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Topic 1: Poison in the beginning, nectar at the end!

posted Dec 25, 2020, 2:48 PM by Sudhir Babu   [ updated Dec 27, 2020, 3:35 PM ]

Quiz Link:
To participate in the contest and win prizes, please visit the following link and answer a short quiz: Topic 1 Quiz

Jaggery is by nature a sweet food. But if you give jaggery to a jaundiced patient, he will find it utterly bitter. The reason is that while the  jaggery itself is very sweet but because of the jaundice-afflicted tongue, the patient tastes it bitter. And guess what, the best cure for jaundice is to constantly taste jaggery, even though it tastes bitter. And as one continues to have it, the disease reduces, and as the patient becomes normal, he will find the same bitter jaggery utmost relishable.

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna defines three kinds of happiness. Happiness in mode of goodness, passion and ignorance.

Happiness in mode of goodness:

yat tad agre viṣam iva
pariṇāme 'mṛtopamam
tat sukhaṁ sāttvikaṁ proktam
(Bhagavad Gita 18.36)

"That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness."

And happiness in mode of passion appears like nectar in the beginning and turns to be poison in the end. And happiness in mode of ignorance is poison from the beginning to the end.

Take for example, waking up early. For those accustomed to waking up late, to wake up early is quite an austerity. The mind and body resist waking up early. It is painful to do so. But if you are determined and make it a habit, suddenly you find yourself an additional 2-3 hours in a day which is fully peaceful, refreshing and gives you opportunity to make a significant difference in your own life. Most successful people wake up early in the day and do the most important activities at the wee hours.

You can talk about similar examples. Eating healthy food, exercising, yoga, meditation, learning new skills - all of these appear difficult and painful in the beginning. But in the end, they all give you life-changing results.

On the other hand, happiness in the mode of passion is instant gratification. It gives you immediate kick and sense gratification. But as soon as it is over, you either feel miserable or you will suffer from the consequences of spoiling your health, time and money. Eating pizza, fast foods, drinking sodas, watching television, movies, enjoying with opposite sex etc.

And happiness in mode of ignorance is distress from beginning to end. Excessive sleep, laziness, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, porn addiction, night clubs etc fall in this category.

If you want to take charge of your own life, Bhagavad Gita prescribes cultivating habits in mode of goodness. They may appear like poison in the beginning but will pay us in the long run. However, cultivating mode of goodness should be accompanied by spiritual practices, else the progress will only be material. Cultivating and practicing mode of goodness is just like maintaining a car nicely. You may keep the car well-cleaned, well-protected and well-serviced, but it is of not much use if you only keep it in your garage. The car’s good condition should be utilized to go to your destination. The better the condition of the car, the easier your journey will be. So cultivating mode of goodness should always be accompanied by practice of Krishna consciousness.

For example, early morning hours are called ‘brahma muhurta’ (auspicious time for cultivating spirituality). One’s good habit of waking up early should be used to think about Lord Krishna, chant His holy names and pray to Him. Especially, one should chant the maha mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare, as prescribed in scriptures. One’s good habit of eating healthy food should be spiritualized by offering it to Lord Krishna. Eating food offered to the Lord cleanses our body, mind and neutralizes our various previous sinful reactions. Similarly, all habits in mode of goodness should be spiritualized by dovetailing them in Krishna consciousness. This combination of a life style of mode of goodness and Krishna consciousness makes us happy and peaceful. Thus when we are happy and peaceful, we won’t ever go into the lower modes of passion and ignorance.

Quiz Link:
To participate in the contest and win prizes, please visit the following link and answer a short quiz: Topic 1 Quiz