“Human civilization is meant for purifying the senses, and objects of sense satisfaction should be supplied as much as absolutely required, but not for aggravating artificial sensory needs. Food, shelter, defense and sense gratification are all needs in material existence. Otherwise, in his pure, uncontaminated state of original life, the living entity has no such needs. The needs are therefore artificial, and in the pure state of life there are no such needs.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.5.30 Purport)Download this episode (right click and save)
“I’ve had it. I can’t take it anymore. I’m checking this thing night and day. It’s like I can’t live without it. Don’t you dare let the battery run down. Then you’re really in trouble. Forget sleeping well at night. Forget having perfect vision. No, I must be attached to this thing.
“Whenever I lie down to take some rest, it beeps. There is a message from someone. When I’m at peace and really into a good book, it rings. There is never good news on the other end. I think life was much more peaceful when I didn’t have this thing. I tell you, sometimes I just want to throw my phone away.”
Such frustrations are not uncommon in the modern day. For years man lived without a smartphone. They didn’t carry any electronic devices on their person. Yet somehow they managed to survive. There is the famous saying that for every convenience there is an inconvenience. Today you can call someone to let them know your plane has landed. You don’t have to wander around aimlessly in the airport. You can reach someone in times of emergency.
By the same token, you can be bothered at any moment. There is another object of attachment, something which fails to bring lasting peace. This is the defect with progress. You can only progress from something if that something was imperfect in some way. Thus material progress is always imperfect.
The human form of life is meant for something much higher. There should be peace. After all, without peace there cannot be happiness. Peace means not worrying so much about things. It means not getting upset when something doesn’t go your way and not getting overly excited over something that won’t last very long.
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir
aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66)
The thing to worry the most about is death. That is the loss of everything. It is an event with more serious consequences than the smartphone’s battery running out. It is worse than your favorite sports team losing the big game. It is complete loss, including relationships.
This event is guaranteed to happen, so rather than ignore the impending release from the body, why not find out why it happens to begin with? This is one of the first questions the genuine spiritual science answers. For the soul there is never birth nor death. The soul always exists. Nothing can be done to kill it. The objects to which we form attachments are temporary, having relevance only for the present lifetime.
Birth and death are like the rising and setting of the sun. They have no bearing on an existence. Yet the human birth is still important. There is the wakeup call known as athato-brahma-jijnasa. Inquire into the spiritual energy that is Brahman. Go beyond sense pleasures, which are available in abundance in the animal species. Indeed, their enjoyment is slightly more steady due to the lack of external pressures. The bird doesn’t worry about mortgage payments. The fish in the water does not realize that it is wet. The raccoon is not burdened by massive credit card debt.
The Brahman realized person neither hankers nor laments. In that position, they experience real peace. The pleasure is known as brahmananda. There is another step to go. There is pure devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything is sourced in Him. The material energy comes from Him, and so does the spiritual energy, of which we are a part. Since we have a choice in association, we living entities, known as jivas, are part of the marginal energy.
The conscious human being, through the grace of the Divine and His bona fide representative, can once again choose the spiritual energy for association. That is the only pathway to real peace. Then the individual can survive in any situation, as the present becomes just as good as the future. The self-interest, svartha, merges into the supreme interest, paramartha. An easy way to get a glimpse into that peace right now is through the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Not the spiritual to feed,
Only to make artificial need.
Smartphone, to that survived prior,
Human meant for thinking higher.
Birth and death happening why?
To learn purpose of existence try.
Peace only in spiritual path real,
Chant holy names and right now feel.