Focusing on Our Fortune

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami

Why is happiness eluding us? Because we are never satisfied. No matter how much we get, we always hanker for more. Such is the nature of every one of us in all fields and walks of life. How then could finite material objects and flickering bodily or intellectual pleasures satiate our infinite hankerings? For as long as we go on searching for happiness within the material plane, our efforts and endeavors are destined to be irrevocably frustrated. Due to their natural limitations, material objects and goals simply cannot satisfy our limitless hankerings. Only by seeking out the beauty and love of the unlimited spiritual realm can we hope to be successful in our common quest for lasting happiness.

The Lord is always there, even in the worst period of our lives. He is waiting, waiting to help us. We must only look up for His grace, with sincerity with all sincerity. He is everywhere, waiting; “My boy, look at Me. Don’t make much of the external environment. I am here, very near to you. You have cast your focus aside, you have cast your consciousness outside. Make it internal and you will find Me here. Make it above. You are looking down to secure servants and comforts, but if you look up, for existence higher than you, you will find Me in that plane. Look up! Don’t look down, searching for servants.”

You want to become a master and thus are searching for servants, hunting after things for your service. Take the opposite course, become a servant, and search for your master, your Lord, then you will be uplifted, taken up to a higher domain. If you want to live in a higher domain you will have to serve. If you want to be a master, then you will have to come down to the lower zone, where you can be a master.

This is neither exaggeration nor imagination, it is something scientific. You can enjoy only those that are of a lower position. So, by attempting to enjoy, mean association becomes inevitable. Only by preparing for higher service will you be able to come in contact with your soul’s higher position.

By sacrifice you go up; by enjoying spirit you will have to go down. We are to understand what is exploitation and enjoyment, and what is higher service. Divine service is pure, and in that service, there is also a pure type of joy and ecstasy. By giving we become gainers and by extorting we become losers. This scientific truth should be understood.

By robbing things from others, someone can find superficial satisfaction, but underground there is some suspicion that the result won’t be very good: “The reaction will come to attack me.” To exploit by stealing provides some sort of enjoyment, but happiness is also enjoyed by big donors through their giving in charity. There is a difference in quality between these two sorts of happiness, and we are to distinguish between them.

In different planes, there are different conceptions of happiness, and a comparison is to be drawn between the qualitative differences in the pleasure derived. We are to conceive of different planes of life. The life of higher service is divine life. The Absolute God is there. Everything is for Him. Everything here is for His pleasure.

But, in which way can we attain divine life? What is mundane? And what is divine? We are to differentiate between them. We have to examine them in order to accept the divine life.

What is God? God is not an order supplier. If I am sick, I am not to just ask, “Oh God, cure my sickness!” And if I am poor, I should not only pray, “Oh God, give me money!” Such mercenary connection is not very happy, but still, it has some meaning because at least there is thought that there is some supernatural power and that He can do wonders. However, it is better to want God without expecting anything mundane from Him. We should want God who is the source of all this opulence the reservoir of all rasa, love, beauty, charm, affection, ecstasy, and eternal fulfillment and we should not want anything else which we consider valuable. We are to depend on Him: “Oh Lord, give me what is good. I am an imperfect being, I do not know what is good and what is bad. Please provide whatever You consider to be good for me.” This is an improvement over praying to Him for mundane benefits.

But best is to accept the creed of unalloyed service to the Highest: “I want You, my Lord, nothing else.” And what will be our connection with Him? Service. “I want only Your service.”

In the beginning, we might think we are being losers, but ultimately we will gain. Apparently, we are giving ourselves, we are sacrificing our selfish interests, but in the subtle senses, we gain thereby. This ontological truth should be appreciated. It is neither a dogma nor blind faith. It is based on higher unprejudiced reasons.

Our life is unfulfilled and we want fulfillment, there is no doubt. But, what type of fulfillment should we hanker for and search after? We know we are in want, and at the same time, we feel that we yearn to remove our want and obtain satisfaction. No doubt this is so for everyone. But how to make progress from unfulfilled life towards fulfillment? To do that we are to search for God. We must search for Him.


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