When our vision changes from competition to contribution, life becomes a celebration

Materialism makes competition life’s central reality. When we see ourselves as isolated, vulnerable units of matter dependent on material things for our pleasure, we see the world as a jungle where might makes right.

Gita wisdom explains that materialism errs in equating material reality with reality. Actually, reality is two-tier: material and spiritual. We are spiritual beings meant to relish immortal love with the all-attractive supreme, Krishna, whose parts we all are eternally (15.07). With this integrated vision, we see the world as an orchestra wherein we all have our part. The Gita (18.45) assures that everyone can attain perfection by working according to one’s nature. The more we play our part, the more we realize life to be a celebration.

How celebration? Because we see every situation as an opportunity to express and experience love – love for Krishna and love for others in relationship with him. To love Krishna and relish joy therein, we don’t need to be better than others; we just need to be the best we can be, in a mood of devotional service. We just need to make our loving contribution, based on our own distinctive constellation of talents and interests.

This contributive vision of life helps even while we are in the jungle-like world. Undoubtedly, some competition is unavoidable as long as we exist in the material world. However, the bitterest competition in the human world is usually not over necessities; it is over luxuries. Our devotional connection with Krishna helps us realize that our happiness doesn’t depend on those luxuries. This realization shields us from much unhealthy and unworthy competition.

Gradually, as we learn to strive for necessities while delighting in making our best contributions in a mood of devotion, life increasingly reveals itself to be a celebration of divine love.

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