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Renounce or Redirect? A Lesson from the Pandemic

By: for ISKCON News on June 5, 2020
Opinion
Photo Credits: TRTworld.com

Bored people on their window during lockdown.

Before the world began grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us yearned for some respite from our hectic corporate schedules. Although the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown did bring us the much needed respite, most of us had begun to become tormented by another evil: boredom. Some took to the kitchen, some took to entertaining the world with their creative arts, and yet many others, especially today's jet age transcendentalists, took to diving deeper into their convictions about Krishna bhakti and intensified their spiritual practices by tuning into the wonderful line up of online discourses.

An important lesson for us spirit souls: neither materially binding activities nor an artificial cessation of activity is what will bring ultimate joy to the soul. What the soul yearns for is positive spiritual activity connected to the Supreme Lord. Srimad Bhagavatam (2.10.6) says, 'muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ, sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ.' Real mukti is when the soul is reinstated in his original constitutional position as the servant of the Absolute Truth. Also in Bhagavad Gita (3.9), Krishna urges us to perform activities connected to Lord Vishnu, which will deliver us from our material bondage. 

As souls we all desire, and the above verses indicate that desire or action are not what have to be renounced. Rather, their misdirection towards materialism is what needs to be renounced in order for us to become spiritually successful. Thus, when we dovetail our desires to serve the Supreme, our desires become rightly directed. The result? We rise above the fruitive materialistic worldview and the monistic conception of desirelessnes, and attain the state of real spiritual bliss. Afterall, isn't the aspiration to be desireless a desire in itself?

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