Doing things efficiently is good, but doing unnecessary things efficiently isn’t

Suppose we are traveling by a flight that allows us 50 pounds luggage. We meticulously organize the things that we need to carry, placing them creatively in various parts of our suitcase. But after we have filled the suitcase, we realize that we have taken much unnecessary stuff, say, woolen clothes while going to a warm place.

Just as the luggage we can carry on a journey is finite, the time we have during our life-journey is finite. In our to-do list, we often prioritize urgent things. However, that which seems urgent is often not important. And conversely and perhaps more damagingly, what is important rarely seems urgent.

This principle of the urgent trumping the important applies especially to our spiritual life, to the activities that will raise our consciousness from the material level to the spiritual level. After all, we all are souls, eternal parts of Krishna, and we can’t find fulfillment unless we are fully filled with love for him. Like luggage that will be of no use in our destination, the material things we accumulate during this life will be of no use to us during our next life or for that matter even during our post-mortem journey. What will matter is the attraction to Krishna that we have developed by practicing bhakti-yoga.

If we get so caught in organizing the nitty-gritties of our life as to forget our life’s most important spiritual purpose, we succumb to the fallacy, indeed the tragedy, of doing unnecessary things efficiently.

The Bhagavad-gita (02.40) prevents such a tragedy by forcefully reminding us of the reality that spiritual things alone last forever. By regularly studying the Gita and harmonizing our priorities accordingly, we can ensure that we are not just busy doing things but are busy doing things that matter.

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  1. Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Motivational article. Beautifully written.

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  2. It is the mindset that decides which things are necessary and which aren’t

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  3. THank you for sharing wonderful insight on this verse.

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