Circumstances are like carpets – keep them below, not above

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances. Not being able to respond appropriately to them, we may even feel as if we are simply being tossed and crushed by them.

How can we deal with such adverse circumstances?

By remembering that circumstances are like carpets – they are meant to be kept below, not above. If we let circumstances get over our head, we will feel suffocated, just as a person under a carpet feels suffocated.

Someone may ask, “This carpet metaphor sounds great, but how do I apply it?”

To apply it, we need to know and realize that our true self does indeed lie above our circumstances. Gita wisdom provides us that knowledge and realization – the knowledge of our spiritual identity as souls, parts of Krishna; and the realization of that identity and relationship by the practice of bhakti-yoga. The Bhagavad-gita (02.16) indicates that while the material – our circumstance – is changeable, the spiritual – our identity and our relationship with Krishna – is beyond change. Knowing and realizing that we belong to the unchanging nature can help us to keep the upheavals caused by changing circumstances in perspective.

Knowing and realizing that we belong to the unchanging nature can help us to keep the upheavals caused by changing circumstances in perspective.

Keeping material changes in perspective doesn’t mean that we neglect those changes and artificially imagine ourselves to be transcendental – it means that we periodically re-connect our consciousness with our unchanging side amidst the changing circumstances. By regularly studying Gita wisdom, we can get perspective-restoring reminders of our spiritual nature. And by regularly cultivating devotional remembrance of Krishna, we can get a profound non-material fulfillment that will vindicate the reality of our spiritual identity and the reality of Krishna’s transcendental shelter.

As our spiritual knowledge and realization deepens, our consciousness will become increasingly spiritually situated, safely above our circumstances, and we will be able to respond to them more calmly, intelligently and effectively.

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