When we are in anxiety searching for a new job, how can we maintain our spiritual practices?
Transcription by: Sriman (Dr) Suresh Gupta Prabhu (Muzaffarnagar)
Question: When we are in anxiety searching for a new job, how can we maintain our spiritual practices like attending satsang programs, reading books etc.? Is it OK to just reduce my spiritual activities to only chanting the holy names?
Answer: In our material existence, there are going to be phases of high and low and we have to be flexible. We should not consider it to be our spiritual deficiency if we are not able to attend satsang programs on a regular basis. It is more of a practical necessity.
Just like, if we are going on the road and the road is crowded then naturally, we will go slowly and when the road becomes clear, we will move faster. Important is we should be moving in the right direction so that we get to the destination in due course. Similarly, sometimes in the journey of our life, many material things come up and the road becomes crowded because of which our spiritual activities may be reduced. That is fine in principle, as there will be phases like that.
If students have exams, they cannot be expected to come for the satsang programs. Job interviews in one sense are bigger than exams, so naturally there will be bigger anxiety. Having said that, it is also important to note that if we do not hear any Krishna-katha at all, but only do chanting, then our chanting will eventually become mechanical. Sometimes while hearing or reading scriptures something may calm our mind and may give us some strength and solace by which we will be able to prepare for exam or do our job search with more intelligence and better strategy.
We need to deal with emergencies in our life with our best efforts but at the same time we should not always equate maximum time with best efforts. Sometimes we get too much into the passion of doing something and may commit mistakes in haste. Hence, rather than seeing reading scriptures or attending satsang as an interruption while dealing with our material issues, we could see them more as a break which may reorient us. One may not necessarily spend a lot of time but still one can find ten-fifteen minutes to read something from the scriptures specially those sections which deals with the mind or problems created by the mind.
Memorising or reciting verses, singing some Vaishnava songs can also be very helpful. Singing Vaishnava songs can especially be very powerful if we can connect with them. Scriptures are largely intellectual, but Vaishnava songs bring both aspects together, intellectual and musical. Songs are relatively easy to absorb as it gives a very nice connection with Krishna.
It may happen that some days coming for the satsang may not give us as much strength as just taking darshan and praying to the Deities. There is no need to restrict our spiritual life only to chanting, simply because we need to focus on our job search. We can have something going on which gives us strength and which helps us deal with the situation better.
In general, there is no need to feel guilty about decreasing our spiritual activities while dealing with pressures of life. Krishna is always an understanding God. Often when challenges come in life, our mind often eternalises the present. The mind thinks that this problem will go on forever. We are very uncomfortable while travelling in a crowded train, but if we know that in ten minutes our destination will arrive, then we can bear the hardship. However, if we are told that we have to live in the train our entire life, then even half an hour will be intolerable. This is because the mind starts to build up things.
Similarly, we may think, if I do not find a job, I will be jobless my entire life. However, that is very unlikely because surely something will work out. If we look back in the past, the problems that had once caused us a lot of pain, are no longer there now. Similarly, this problem will also disappear. This sort of distancing ourselves from our situation and not letting the mind eternalise the present is what will help us going.
End of transcription.