Immersing oneself in the spiritual life is close to a state of nirvana. All the complexities of the material world slowly start fading away once the focus in life becomes to appease the Supreme Lord instead of appeasing the fellow human beings. However, this journey of living a spiritual life comes with its own set of challenges which can eventually lead to distress.
Leading a life close to Lord Krishna cannot detach an individual completely from the responsibilities of the material life. Hence, it becomes integral to strike a balance between the material and spiritual life to remain happy and at the same time to be close to the Lord.
Here are certain ways in which you can strike a balance between the two lives and serve the Lord more justly.
Challenges We Face In Life
Becoming a devotee of Lord Krishna can solve almost all the problems in an individual’s life. Doors to permanent happiness open as soon as a person starts living with Krishna consciousness. However, it can also pose certain problems in one’s material life. Let’s have a look at what these problems can be:
Physical challenges: Humans are vulnerable to physical ailments which can occur in numerous forms such as diseases, accidents, physical disorders as well as certain natural calamities. An individual might get trapped into all these circumstances which might pose problems in their regular devotional services.
Emotional and mental challenges: Humans get carried away by the traps of pride, lust, fame, greed among many others which takes a toll on their emotional and mental well-being. In the age of kali yuga, a human can be misled into falling prey to enmity, anger, frustration, criticising, depression and delusion. These things can lead to many mental and emotional challenges becoming an obstruction in material as well as spiritual relations.
Financial and social challenges: Being a product of the capitalist economy comes with its problems. There is constant pressure to do well socially and economically which leads one to the trap of maya. Running after material life pleasures of satisfying needs, one can be distanced and distracted from sadhna and services to the Lord.
Progressing in The Spiritual Life
The distinction between activities of spiritual life and material life is very easy. Any activity which isn’t done with keeping Lord Krishna at its centre can be called a perusal of material life with it’s strong and heavy karmic reactions. Spiritual activities include hearing, chanting, preaching about the Lord as well as associating with the devotees with no karmic reactions whatsoever rather it destroys karmic reactions of many many births.
While on the contrary, activities such as taking care of children, taking care of the house, doing a job, studying at a school or a university might be considered as activities of the material life since they are done to cater to individualistic desires. The solution to progressing in your spiritual life might seem difficult while fulfilling the social responsibilities at the same time.
Living two lives simultaneously can cause mental pressure and frustration, however, the solution to this problem is not so difficult. The only thing to be done is to make everything Krishna centred. The regular activities done to satisfy the human beings around us and abide by the social life and responsibilities can also be centred around the Lord rendering them as spiritual activities.
Doing a simple job to earn money can be made Krishna centric only by thinking that the money earned is not there to satisfy the material needs but to maintain a home which is a temple of the Lord or by doing some service by the surplus money earned. Likewise, taking care of the family and feeding the family with the money can be understood as taking care of the parts and parcels of the Lord.
With this ideology, taking care of people and things around would become like a service to the Lord satisfying both the spiritual as well as the social interest. The money then used in the propagation of Krishna conscious activities such as buying paraphernalia for worship and preparing offerings for the deities will give immense pleasure and joy along with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Happiness comes when one is able to face life challenges at the same time immersing in spiritual practices. Hence, a balance between the two lives is integral. It is not difficult for a person to take out some time from their everyday schedule to connect with devotees, to chant the Krishna mantra and to worship the Lord which can, in turn, provide an unimaginable sense of completeness and satisfaction.
The simple way of making everyday activities is to see Lord Krishna in them. The only definition of ‘maya’ would then become activities that do not evoke the thought of the Lord in you. A very simple example of this would be that when you drive a car, you must not think that petrol helps the car in driving and you can drive because of the taxes and money you pay to buy it, rather you must see that the car works because of the Lord’s potency.
Living with Krishna consciousness while performing everyday activities can help you to progress in your spiritual life at the same time balancing your material life with it.
It is known that the Bhagavad Gita can provide solutions to all the problems of an individual. The relationship of Lord Krishna and His disciple Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita can help a human being understand the right way of leading life and the perfect way of balancing the two lives as has been posed by the Lord Himself.
Certain activities can be undertaken to stay close to Lord Krishna such as chanting, associating with the devotees of the International society for Krishna consciousness as well as immersing oneself in the service of the Lord. However, this service can further be extended to lead a 100% Krishna-centric life by thinking of the Lord in every single activity performed during the course of the day.
A healthy relationship with fellow humans as well as a loving relationship with the Lord together makes the Lord happy. Giving in to a completely spiritual life by upsetting those who love us will not make the Lord or you happy. Hence, the key to happiness resides in striking a balance and keeping Krishna always in the center.