As we join millions of devotees around the world in celebrating Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, our hearts are uplifted anew by the irresistible call of God’s love and joy that flows through the pure channel of his life and immortal teachings. Through the celestial song of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is ever reminding us that the lasting happiness we have pursued for incarnations is within our reach if we will but refocus our attention from the maya-bound ego to the eternal soul freedom and bliss that lies within. We have become accustomed to seeking fulfilment from the uncertain outer world, only to be disappointed again and again. But in the Gita, Krishna conveys to Arjuna, and to all who are weary of the roller coaster of alternating joys and sorrows, how to break that cycle: by overcoming the ego’s self-limiting, karma-creating habits and following the Divine One who is the Source of all our soul craves.
That reorientation of our consciousness is our greatest contribution to the well-being of ourselves, of others, and of this world. As Krishna reminded Arjuna, to vanquish the ego, both the spiritual activity of meditation and selfless activity in the material world are necessary. In the deep stillness of meditation the reality of God’s transforming presence is felt; and by keeping Him close as we engage in daily activity we develop strength to resist the ego’s influence.
The key to the liberating power of both spiritual and material activity is our motive. As long as the ego is in charge and attached to the fruits of its actions, we are bound to the ups and downs of maya. But when we become anchored in God and act for Him instead, how much simpler and happier our life becomes. If you work hard on something for personal gain or recognition from others, worries about the outcome often cloud your mind. But if you inwardly offer any noble material or spiritual endeavour to God as a gift of devotion, the same enthusiasm for accomplishment is there; but you can act with even mindedness, with the assurance of His blessings on your efforts. The Lord told Arjuna through Krishna: “Relinquish all activities unto Me! Devoid of egotism and expectation, with your attention concentrated on the soul, free from feverish worry, be engaged in the battle (of activity).” Similarly, if you wish to change a habit and, rather than obsessively dwelling on it, you lay it at God’s feet, along with your earnest attempts to overcome, you will be open to His help. Even in meditation, if you offer your sincere efforts undisturbed by restless anxiety for results, you will be more receptive to His responding blessings.
You always have my prayers that by daily performing your spiritual and material activities in the divine spirit that Lord Krishna advised, you will find the ego burdens of tension and frustration falling away, replaced by calmness and the positive, joyous spirit of a heart anchored in God. The once-dominant worldly consciousness will lose its power over you, and you will attain the soul victory of unshakable inner peace and divine happiness.
In the divine love of God and Gurus,
Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata
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