When karma runs its course, karmic flyers crash down to earth by force
When a plane flies high in the sky, its flight is due to not just the expertise of the pilot but also the fuel put earlier in its tank. Once that fuel runs out, the plane will come crashing down by the force of gravity, no matter how skilled the pilot.
Similarly, when celebrities fly high in the sky of worldly success, their achievement is due to not just their skills but also the fuel of their past good karma. Their success may so enamor us that we may not realize that their karmic stock is depleting with every moment, and sooner or later they will crash, their skills or efforts notwithstanding. This temporality of material achievement extends beyond earthly positions to even heavenly positions. The Bhagavad-gita (09.21) declares that those who attain heaven and enjoy its lavish pleasures crash down to earth when their karma runs its course.
Similarly, today’s celebrities, being dragged down by the inexorable law of karma, will crash, either in this life itself or most definitely thereafter, if they have accumulated adequate good karma to last throughout their life. Essentially, they are like a plane with enough fuel to stay in flight throughout our visual range. Just as we know with our intelligence that once the plane’s fuel runs out, it will crash, we can similarly know with our philosophical intelligence that all worldly achievers will crash.
By such contemplation, we can counter the popular culture’s propaganda that to be successful, we need to become copycats of such celebrities. Further, we can focus on striving for that flight which never runs out of fuel – the flight of spiritual devotion. Bhakti, being an eternal relationship between our eternal soul and our eternal Lord, will propel us to fly high beyond the material sky to Krishna’s eternal abode.
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