08.07- Striking a deal between the extraordinary and the ordinary
As spiritual seekers living in a material body and a materialist culture, our lives have two sides: the spiritual and the material. Given that materialism is the common or ordinary way of living in our culture, our material side becomes our ordinary side and our spiritual side becomes our extraordinary side.
Both these sides require our time. For effectively catering to both, we need to strike a deal between them in our own heart. To help us strike this deal, the Bhagavad-gita (8.7) offers us a broad recommendation: always think of Krishna while doing one’s prescribed duty.
How can we think of Krishna while doing our worldly obligations that usually have no explicit connection with him? By arranging for our hearts to be implicitly connected with him.
We can progressively become internally connected with Krishna by reserving some time each day for exclusive and intensive attention to him through sadhana. We can’t practically offer all our time to him directly as our material obligations need much of our time. Still, we can’t, in the name of being practical, let these obligations encroach upon all of our time. To check their encroachment, we can remind ourselves that our spiritual side is extraordinary because it alone can grant us the supremely extraordinary result – eternal happiness. The material side, no matter how urgent it seems, can at best offer us only an ordinary result – a little bit material happiness followed by continued suffering in the cycle of birth and death.
Based on this fundamental understanding, we can arrive at our internal deal. Once we commit to offer a certain amount of time regularly to Krishna, come what may, we will pleasantly discover that our clear intelligence and Krishna’s grace will combine to make whatever comes much easier to manage.