02.28 – Did nothing in life prepare you for life?
From middle-age onwards, the human body usually starts undergoing a miracle of the wrong kind. Unfortunately, many such miracle-afflicted people go into a denial mode and frantically conceal the signs of bodily decline by hair-dyes and face-lifts. They can hide these symptoms of aging from the world, but not from their own hearts. They can scarcely face the silent terror that creeps into their heart whenever they think of how their dear body – their only vehicle to pleasure – is on an irreversible, terminal downslide.
Gita wisdom can help and heal such people by posing a surgically probing question: “Did nothing in life prepare you for life?”
This question applies to all of us, whatever our age.
The Bhagavad-gita (2.28) indicates that the decline and demise of the human body is a universal, undeniable truth of life. Preparing for life, Gita wisdom informs us, means preparing for this inescapable downslide of life. Our materialistic culture makes us believe that preparing for life means preparing to make it big in life: earning money, pleasure and prestige. Material success has its place in life, but allowing it a monopoly on our life-preparation is suicidally short-sighted.
Gita wisdom compensates for our short-sightedness. It guides us to realize our spiritual identity and to redirect our search for happiness from the material level to the spiritual level. This redirection empowers us to tolerate and transcend the body’s inevitable decline; for we know that time can never decimate our spiritual identity or deplete our devotional happiness in remembrance of Krishna.
Thus, Gita wisdom helps us to not only learn from life the futility of material existence, but also to learn of a destination beyond this futility: a life of eternal love with Krishna.