Every ending is also a beginning
When a good thing such as a memorable spiritual retreat ends, we may feel sad, “Why is this ending?” We may solace ourselves by remembering that endings are also beginnings.
Elaborating this two-faced nature of transitions as both beginnings and endings, the Bhagavad-gita illumines it spiritually. It explains that we are eternal souls, parts of Krishna, on a multi-lifetime journey of spiritual evolution. By comparing our physical bodies to dresses, the Gita (02.22) shifts our focus from the old body we are giving up to the new body we will be acquiring. During our life, if we give due time for our spiritual growth by practicing bhakti-yoga, we transit to either eternal spiritual existence or a higher material existence more favourable for our growth. Even if we have neglected our spiritual side, still, wherever we go, Krishna in his immanent manifestation accompanies us. In our new setting, he prompts us to make better choices, thereby making our beginning auspicious.
The principle of endings also being beginnings applies not just to life but also to its phases. With the end of a spiritually inspiring retreat comes the beginning of an opportunity to apply in practice what we have learnt in principle. By embracing the opportunity to walk the talk, we open ourselves to experience the inclusiveness of spiritual truth. When we strive to serve in a devotional mood even in non-spiritual settings, we increasingly sense Krishna’s presence. We realize that he can illuminate and empower not just in a serene retreat setting but also in daily life’s rough-and-tough.
By meditating on both the cyclic nature of existence and the enduring nature of our spiritual core, we can see every ending as a beginning. And by looking for the opportunities opened by the transition, we can progress towards attaining our full potential as Krishna’s blissful parts.
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