If we don’t make time for time-saving activities, we stay hard-pressed for time
We frequently feel pressured because we have too many things to do and too little time to do them in. And our devotional engagements may seem like a further demand on our time, thereby aggravating the pressure.
However, such negative perception overlooks the reality that time is consumed not just by activities but also by thoughts. For example, students may be attending a class, but if their thoughts are caught in dreams of parties and crushes, they will get little from the class. Before their exams, they will have to spend time figuring out things they could have understood in the class. A hard look at our life will show that we often spend a lot of time redoing the things we did improperly the first time round because our thoughts were going here, there and everywhere. If we could manage our thoughts better, we could save all that time.
The Bhagavad-gita (14.12) indicates that the mode of passion, which is a prominent mode in today’s materialistic culture, triggers insatiable cravings, which drive our thoughts wild. In contrast, the mode of goodness promotes illumination within and without (14.11), thereby fostering purposeful thoughts and productive actions. Bhakti-yoga offers the easiest way to raise our consciousness from passion to goodness. By thus helping us clarify and focus our thoughts, devotional activities contribute to our life positively as time-savers, not negatively as time-consumers. To give a contemporary example, the time spent in cultivating devotion is like the time spent in learning a time-saving device – it’s an investment, not an expenditure.
Of course, devotion is not just a time-saving device; it’s a soul-saving grace. But when the pressure of the immediate blocks our appreciation of that ultimate benefit, meditating on devotion’s time-saving potency can inspire us to practice bhakti-yoga diligently.
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