How can we help materially entrapped people to become spiritual?
Transcribed by: Sudeep Naik
Question:How can we help materially entrapped people to become spiritual?
When we try to influence materially entrapped people to become spiritual, there are broadly two aspects involved: (i) external and (ii) internal. Let us understand each.
External: If materially entrapped people meet with devotees, they may feel that devotees do not enjoy life materially. Their life must be boring. However, when they spend some time with devotees they may realize that these devotes are happier than me; so there must be something special. Their association with people who are not dependent on things, which they think are a must for enjoying, forces them to recalibrate their understanding of what is enjoyable. This association may not be only in terms of seeing the devotees but may also be in terms of hearing from them or experiencing something higher in their association. Such external experiences can open their paradigms.
Internal: Krishna is present as paramatma (supersoul) in everyone’s heart and guides everyone from there. Everyone goes through phases in their life when they feel, “What am I doing?” Let me explain with the help of a story. In America, there was an addict who was alcoholic. One morning he got an urge to drink. He went to fridge and found that there was no drink. He then went to a nearby shop to buy the drink but he was so anxious that he forgot to wear any warm clothes. It was heavy winter and snow. He rushed to his car and went to nearby shop but could not found that drink. He then drove to the other end of the town to buy the drink. While driving, his car broke down. He got out of the car and ran to the bar without warm clothes and finally got the drink. He drank few sips and thought, “Now I should go back, I enjoyed this drink.” While going back to his car he forgot to close the lid of the bottle. He fell in snow and all the alcohol fell on him. He was lying in snow helplessly with many people asleep in nearby buildings. At that time, it struck him, “What am I doing? I am enslaved. I am trapped.” That was the beginning of his awakening. Even those people who are hooked to something have their moments of awakening.
Sometimes, even after showing alternate way of living, a materially entrapped person may not accept it. However, if such memory stays with them and by Krishna’s arrangement a moment of awakening comes, then such moment coupled with the experience of devotion might make them look for something higher. If we force them they may climb down and even if moment of awakening happens they may not get awakened. They may continue to look for something at similar level and remain entrapped. We should try to give them positive experience of something higher in life by bringing them in devotional association e.g. through nice spiritual music or prasadam. Even if they don’t take up just keep the door open. Be cordial with them and let the moment of awakening come in their life.