While traveling, sometimes the people sitting next to us are less than pleasant. We may not be able to avoid their company, but we don’t let them control us. We turn our thoughts to something else and turn them off.
A similar strategy can help us when during our life-journey problems are thrust upon us. We may not be able to avoid them, but we don’t have to let them dominate our thoughts. Unfortunately, that’s what we unwittingly do when we worry too much about problems. Worry prevents us from thinking clearly and productively, so no matter how much we think about the problem, we can’t come up with an effective solution. Whatever we do often ends up making a bad thing worse. And even if we don’t do anything, just thinking about the problem makes it appear bigger, nastier and scarier.
That’s why we need an alternative object of thought to get our mind off the problem. The Bhagavad-gita (18.58) recommends Krishna as the best such object of thought. Why? Because he offers not just a distraction, as would other things, but also elevation. Thinking about Krishna reminds us of:
1. Our eternal identity as souls who can never be destroyed by any problem, and
2. Our everlasting relationship with Krishna, who will never desert us, no matter how big the problem.
Meditating on these truths raises our consciousness to the spiritual level of reality. From there, we can see the problems in perspective – as temporary troubles that will come and go, just minor blips in the majestic expanse of our everlasting and all-embracing relationship with Krishna.
Being thus elevated and educated, we can calmly and intelligently come up with the best means to deal with problems.