Make the right choice
Little Dhruva desired a king dom greater than what even his great-grandfather Lord Brahma possessed. And by the grace of Lord Visnu , he was now standing face-to-face with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And the Lord was ready to offer him any benediction he desired. This was the coveted moment, the moment Dhruva had intensely longed for when he could seek his heart’s desire.
However, the story takes a different twist here. Since the last few months that Dhruva was chanting the Lord’s holy names under the direction of his spiritual master Narada Muni, his heart got purified of all material desires, and now he confesses he doesn’t desire to have any kingdom. He laments that he had sought broken pieces of glass while he was now being bestowed with the priceless jewel of an audience with the Supreme Lord. This is the prayer he offered (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 7.28):
“O my Lord, because I was seeking an opulent material position, I was performing severe types of penance and austerity. Now I have gotten You, who are very difficult for the great demigods, saintly persons and kings to attain. I was searching after a piece of glass, but instead I have found a most valuable jewel. Therefore I am so satisfied that I do not wish to ask any benediction from You.”
The analogy given by Dhruva is interesting. Both broken piece of glass and priceless diamond sparkle and appear attractive. An ignorant person wouldn’t know the difference and may mistakenly pick up the glass pieces and get wounded.
Material sense gratification is compared to sharp pieces of glass, while pure devotional service is compared to a diamond. Both processes can give us happiness. One may see a materialist indulging in all kinds of gratification and feeling apparently happy, while a devotee is blissfully chanting Hare Krishna and dancing in kirtanas. Externally there does not appear to be a big difference between the two. “Ultimately it’s a matter of your preference,” a naive philosopher may conclude. “It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are happy.”
However, like the glass pieces and diamond, there is a world of difference between the two. Indulging in unrestricted sense gratification is like playing with cut glass — one is sure to bleed and suffer. Every pleasurable experience is followed by pain and misery. On the other hand, a life centred on service to God and His devotees gives pleasure of the “jewels.” In other words, devotional service gives us a lasting experience of deep contentment from within.
We have a choice: either play with the easily available glass-like sensual pleasures or seek the rare and precious diamond of Krishna consciousness. This rare diamond is easily available if we approach a spiritual master like Srila Prabhupada or his bona fide representatives. By receiving the holy names of Krishna and by chanting without offense, in a spirit of gratitude, the priceless diamond of Krishna ’s love would soon become our property. We would then become billionaires in spiritual life, sensory pleasures, which can ruin our lives, will no longer allure us. They would simply pale in front of the priceless gift of Krishna consciousness.
Vraja Bihari Dasa holds a postgraduate degree in International Finance and an MBA from Mumbai University. He is a resident monk at ISKCON Chowpatty and an active teacher of bhakti-yoga. Visit his website: www.yogaformodernage.com