Vol 4 Issue 9
Cure Your Spiritual Amnesia
Imagine a millionaire?s son traveling in a car through a hill. Suddenly his car skids and falls hundreds of feet down. Somehow he jumps out of the car before it explodes. Fortunately he falls on a sand dune in the valley. He survives but gets amnesia due to a blow on the head. The tribals residing in the valley rescue him and give him a name and a role in their community. Though a prince he now slaves as a woodcutter. His millionaire father comes searching for him, but he fails to even identify his own father, what to speak of returning back. His father has to employ a doctor who gives shock treatment to him. Though initially upset by the shock, he eventually recovers from the amnesia. And then he returns back with his father to live happily ever after.
We are all the beloved children of God, who is the king of all kings, the supremely wealthy person. Krishna is not just a lakhpati or karodpati; He is Lakshmipati, the Lord of the Goddess of Fortune. Unfortunately we have fallen from our original home, the spiritual world, down to this material world and are afflicted by spiritual amnesia. From our birth, society gives us an identity and a function ? you are so-and-so and your goal is to become a so-and-so professional. And we operate like programmed robots, struggling for paltry sensual pleasures, breaking the trees of exams and projects and carrying the logs of anxieties and obligations. Krishna comes to this world or sends His sons, prophets or devotees to invite us back to our eternal joyful life with Him. But we fail to even recognize our own eternal father, leave alone consider returning back to Him. Krishna being our unconditionally benevolent father loves us too much to take offence at our neglecting or rejecting Him. But our non-cooperation compels Him to employ material nature to give us shock treatment. The shocks comprise of the threefold material miseries ? adhyatmika klesha (mental stress, bodily disorders etc), adhidaivika klesha (natural disasters, climatic inconveniences etc) and adhibhautika klesha (quarrels, divorces etc) and the fourfold material problems ? old age, disease, death and rebirth. Krishna doesn?t want us to suffer, but if suffering is what is necessary to cure us, like any responsible father, He allows temporary material suffering for our eternal spiritual redemption. Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, succinctly states, ?The miseries of material existence indirectly serve to remind us of our incompatibility with matter.? How? These miseries, though disturbing, impel intelligent people to go to the representatives of God ? the sacred scriptures and the saintly teachers. The enlightenment they offer commences the cure for our spiritual amnesia and paves the way for our ultimate spiritual reinstatement as divine princes.
Importantly shock treatment is not the only way to cure amnesia. If the patient cooperates with the doctor, his dormant memory can be revived by suitable stimuli. Similarly we don?t have to be shocked out of our bodily misidentification. If we cooperate with Krishna by submissively receiving the spiritual stimulus of His Holy Name, we awaken to our spiritual identity and glory. The more we accept the memory treatment, the less the doctor needs to use the shock treatment. Similarly the more we seek shelter and pleasure in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra, the less will be our material miseries and the less will be our irritation due to whatever miseries are inevitable. Let us therefore help ourselves by remembering Srila Prabhupada?s words of wisdom, ?Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.?
Investigating Reality from the Higher
Dimensional Perspective of Vedic Wisdom