Monday, June 10, 2013

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Lord Krishna“And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very source of creation.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.5)


Bhagavad-gita, 9.5“I can’t handle all of this. It’s getting to be too much. I am certainly skilled in my particular area of expertise. I can do what is asked of me, but I need to work sequentially. If I work on many things simultaneously, with my progress stopped, nothing will get done. There will be no focus. Give me one task and allow me the time to complete it. Don’t interrupt me during that task, either. Otherwise I will lose my momentum.

“Even when I finish my task, it’s not like I can just pick up a new one right away. After a labor intensive effort I am mentally drained. You see the same thing with athletes. They don’t win all of their matches, especially if they have to play many of them in a row. Physically they can handle the toll, but mentally they get exhausted after a while. And the hard work makes it difficult to concentrate on other things. I can’t be expected to handle all the affairs of the home if I have so much to do at work. I can’t travel here and there all the time and still manage all of my personal relationships. Something has to give. I am not God.”

Indeed, spreading yourself too thin is not good for you in the long run, especially if longevity is something you value. It is seen that when an athlete rises to prominence, if he spends too much time partying, giving interviews, and making commercials, his performance on the field of play suffers. This only makes sense. If he’s posing in front of a camera, he’s not practicing. If he’s out partying, he’s not training. The same cause and effect applies to all kinds of work. While the human being is limited in its ability to do many things at one time, the same is not the case for the Supreme Lord. This allows one way to further understand Him.

The concept of “God” is so vague that pretty much anyone can offer their opinion and have it duly noted. God is an order supplier. God is a person who loves unconditionally. God is the all-powerful. God is a punisher of the sinners. Yet the specifics to these areas are often lacking, and the specifics are necessary due to the nature of duality. If He is an order supplier, what is it exactly that He supplies? What is good for me may not be so for you. If He is the all-powerful, what does He use His potency for? The police use force to thwart the criminals, while the criminals use force to steal the property of others. If God punishes the sinners, who exactly are they? What constitutes a sin? And aren’t all of us sinners to some degree? So we just make a profession of faith and gain immunity from His punishment?

In the Bhagavad-gita, these questions are answered. In it God is portrayed as an all-beautiful youth whose name is Krishna. He claims to be the original Personality of Godhead, the source of all other manifestations of God. He is also the source of all living sparks, the group to which we belong. The claims are supported through truths that can be understood by the rational thinking adult whose mind is not closed off through fears borne of sectarianism or prejudice of foreign traditions.

Bhagavad-gita, 15.15“I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.15)

Lord KrishnaOne of the facts given by Krishna is that He resides within everyone’s heart. He is the best well-wisher. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would close all of his correspondence to his disciples with: “your ever well-wisher.” This was a truthful statement. He inherited that trait from the person whom he served, namely Krishna. The Supreme Lord is the original ever well-wisher, which means that at no time does He not wish the best for each and every one of us.

By residing within our heart He is always with us. From His residence there we know that He is the best friend. And at the same time, He is neutral. He doesn’t directly involve Himself in our activities. That which helps to keep us further away from a relationship with Him is not recommended by Him. He disposes, as He is the original supplier of all orders, but this doesn’t mean that He necessarily has an interest in what He distributes. The vending machine dispenses candy to both the good and bad person alike. The vending machine is not to blame for what results from the consumption of its products. In the same way, God is not implicated in the action that results from the gifts He bestows to all.

While our presence is limited to the local space, Krishna’s is not. He is automatically with everyone. Thus He is the all-pervading witness, antaryami. From this we know that He can spread His influence infinitely wide. His localized presence is known as the Paramatma, or Supersoul. We are known as jivatma, or individual soul. As an individual soul we can get overwhelmed if we spread ourselves too thin with respect to activities. Krishna cannot be overwhelmed. He does everything, including create and maintain the universe. And while He’s doing that, He accompanies everyone in their journey through life. He has been with everyone before and will continue to be with them going forward.

Lord KrishnaThrough it all, He is not phased in the slightest. He can even appear in the material land in a spiritual form to bless the eyes of the pure souls. While He is lifting a massive hill or delivering profound words of wisdom on a battlefield, He is still the Supreme Lord. He is still within everyone, watching their every move. He is still standing by, waiting for the individual souls to turn their consciousness towards Him.

From the Bhagavad-gita we get a better idea of what exactly God’s omnipresence entails. He is certainly everywhere, and since that is the case, at any place and time one can connect with Him. As forgetfulness pays no attention to time or circumstance, remembrance is the same way. Right now, today, at this very moment, anyone can perfect their existence by thinking of Krishna, who is the universal God. One can chant His names and feel His divine presence that has always been with them: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

So many responsibilities my brain to wrack,

So many things too much for me to keep track.

 

Know for sure that God I am not,

Have complete control I certainly do not.

 

From personal stress get meaning more exact,

Of God, who all work does without negative impact.

 

So much going on, still with us He does stay,

Waiting for our consciousness to look His way.

www.krishnasmercy.org