18.58: If no time for meditation, then time for frustration
“I just don’t have time.” This is how we often respond to suggestions that we commit ourselves to devotional practices like mantra meditation.
No doubt, we all have a lot of things to do. Still, while coping with the burden of all this work, what takes our time is not just the work but also its burden. How does the burden take our time? By making us spend time on activities for relieving the burden. These activities may be watching TV, playing video-games, surfing the net, gossiping, overeating and oversleeping.
Such activities may offer us a break, but they don’t internally rejuvenate us. Sometimes, they leave us frustrated, thereby making us more mentally unequipped to do our work. For example, our TV watching often ends with frustration (“I wasted so much time. I have so much to do. How will I manage?”).
Thus, by saying no to meditation and doing ineffective activities for reliving our burden, we end up saying yes to frustration. This, in fact, is what the Gita (18.58) outlines as the effect of Krishna unconsciousness. The same verse also states that Krishna consciousness frees us from frustration. Let’s see how this works out.
Gita wisdom offers us a far more effective way of dealing with life’s burdens: meditation. When we invest time in devotional meditation, it replenishes our inner energy by connecting us with the source of all energy: Krishna. This energy not only frees us from the sense of burden, but also enables us to manage our obligations intelligently, responsibly and competently.
And this mental refreshment is just the fringe benefit of connecting with Krishna. The real benefit is inner enrichment of our devotion, an enrichment that ultimately catapults us to the supreme realm of eternal happiness.