Gradual destruction is as destructive as sudden destruction

When sudden, huge destruction occurs because of, say, an earthquake, we are jolted out of our routine complacency. Being confronted with the brittleness of our lives, we are impelled to ask: “Is life meant for such abrupt termination? What is the point of it all? What really counts?”

Such soul-searching questions, even if prompted by adversity, are auspicious because they can lead us towards spiritual enlightenment. But soul-searching doesn’t have to wait till sudden destruction befalls. After all, destruction is happening around us constantly as our bodily cells die and as time pushes our body inexorably towards destruction at death.

If a thousand people die because of a bomb blast and a thousand people die because of natural aging, what is the ultimate difference? No doubt, the premature deaths of the blast victims make the blast more horrible and the deaths, more tragic. Still, the end-result in both cases is the same: both sets of thousand people are dead. And the same bodily destruction is where we all are headed, being propelled by each passing moment after inexorable moment.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (02.27) asserts that our death is certain – as is our rebirth. Here, the Gita points to our souls that transmigrate across bodies. As spiritual beings, we are meant for eternal existence. That’s why we feel jolted, even revolted, when confronted with our present existence’s mortality and fragility.

To attain the eternal life that is natural to us souls, we need to elevate our consciousness through disciplined yoga practice. Among various yogas, bhakti-yoga imbues our entire life with eternal purpose, helping us redefine our daily activities as opportunities to link lovingly with the supreme indestructible reality, Krishna. Therefore, what ultimately counts is our endeavor for devotionalizing our consciousness, for that alone imparts to our life the enduring meaning of immortal love.

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