A Practical Prescription to Self Realization
Humans–because of cultural messages, the media, films, and everyday interaction with others–have become so deeply hypnotized and conditioned to cling to materialism that we have forgotten our true nature…divine sparks of Krishna’s Universe. Everywhere we look the message is Accumulate and Succeed and your life will be sublime!
“Be THE BEST, accumulate the best ‘toys’. If you don’t ‘Make it’ you are a loser! You ‘Must’ be approved by everyone else, you ‘NEED’ to get all your glorious achievements and life MUST bring you the endless gratification of all your whims and desires.” All these things we supposedly MUST have and NEED are major evidence of how we have severely strayed from “THE PATH” and have forgotten who we really are. As the years go by we insist on “needing” more and more stuff all the while getting more and more swallowed up by this misaligned life style.
In Krishna Consciousness there is a term entitled tapasya which translated in English is “self-control”. The need for tapasya is of importance because it is in alignment with how man was designed to live. Humans are not meant for mindlesly overindulging in our every desire which overidentifacation with this world of materialism has created. What manifests from that overidentification is a False Ego and out of that endless false needs. If we stop to think, the only real needs man has are shelter, food (survival) and Self Realization. The Path of Self Realization offers a scientific way to balance out all our “wild needs”. While that may sound like misery to some that is because we are so deeply conditioned that to most even the thought of life without sense gratification is unbearable.
I believe that Krishna Consciousness is a powerful, scientific way to restore mans divine quest. It is not a religion simply based on SHOULDS and SHOULDN’TS but instead is very scientifically structured to give us WHY? “Why should we break out of addictive materialism?” “Why should we cease meat eating?” Krishna Consciousness offers us many intelligent answers to age old questions. All the practices are laid out elegantly by founder His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and expressed by devotees.
What we do “Need” is to break out of this “rat race” mentality. We need to find our Source and eradicate our false, misaligned lifestyles. While this may sound like deprivation for it’s one sake, nothing could be further from the truth. This, besides bringing glory to the Source, Krishna, is a prescription for happiness, in a very practical way!
The truth is that it is impossible to have enough money or power to give you perpetual happiness. Even billionaires and emperors never succeeded by trying to dominate money and power. Look at Napoleon or Hitler. If these two couldn’t find happiness in life, what does that tell us about accumulation being the key to happiness? The reason why the Bhagavad Gita offers so much wisdom and keys to joy is because it reminds us that in the attainment of Krishna Consciousness lies the real bliss and beauty.
“Being freed from atachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of me–and thus they all attained transcendental love for me.” BG 4.10
What this means is in Krishna Consciousness our hearts are cleansed and purified of all this unneccesary attatchment. In Krishna Consciousness, a certain liberation is possible because we are freed from a million different attatchments and we are in alignment with the TRUE SOURCE OF BLISS. All else is just dust. The challenge is to surrender to this and decondition ourselves from our slavery to materialism.
This is not a “money is evil” or “materialism is evil” philosophy. This is a very unrefined attitude and is not the message being portrayed. Material wealth in and of itself is in no way evil. A nice car in not evil. Possessions are not evil. The message is DETATCHMENT. Otherwise the things you own, end up owning YOU! Again, I am preposing a very practical philosophy. I am saying that we can get career cardiacs trying to win the “rat race” due to trying to “keep up with the Jonese’s”. All due to overattachmant to materialism.
Let’s not attack materialism itself. Especially in the west, money does give us a great amount of freedom. It allows us to tap into many recources that can keep our spiritual practice alive without constant feelings of survival stress. However, the key is to find a way to stay in the grace of KRISHNA in our lives. Then our material gains serve our spiritual growth and progress. Then our real nature is guiding us not just our false egos. This is a very practical philosophy and we cannot afford to ignore it if Self-Realization and Bliss are important to us.
Actor/Fitness Consultant NYC