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Friday, June 8, 2007

Our Eternal Friend

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Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! God is our only eternal friend. To be frank with you, the harsh reality that no one in this world is interested in you. Don't expect the world to rush to your rescue when you are in trouble; it will just not happen. Far from run­ning to help you, even our best friends may run away from you when you are in trouble...

There are many levels of friends - official friends called bandhu, social friends called mitra and so on. But Lord Gauranga Krishna is our only real friend. He is therefore called suhrt, meaning that He is our heart-to-heart friend. There is no one as close to us as God, although we may not know it. God is such a great friend, that even if we forget Him, even if we neglect Him, even if we become envious of Him, He still loves us. Just as a selfless mother only wants to serve her child always, irrespective of whether he is obe­dient, disobedient or naughty, similarly God is always very keen to help us, whether we re­ciprocate with Him or not. Krishna says, suhridam sarva bhutanam "I am the suhridam, well wisher, of every living entity. I am the heart to heart friend of every living entity." So we should always learn to keep God in the center of our lives.

An ideal example of this is Arjuna. Arjuna never did anything unless it was connected in service to Lord Krishna. Even his act of fighting was for the pleasure of Lord Krishna; before going to the battlefield, he circumambulated Lord Krishna and offered Him obeisances. So for Arjuna, there was no one as close as Lord Krishna. And the same is true for every living entity because Lord Krishna says: sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto "I am residing in the heart of everyone as the Parmatama." So in the hearts of each one of us, besides the soul there is the Supersoul, who is an expansion of Krishna. And the Paramatma is always ready to help us and give us guidance about what to do and what not to do.

Therefore we should work for gaining God's friendship; it is the greatest gain. And when we have that, peace of mind is an automatic byproduct. We cannot achieve peace of mind overnight by taking some pills told by some doctor. Nor can we achieve it by following some godless mechanical methods. Sometimes people teach some mind control techniques in which they say, "Imagine a form." or "imag­ine a picture." But all such methods are futile because they cannot give lasting peace of mind. Actual peace of mind can arise only out of spiritual growth and such spiritual growth is greatly aided by external support and greatly marred by external incompatibilities. The aiding supports are all those things, which en­hance the mode of goodness (sattva guna) in us. For example, by taking spiritually sattvika diet known as prasadam, wearing sattvika dress, living in a sattvika environment, coming to sattvika association of those who are devotees of God and reading spiritual books, we can enhance our understanding about God. And in this way all these sattvika habits can help us to come closer to God and become internally mature On the other hand, if we associate with those things, which increase the lower modes of passion and ignorance in us, our mind will be­come more and more agitated. For example, by watching horror movies, seeing porno­graphic pictures, taking intoxicants etc, we will go further away from achieving peace of mind. (Adapted from an article compiled by Radheshyam Dasa, Jaigopala Dasa, Chaitanya Charana Dasa, Sundara Vara Dasa, etc.)