The new age mantra of Positive Thinking, whose premise is the Law of Attraction, is touted as a magic wand to fulfill all our dreams. We can create anything here, the advocators of the mantra say. Children, money, lover, spouse, job, health — just anything! There are many case studies to endorse this mantra. It seems like the God recalled the Vedas to His Kingdom, and, instead, He gifted us the ability to manifest our desires just by thinking positively about them. Right? Well, not so right! If this was so, then Positive Thinking could serve us what we have been after–life after life – a continuous state of happiness. A life full of joy in which there are no miseries, no heartbreaks, no accidents, no diseases, no old age (Long live Botox and all the hair color brands).
Mundane attachment to our possessions and relationships causes more misery and creates more vacuum in our lives than their lack could. Things and people that should cause happiness become the reasons of our pain. The state of happiness doesn’t last beyond a few moments, days, or months. Misery follows happiness disguised as a natural calamity, as a disease, as a pain caused by/caused to someone we love.
Indisputably we all want to be happy forever; moment after moment, month after month, year after year, and life after life. So if there is a desire for eternal happiness, then the eternal happiness must exist somewhere, or why would we yearn for it so much? If eternal happiness was possible through the combination of five elements, senses and sense objects, mind, intelligence, and false ego, then we would have created mountains of it by now, and what more we would be exporting to the rest of the world. The rich Indians wouldn’t need Swiss bank accounts and black money. The Americans would have replaced their stocks of oil with eternal happiness, and the Chinese would have become smug having more of happiness than Uranium. Amsterdam’s Red Light District would sell it shamelessly, and their drug cafes would inject it our veins legally. It doesn’t seem to be happening, so eternal happiness is missing from the globe. The Law of Attraction doesn’t seem to be attracting eternal happiness! It can’t because the mantra’s energy functions within the law of the Maya (nature) which can’t offer everlasting things, feelings, or states.
The positive thinking mantra’s energy stems from the mode of Passion, which is one of the three modes of Maya. The quality of Passion is to create and expand temporarily using the elements, senses, mind, intelligence, and the false ego. From the Bhagavad Gita, we learn that Maya controls us through its three modes: the mode of Ignorance (Keeps us in darkness by covering the Absolute Truth), the mode of Passion (Gives us desires and conditional ability to fulfill them temporarily), and the mode of Goodness (Makes us conduct pious activities). We think we are the Doer, but actually we are just Maya’s prey.
Bhagavad Gita 14.10: “Sometimes the mode of goodness becomes prominent, defeating the modes of passion and ignorance, O son of Bharata. Sometimes the mode of passion defeats goodness and ignorance, and at other times ignorance defeats goodness and passion. In this way there is always competition for supremacy.
Well, if Maya is the Doer, then who am I? I can’t be this body, because, for example, in case of natural death, the body still remains when someone dies. I can’t be my thoughts alone because then a thoughtless mind (The Buddhist mind) would simply cause me to die. I can’t be my senses either, because detachment from the objects and subjects of senses would then kill me instead of setting me free. So who am I after all?
We are Marginal Energy of God, and that’s why we have inherited His qualities, in small quantity though. He is the original creator; we imitate Him in this world by creating stuff made of matter. He is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Vigraha; the embodiment of knowledge and bliss, so we too wish to be the knower of the Truth so we can be happy.
Soul: The one who desires
Material nature: The ingredients provider
Supersoul: The approver
But, we don’t seem to be getting what we so much desire. Why? Can a screw function independently of the machinery of which it’s just a small part? No, it can’t! Can it work just like the machine after ‘falling off’ from the machine? No it can’t. So, to make that screw valuable it must be fit in its original place. The screw’s identity is that it is a small part of the machine. Screw can’t think and acts like the machine, it can only serve it by doing what it’s supposed to do. Similarly, we are eternal servitors of God, and our purpose is to serve God and do what He wishes us to do.
Why am I here if I should be serving Him? What is this world after all? Lord Krishna enlightened Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra by answering all the questions that can be asked. Who am I? What is this world? Why am I here? How should I get away from this miserable world? How can I be eternally happy? (Time to hear the transcendental song of Krishna.)
God, Krishna, says this world is His creation. Not just this world but all the universes and planets that are floating in the material sky are created through His external energy (Maya). While Maya, the in-charge of this material world, likes us to remain entrapped forever in a variety of forms, Krishna dearly wants us to return Home. Krishna says this world is a perverted reflection of the world where we originally belong. We are conditioned souls and His children. Conditioned souls desire to lord it over the material nature, so to fulfill our desires, Krishna arranges for those souls to take birth in different planets and in different forms. 84 millions forms!!! In the form of humans, we get a little freewill so we could decide and act if we would like to continue experiencing material worlds, or we would like to go back Home. Krishna watches us seated in our hearts while we are using our freewill. He observes whether we still want to falsely create and superficially enjoy through the agency of Maya, or we are genuinely trying to re-gain our lost identity, as well as the way to our Original Home (the Kingdom of God). In case of former, He lets us enjoy (suffer) according to our karmas and desires, and in the latter situation if helps us find our way.
Beyond this world, beyond any material world (e.g. that of UFOs and aliens, Poseidon, or even Heaven), there is a spiritual world which is the personal abode of Krishna. This world exists through the Internal Potency of Krishna; His superior energy. Originally, we are residents of this world. We can go back Home only when we are saved from the clutches of Maya. In our Original Home, matter has no place (Time assists in the lila between Lord and His devotees), so miseries caused by them are also missing. In our Home, there is no need for positive thinking! Because we remain in ecstasy; in eternal joy eternally. Emily Dickinson’s beautiful couplet hints at the Kingdom of God:
This world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
But positive, as sound.
Alright, but How do we serve Him? How do we get away from the net of Maya?
With Love. When we are truly in love with someone we include them in our thoughts, our plans, and our actions even on day-to-day basis. So love Krishna and make Him the center of our existence.
The natural constitution of soul is to love God. We will be eternally happy when we regain our natural position. To love Krishna, we should use our senses in doing things for Krishna. This will purify our senses. So, if you like to read, then read the scriptures about Krishna. He will guide you through His literary energy. If you like to sing, sing His holy names. It’s His commitment that He dances on our tongues when we sing His names in devotion. If you like to dance, dance for Krishna and become purified. Before you eat, offer our food to Krishna. His transcendental touch will transform the energy of our food.
We learn from the Bhagavad Gita that actions performed with the spirit of devotion for Krishna don’t create reactions. Anything done for the pleasure of our senses leads to misery because every action has an opposite reaction. The seemingly good works also have their opposite reactions, if not done with Krishna being the center of the activity.
To be eternally happy we should surrender to Krishna. In the climax verses (18.65-18.66)of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says:
Think about Me always and become My devotee.
Worship and give homage and you shall return to Me.
Giving up religious creeds, submit yourself to Me.
I accept your former sins. Have no anxiety.
(Credits: Song Divine)
To guide us, He is seated in our hearts as Vishnu. Outside of us He sends a bona-fide spiritual master from His own tradition. This master, with the help of scriptures and through his mercy, shows us the way.
By the way, how can Krishna create these gigantic worlds when He Himself is a person?Krishna is the Supreme Person as explained the Vedas. He has appointed demigods and demigoddesses to execute His will. Krishna is the supreme enjoyer, and everyone and everything else functions for the enjoyment of Krishna.
In the Brahma Samhita, Brahma (whom Krishna has delegated as the Lord of Passion (Creator)) describes Krishna as (5.1):
“Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.”
Why Should I Believe in Scriptures? Scriptures are considered to be the Mother of humanity. Scriptures were created in the state of unalloyed goodness which cannot be experienced in this world unless God shows his mercy.
Isn’t it ironical that we buy scientific theories without questioning them but we question scriptures whose authenticity is proven? Scientists can’t traverse beyond the realm of Maya. Therefore, science and scientific conclusions are bound by the laws of nature. For example there are many scientific constants that have changed many times, so now they are jokingly called as variables.
To quote a few examples, a major scripture (Srimad Bhagavatam) predicted 2600 years in advance that Vishnu would descend as Lord Buddha to preach atheists. His name, family etc were clearly mentioned. Vedic scriptures consider cows as our mother because her milk is gives nutrition to our brain cells. What more even her urine works a medicine. Recent scientific researches are in agreement with this fact stated in the scriptures.
Through His Literary avatar Srila Vedavyasa, Krishna compiled the Vedanta Sutras, that is, all the knowledge about the Creation, Maintenance, and Dissolution, as well as how to go beyond the Material sky and go back to the Kingdom of God where we originally belong.
Krishna sprouted a desire in Srila Vadavyasa’s heart to create a literature which will teach the Absolute Truth through explanations as well as factual stories. Srimad Bhagavatam is called the ripened fruits of the tree of the Vedas because this scripture bestows upon us the knowledge of the Absolute Truth and the spirit of Devotion without which all our material and spiritual marathons are a big waste.
How do we make sure that we learn from these scriptures in the right way? We should learn through the Parampara (Tradition) in which knowledge is transferred from the previous Guru to the next Guru. And this parampara should have a direct connection with Krishna. In other words, Krishna is the first Guru in such a parampara. Śrīla Bhaktivinode Thakur revived the saṁkīrtana movement, which Chaitainya Mahaprabhu started to help humanity sail through this world (on the boat made of Krishna’s love). Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta then prepared the movement for a global context. Śrīla Prabhupada actually carried the movement around the world and established it’s foothold everywhere. Srila Prabhupada revived the Krishna Consciousness movement. Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world to initiate us into the mantra of eternal happiness which works beyond the realm of Maya. Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of ISKCON, explained the purports of all the revealed scriptures in such a way that Maya can’t mislead us anymore. His truly spiritual courseware for humanity prepares us to go back Home while getting a good taste of eternal happiness in this world itself.
Srila Prabhupada is the 32nd spiritual master in the unbroken chain in which the first master is no one but Krishna Himself. Krishna played the role of the spiritual master for Arjuna.
The Right Process:
The process of hearing and chanting is the ultimate refuge. We also need devotees association and the spiritual master to give us potency to connect to Shrila Prabhupada.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare