02.38 – A package in which the best and the worst aren’t bound together
Pleasure, profit, success. We look forward to these in life.
But they are only one part of the package. They are inevitably and inextricably bound with the other part of the package: pain, loss, failure.
Such is the nature of everything material – the best and the worst are always bound together. The very thing that delights us when it arrives in our life distresses us when it departs. And depart it must, for everything material is temporary.
Though this fact of life is undeniable, we still neglect it.
Because we presume that the material package is the only package available. What’s the point, we reason, in fretting about the problem with the only thing that makes life worth looking forward to?
Actually, we have better things to look forward to. Gita wisdom informs us that as souls we can rejoice at the spiritual level in loving Krishna. As the soul and Krishna both are eternal, the mutual love and the joy thereof are also eternal. In the devotional package, we get the best – only and perennially.
However, we can’t strive for this devotional package as long as the material package captivates us. That’s why the Bhagavad-gita (02.38) urges us to stay equipoised amidst worldly ups and downs. This equanimity is a mandate not for lethargic passivity, but for realistic productivity. We can and should execute our material duties, do justice to our talents and strive for the best results. But instead of letting the results consume us emotionally, we can keep ourselves emotionally focused on Krishna by doing those duties as devotional offerings to him.
When we train ourselves to look forward to Krishna instead of to worldly results, we save ourselves of unending emotional turbulence and progress serenely towards lasting spiritual fulfillment.