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Efficient endeavour

Suppose we are traveling by a flight that allows us 50 pounds of luggage. We meticulously organise the things that we need to carry, placing them creatively in various parts of our suitcase. But after we have filled the suitcase, we realise that we have taken much unnecessary stuff, say, woollen clothes while going to a warm place.

Just as the luggage we can carry on a journey is finite, the time we have during our life-journey is finite. In our to-do list, we often prioritise urgent things. However, that which seems urgent is often not important. And conversely, and perhaps more damagingly, what is important rarely seems urgent.

This principle of the urgent trumping the important applies especially to our spiritual life, to the activities that will raise our consciousness from the material level to the spiritual level. After all, we all are souls, eternal parts of Krishna, and we can’t find fulfilment unless we are fully filled with love for Him. Like luggage that will be of no use in our destination, the material things we accumulate during this life will be of no use to us during our next life, or for that matter even during our post-mortem journey. What will matter is the attraction to Krishna that we have developed by practicing bhakti-yoga.

If we get so caught up in organising the nitty-gritties of our life so as to forget our life’s most important spiritual purpose, we succumb to the fallacy, indeed the tragedy, of doing unnecessary things efficiently.

The Bhagavad-gita (02.40) prevents such a tragedy by forcefully reminding us of the reality that spiritual things alone last forever. By regularly studying the Gita and harmonising our priorities accordingly, we can ensure that we are not just busy doing things, but are busy doing the things that matter.

In this endeavour there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear – Bhagavad Gita 2.40

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