Is spirituality meant to eliminate worry and depression?
Transcribed by: Sudeep Naik
Question: Is spirituality meant to eliminate worry and depression?
Answer: Not exactly. Purpose of spirituality is to connect with Krishna and process of bhakti yoga helps us connect with him. For example, we are chanting holy name, associating with devotees, studying scriptures etc. All these things help us become increasingly convinced that (i) Krishna is the supreme reality and (ii) Krishna is the supreme source of pleasure. When these two convictions come in our consciousness then we will always become conscious of Krishna.
Thinking about the past and thinking about the future is not a problem. The problem is in the way we think about past or future.
Thinking about past can be either in mode of ignorance or in mode of goodness. When we are thinking about the past in the mode of ignorance, the mind controls and keeps replying what happened in past. It would be like watching a horror movie. Such thinking simply disempowers us. However, when we think about the past in the mode of goodness, we consciously direct our thoughts towards the past to think about it and learn from it. We have those thoughts displayed on mind’s inner screen when we want. In that way mind is not in control, we are in control. Like this, we can learn from the past.
Similarly, with respect to future. If we are in the mode of ignorance, simply another horror movie is displayed. This may go wrong, that may go wrong etc. Again, we get scared. However, if we are in the mode of goodness, then we get the future to appear in our thoughts. We then analyze that if something wrong happens what we will do in such a situation. This way we can help ourselves to become more purposeful.
We can learn from the past and prepare for the future. For a devotee it is all united in the service of Krishna.
Sometimes people say live in the present which is important. However, we live in the present but not live for the present. We live for a higher purpose. For example, if somebody is sick, how we can tell them to live in the present. They will simply be in pain at that time. Live in the present would mean if they have some illness then they should take medicine and get cured. They live for future when they can have a better health. Similarly, a devotee lives for Krishna. He looks back at past to learn to serve better, focuses on the present to serve in the best possible way, looks forward at the future to plan and serve Krishna better. In this way, service to Krishna is the unifying principle, which gives the purpose and the power to decide what to focus on the inner screen. When some fear about the future comes up, then we can continue to focus on our present service but can keep the fearful thought aside to deal with it later. Sometimes while working on a computer a window pops up and we keep it aside. We focus on current work and when we are done we look at the window and decide how to deal with it.
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