The temporary is a means to the eternal – not the eternal a means to the temporary

The power of illusion often makes us mistake the means to be the ends and the ends to be the means.

Even among believers, many get misled by religious materialism. They mistake the things of this world to be the ends and devotion to Krishna to be the means for acquiring those ends. However, our connection with worldly things is temporary, whereas our connection with Krishna is eternal. The Bhagavad-gita (09.21) points out that those who worship Krishna indirectly for material purposes gain only temporary results at best. To reduce the eternal to a means to the temporary is to tragically underuse the eternal.

When Krishna can offer us eternal life, why should we settle for anything less?

To regain the eternal life that is due to us as undying souls, we need to make the temporary the means to the eternal. That is, we need to use the things of this world as the means to render devotional service to Krishna and thus attain the ends of eternal love for him.

To protect ourselves from mixing up our means and our ends, we need to regularly connect with things that focus on the eternal, specifically the supreme eternal reality Krishna. These things include the texts, the spiritualists and the environments that cherish pure love for Krishna. By thus sharpening our focus on the eternal, we can progress towards  the supreme eternal destination: Krishna’s world of pure spiritual love.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 09 Text 21

“When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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