ocean and lose our identity (as some philosophers claim), but we individual particles of water (spirit-soul) are meant to have a relationship to Krishna by assuming a spiritual form suitable for such loving relationships. This is the real “second chance at love”—actually this is the only love that totally satisfies our heart, since our true spiritual nature can be satisfied only by union (or yoga) with the Supreme Lovable person, Krishna. Krishna consciousness is the process for understanding this fact, and experiencing it directly. Let us join together and chant the holy name in love!