10.34: A Disaster Movie in Slow Motion

by April 24, 2012

Disaster movies generally show people caught in a natural disaster trying heroically to save themselves and others from impending doom. However, few of the people who like to watch disaster movies would like to be caught in an actual disaster themselves; there’s no guarantee of a fairy tale ending. Even fewer are the people who realize that all of us are already living in a real-life disaster. 100% of the people reading this article will be wiped out 100 years from today. 

This carnage is caused by the disastrous feature of life known as death that, the Bhagavad-gita (10.34) reminds us, devours everyone without exception.  

Despite this cent-percent casualty rate, most of us don’t feel that life is like a disaster movie. One reason is that the movie of life unfolds in slow motion. So it’s possible to forget the direction of its motion if we want to. And we fervently want to.

The reality of death is inconvenient and unpleasant for us. It spoils, even ruins, our hopeful illusion for success and glory in the material realm. So we want to forget it. And forget we do.

But even if we forget it, the disaster movie is for real. And we are not spectators. We are actors who dream of being victors, but end being victims.

We don’t have to be victims, though. We can’t stop the disaster, but we can come out of its arena.

Gita wisdom informs us that the jurisdiction of death extends only to the body, not to the soul. So when we realize our spiritual identity by practicing devotional service, death changes from a horrible disaster to a welcome transfer: transfer to the eternal blissful kingdom of Krishna where there are no disasters.  



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