When the immediate encroaches repeatedly on the ultimate, we need an immediate reality check

We often get caught in the exigencies and emergencies that keep coming up in our lives. Despite knowing the importance of developing our relationship with Krishna, we are just not able to allocate time for it. When this unfortunate pattern becomes repetitive, it is a sure sign that the immediate is becoming the enemy of the ultimate. In other words, the urgent this-worldly to-dos are encroaching on the time meant for the important other-worldly must-dos.

No doubt, emergencies do crop up occasionally; at such times, our worldly obligations cannot and should not be avoided or postponed. But if emergencies crop up daily, then probably we need the emergency treatment more than the situations. It is we who by our unbalanced priorities are breeding emergencies.

To give ourselves an emergency treatment, we need to subject our priorities to an unsentimental reality check. We may feel that we are giving priority only to things that are unavoidable. If we give in to such feelings, then we will rarely be able to prioritize our relationship with Krishna.

To counter such feelings, we need to firmly remind ourselves that nothing is more unavoidable than death. At that fateful moment, our immediate worldly to-dos will no longer count, because the ultimate will have become the immediate. But by then it will be too late to do much about the ultimate.

We can allay our doubts about how we will be able to shoulder the immediate if we prioritize the ultimate by meditating on Krishna’s assurance in the Bhagavad-gita (9.22) that he will personally take care of our needs.

That’s why we need to voluntarily make the ultimate the immediate by allocating adequate time for it in our schedule. This will ensure that we don’t leave the ultimate at the mercy of the immediate, thereby squandering the eternal for the sake of the temporary. Instead, we will maturely balance both for our holistic well-being.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 34

“I am all-devouring death, and I am the generating principle of all that is yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.”

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