|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > To Study or Not to Study?|
Title: To Study or Not to Study?
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-09-05 13:56:00
I have lost all interest in hanging out with friends and doing timepass,and hence avoid that. Hence my friends point out that I am not doing my duty towards my friends, and I am doing this in excess. By reducing time of studies and friends, family etc am I avoiding my duties? But what else can I do, whenever I sit for studying, my mind starts singing the Holy Names?
††† Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Friends are those who teach us about God and save us from the cycle of birth and death not those who lead to the bondage of the soul by dragging us into mundane topics.
But you do have to perform your duty of your studies and towards your family. In fact as a devotee, you should excel in these duties to show to the world how a devotee is the best student and family member. Example speaks louder than words. Gauranga Krishna consciousness is not escapism. It means to change our consciousness not to give up what we are doing. It is to nicely perform our duties in this world while constantly remembering the Lord through the chanting of His Holy Names. Mam anusmara yuddhya cha...as spoken by Lord Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita..."Think of Me and fight Arjuna."
You should study sincerely and not neglect your studies otherwise it is very bad preaching to others and no one will take up Gauranga Krishna consciousness seeing your example. Along with chanting, please consider your studies to be your service to Guru and Gauranga. Your studies and service to your parents is also a part of devotional service just like fighting was devotional service for Arjuna because he was doing it on Lord Krishna's instruction.
When you sit for studying, you should study knowing it also as a service to the Lord. If chanting distracts you from the studies, then you should not chant during that time. You can always chant later during the day at all times. Just like when we cook some offerings for the Lord, if have our full attention in chanting, then sometimes the offerings may get burnt due to not being able to concentrate on cooking. This is not acceptable to the Lord. If one cannot concentrate on both at the same time, then one should do one devotional service at a time and offer it to Lord Gauranga-Krishna.
One can cross the material ocean of the cycle of birth and death not by impatiently renouncing our duties but by gradually developing a strong consciousness of the Lord within our hearts while performing our duties. Making your parents Gauranga Krishna conscious more by your example than your words is also an important service. Maybe one or two souls will externally renounce everything to spread the Holy Names but most do not have to do that as they can spread the Holy Names quite effectively through their example and words wherever they are situated.
Even though the modern education has nothing to do with God, still studying is devotional service when it is done on the instruction and as an offering to Guru and Gauranga. Just like fighting and killing in and of itself is a violent and inauspicious activity but since Arjuna performed it on the direct instruction of the Supreme Lord Krishna, it was his direct devotional service to the Lord. This kind of karma yoga will purify our consciousness and make us eligible to enter into the Kingdom of God at the end of our life.