Monumental triviality is still a triviality

Some sports fans become so manic that when their favorite team loses, they feel as if it is the end of the world. A few extremist fans even end their life.

While a match result may be important in its context, that context itself is not very important. It’s after all just a game – a game that doesn’t really matter; that doesn’t solve any real problems; that doesn’t provide any real necessities. It’s a triviality. Even if people make the trivial monumental, it still remains a triviality, at the most a monumental triviality.

Yet our exposure to and association with such triviality drastically distort our perspective. So, if we associate with people who are mad for cricket, we may find ourselves manically pounding our fist in frustration at a defeat, a defeat that would otherwise have been irrelevant. To protect ourselves from such mania, we need to stay detached from the general mass of people (the Bhagavad-gita 13.11).

Being thus detached doesn’t mean leading an emotionally barren life – it simply means judiciously investing our emotions in the consequential, indeed the vital.

What is vital?

That which lasts forever.

We are eternal souls who have gone through many lifetimes, wherein depending on our physical, social and cultural contexts, we have been manic about many things – things that we now don’t even remember.

In contrast, what always stays with us is our consciousness. What determines our happiness is the state of our consciousness. What is vital, therefore, is the attraction of our consciousness to Krishna, for he alone is the source of everlasting happiness. When we invest our emotions in him by practicing bhakti-yoga, we will become so emotionally enriched that we won’t feel avoiding mundane mania to be a deprivation; rather, we will see such mania as a depriver of the sublime satisfaction of devotion.


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