Spiritual life is about change--and change for the better. Bhakti yoga in its nine main varieties headed by hearing and chanting about Krishna is meant to awaken our serving or dependent nature on the Lords of our hearts, Shri Radha Krishna. However, it takes time, effort and a whole lot of mercy. We have to keep on keeping on despite what appears to be a long time.
So many opinions
so little time:
Are we or is life
or very simple?
Both! Depending on
our nature and perspective.
A person or life is simple or complex
according to one's conditioned nature
which could be a blessing or curse
in different circumstances.
The songs of our great teachers (acharyas) instruct us about the character of those absorbed in transcendence. Thus we get a glimpse of their spiritual, compassionate vision--we can thus imagine what it must be like, and try to enter into it according to our capacity. They desire that everyone be overcome with the bliss of chanting the holy name of Krishna. This is true enlightened welfare work. Seeing the Universe's inhabitants as illusioned by the false promise of material enjoyment, Shrila Bhaktivinode Thakur, from his spiritual perspective, prays for everyone to lose all worldly desires by tasting the sweetness of Krishna's name (harinam).
Understanding even in theory that our true identity is spiritual--eternal, blissful, consciousness--or said negatively, that we are "not the body", is the beginning of spirituality. Though considered basic or "elementary" in our progressive spiritual life, the fact that we are not the physical body or mind but consciousness, is a matter of deep realization to understand.
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."
As aspiring devotees of Krishna it is essential that we have a philosophical attitude toward life, rather then only religious sentiments. Prabhupada's (my guru's) sannyas name--Bhaktivedanta Swami--teaches us that we have to have a philosophical understanding--Vedanta--as well as devotion--Bhakti. He taught us an important idea originally coined by Rabindranath Tagore: "Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation."
People like happy endings in stories, books or movies. Some would say this is “human nature” but really the body is a reflection of the soul, and the soul is by nature happy. Since we identify ourselves as the body, our conditioned reasoning only suggests the body and mind and its extensions as objects of enjoyment. Unfortunately physical manipulation and stimulation does nothing for the souls needs.
My wife and I share many things. Sometimes we share sickness, and today we are both "under the weather" with some type of flu or the like. I rose after my usual sleep quota of 7 hours to put wood on the fire and take some ginger root and lozenges for my throat, but went back to bed. After that we got up late to chant (mantra meditation or prayers).
I can't say I practice this statement completely, though I appreciate the sentiment and contemplate the meaning. It is the attitude of the topmost devotee who sees everyone engaged in Krishna's service except themselves. Though I can't imitate this consciousness, remembering this statement helps me endeavor to see the good qualities in others. It is a good affirmative statement to honor people we meet or devotees we may know, and reflect that the shortcomings we may perceive in others, we may have as well--some in abundance!