08.07 – Are we changing the world or is the world changing us?

by Chaitanya Charan dasMarch 10, 2013

Gita wisdom enables us to make sense of the world as it is – and as it can be.

The world is as it is, filled with immorality and perversity, because people have forgotten the treasure of happiness that lies in their own hearts and are desperately seeking pleasure in outer things by all possible means, moral and immoral, thereby creating misery for themselves and others.

The world will be as it can be, filled with harmony and love, if people learn to use it as an arena to access their inner stock of happiness and to share that happiness with others.

Gita wisdom also provides a potent tool for spiritual excavation by which to bring out that inner happiness: the process of devotional service to Krishna.

When we understand the transformational potential of Gita wisdom, we naturally feel inspired to share it with others as much as possible, hoping that this will change the world for the better.

Our hope is laudable, but we need to be cautious while actualizing it. The world is filled mostly with materialists who believe and pursue external pleasures as life’s ultimate goal. Interacting with them, even if it is with the noble intention of sharing Gita wisdom, exposes us to their materialistic influence. If we don’t guard against that influence, then though we may start with wanting to tell others about inner happiness, we may end with wanting outer happiness. Instead of changing the world, we may get changed by the world.

What can we do to prevent this?

Keep our priorities straight. The Bhagavad-gita (08.07) urges us to first keep alive and active our experience of inner happiness by cultivating remembrance of Krishna (mam anusmara), and then play our roles as vehicles of social transformation (yudhya ca).

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Chaitanya Charan das

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