17.14 – Differences that make a real difference – and differences that don’t

by February 9, 2013

17.14 – Differences that make a real difference – and differences that don’t

Suppose we desire a new cellphone. Being enamored by the various features of difference brands, we start worrying which to choose. Soon the worry consumes our mind.

When we repeat this process for every material thing we choose, we soon get mentally overloaded.

We may protest: shouldn’t we seek the best deal?

Obviously, we should. But the best deal in what? Is getting the best material thing the best deal for our life?

We may object: what has choosing something to do with life?

A lot. Material choices come up continuously in life and suck our mental energy. Bothering about these choices gradually consumes our whole life.

Gita wisdom reminds us that our life is meant for getting something far better. If we use our mental energy to cultivate devotional remembrance of Krishna, we can get eternal happiness.

Everlasting liberation or perpetual entanglement in the cycle of birth and death – that is a real big difference.

Comparatively speaking, the difference between two brands of a gadget pales into insignificance. Though the difference between two material things may seem big initially, life goes on and soon we realize that the difference doesn’t matter.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (17.14) urges us to simplify our life. Simplicity doesn’t mean that we deliberately deprive ourselves of the things that we need. It essentially means that we don’t invest our emotions in material things; we don’t let them suck our mental energy. We learn to choose things based on their utility: what do I need from this? And not bother: what all can I get from this?

The more we thus simplify our life, the more we free our mental energy to invest in devotion to Krishna. And the greater becomes our inner fulfillment.

In the long run, that’s the difference that matters.

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