08.16 – Life takes off when we understand how soon life takes us off
Suppose we have a hired car for a day with us and need to go a long way to reach our destination. The more time we spend in tarrying and sightseeing, the less are the chances that we will get to our goal before our time runs out.
Isn’t life like that too?
We are souls and our body is like a hired car that we have for a limited period. During our bodily journey, the Bhagavad-gita (08.16) indicates that the best destination, indeed the only lasting destination, is Krishna’s spiritual abode where we rejoice forever in love with him. By practicing devotional service with our body, we chart the inner journey of redirecting our love from worldly things to Krishna.
But our life usually doesn’t take off earnestly on this inner journey. Not that we don’t keep ourselves busy. We do – but often we are busy in petty things. We let the mind internally and the world externally persuade us into spending our time on things that don’t really matter – TV, gossip, daydreaming, for example.
Like it or not, life will take us off at some moment in the not-too-distant future. Death will whisk us off from our bodily car. We will be left stranded in the cycle of birth and death awaiting another bodily car that may not be human and so may not be suitable for making spiritual advancement.
That’s why we need to repeatedly remember and thereby unsentimentally understand that life will soon take us off. When we realize how little time we have and how far we have to go, our life truly takes off. We focus on what’s most important for us and start truly living – living with intellectual clarity and spiritual integrity so that we may live forever.
From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.