08.07 – The dynamic interplay of the ‘here’ and the ‘hereafter’
The Bhagavad-gita (8.15) declares the world we live in – the here – to be a place of temporality and misery and so deems the spiritual world – the hereafter – as the destination that the intelligent should aspire for. But the Gita’s actual message is connection, not rejection: the connection of the here with the hereafter, not the rejection of the here for the hereafter.
If we care only for the here, we will become attached to the here and blinded to the hereafter. If we care only for the hereafter, we will become apathetic and irresponsible about the here. By keeping in mind the eternality and the beauty of the hereafter, we can avoid infatuation with the fleeting pleasures and the deluding promises of the here. By keeping in mind the role of the here as the arena that shapes us for attaining the hereafter, we can face the challenges of the here with wisdom and determination.
That’s why the Gita (8.7) exhorts us to a dynamic balance between the here and the hereafter: aspire wholeheartedly for the hereafter and act responsibly in the here.