Seek not a problem-free life, but a purpose-filled life
The endless problems of life may wear us out and make us long for a problem-free life. Such a longing, however, is unrealistic and unfulfilling. Let’s see how.
1. Unrealistic: The Bhagavad-gita (9.33) declares that the entire material existence is an intrinsically temporary and troublesome arena. Just as swimmers can never be dryin an ocean, we can never be problem-freein material existence.
2. Unfulfilling: We may dislike problems, but what we actually dread is purposeless problems. For example, patriotic individuals willingly, even eagerly, risk their lives to protect their country. They don’t dread becoming martyrs on a battlefield, but they dread becoming casualties in an accident before they reach the battlefield. The first is purposeful, fulfilling and even glorious, whereas the second is purposeless, unfulfilling and even ignominious.
Gita wisdom helps us discover that purpose is innate to life, even in its seemingly meaningless incidents and purposeless accidents. Krishna is orchestrating all the events in the world and in our life to further our devotional growth, which is the ultimate purpose of existence.
Most of us conceive of material advancement as the natural purpose of our life, but this purpose can – and will – be frustrated irreparably by the very nature of the world. However, if we embrace spiritual advancement as our life’s foremost purpose, then we will uncover within every situation the opportunity to enrich our devotion.
That’s why the same Gita verse (09.33) that apparently communicates such a gloomy assessment of material existence also conveys one of the most upbeat and uplifting messages of the Gita: the power of devotion can transport one and all to an eternal ecstatic life with Krishna.
“How much more this is so of the righteous brahmanas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me.”