“The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.29)Download this episode (right click and save)
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
How long do we have to stay bewildered? Day after day, trying different things but actually repeating the same boring activities, one after another - where is it leading? Is it supposed to go somewhere? It must, since we have intelligence. We use that intelligence to make strategic decisions in both the short and long terms. What about the longest term, that spans the beginning of life until the end? Is there a strategy for capturing permanent peace?
Imagine this scenario. You have millions of dollars in the bank. It doesn’t necessarily matter how it got there. Perhaps it was inherited. Maybe it was earned through success in business. Perhaps you were one of the lucky few to have won the lottery. Regardless, you shouldn’t have to worry about the necessities of life going forward. You have more than enough money stowed away to live comfortably.
Now imagine that you wake up one day and suddenly forget about the money. You’re in a panic over how to satisfy the bills. You need a steady income to stay afloat. To get a steady income, you need a good job. In this way the responsibilities gradually turn into a mountain that seems insurmountable. There is no peace, since there is no chance to sit back and be free of worries.
In this hypothetical situation, peace is actually there the entire time. It’s available for the taking. It’s not hard to find, and neither is it expensive to purchase. Life doesn’t have to be painful. The key to solving the problems is remembrance. Just remember what you have in the bank. Don’t forget it.
In the same way, every living entity has a connection to Bhagavan, which is one of many words to describe the Supreme Lord. The name Bhagavan says that God has all opulences. Included among these is aishvarya, or wealth. He is the wealthiest person. It makes sense, since God is the origin of everything. He has the original and lifetime deed on every single property that exists.
Since we are connected to the richest person, we have no reason to fear. We don’t even need to specifically ask Him to shower some of that wealth upon us. Rather, the friendship alone establishes safety and security. In the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavan reveals the peace formula. One aspect to that formula is knowing that He is the best friend of every living thing.
Bhagavan is also the original proprietor of everything and the ultimate enjoyer of all religious rituals and sacrifices. A person who knows these three things no longer feels the misery of a material existence. They find that peace which previously was elusive.
Paradise and peace go together. If there is no peace, then there cannot be happiness. Since peace is so easily found, it means that paradise isn’t that far away. Real paradise is as near as the mind itself, which can stay connected to the Divine through yoga. To help control the mind, there are physical exercises, such as chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The argument will be made that this is simply dogmatic insistence, that sentimental allegiance is at play. Why would others be willing to accept such a formula when they have their own religious tradition they have inherited? The three components to the aforementioned peace formula are not sectarian, as there is acknowledgment of an original person. The exact name or spiritual tradition used to understand isn’t so important. The relevant details are that peace comes through His association. Since He is all-pervading, or Vishnu, peace is ready for the taking for every person who is suffering.
Like rich person trouble to find,
Since wealth forgotten to mind.
Peace at any time available there,
But far away since remaining unaware.
Same with the Supreme Lord applying,
No need for separate endeavor trying.
For every living entity acting as friend the best,
Know His high standing and with peace be blessed.