Some things never change – and some things change us forever
We all have an innate urge to change things for the better. Knowing where to direct this urge so that we can really improve things – that is wisdom.
The Bhagavad-gita (02.16) indicates that the wise see that there exist two natures or, put alternatively, two levels of reality: the spiritual reality that never ceases and the material reality that never endures.
Improving things at the material level doesn’t make any essential difference. Be we moderns or ancients, we all are afflicted by the threefold miseries: miseries caused by our body-mind mechanism, by other living beings and by the higher forces of nature. Technological progress can only alter the form of these miseries, not eliminate them. And even these alterations in form don’t make any enduring difference; we still have to grow old, get diseased and die.
Does this mean that we aren’t meant to improve things? No, it just means that we needn’t restrict our urge to improve to the material level alone, that we be open to exploring the possibility of non-material improvement.
The Gita explains that we are at our core spiritual beings who are meant for a life of eternal happiness in loving devotion to the supreme spiritual being, Krishna. Our urge for improving things originates in our soul’s longing for our Lord. When we practice bhakti-yoga and raise our consciousness towards Krishna, we gradually relish higher happiness within and radiate that happiness without.
Bhakti-yoga guides us to contribute practically in this world in a mood of service to Krishna without getting materially infatuated. We learn to integrate material improvement with the project of spiritual improvement. The resulting change of consciousness is the change that endures, and endures forever.
Thus, when we channel our urge to change things towards our spiritual side, we become changed forever.
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