Watching out for bombs that rock our lives.
Alerts have now become a daily affair in 'Bomb-bay' city. The most recent serial blasts happened last year when terrorists bombed local trains with an exact calculated time plan. Many died, and police became alert – suddenly. They started putting up hoardings: 'Be Alert; Alertness is the best defence.' We started to see constables patrolling all local rail stations, checking each and every passenger's luggage.
Months have passed, and police has become lax. They no longer search for potential terrorists. Instead they are searching for some hot news in the newspaper. I could see history repeating itself. Exactly the same thing had happened 14 years back on 12th March 1993, when a series of blasts shook Mumbai. Again police became alert. Again , the hoarding – 'Be Alert!' But, after some days people became lax. They became alert instead to read news papers while there was infusion of alert terrorists and later, death of inattentive commuters. The cycle continues …
But, I learnt a lesson. I could relate this cyclical behaviour of these cops to neophytes in devotional life. Our devotional life is also cyclical. We become inattentive and then maya sends her terrorists. They blast and damage our spiritual life, and we suffer a momentary fall. Then we become alert – alert in our chanting, alert in our reading, and alert in our thoughts. But, then we follow in the footsteps of those cops. We become lax and inattentive, and again the terrorists of maya invade and attack our budding garden of devotion. Again we become alert and tile cycle continues.
I feel we should be like those brave soldiers who constitute the Border Security Force. They patrol the borders of India day in and day out without allowing a single in truder inside. An important step of patrolling is constant and attentive monitoring through tile binoculars.
Similarly, Srila Prabhupada stresses on attentive practice of devotional service. A little diversion or inattentiveness lands us in a chaotic situation. The best example that can be given is that of Ajamila, who went to the forest to serve his parents by bringing some fruits and flowers, but saw a prostitute and later brought her home. Just a glance on that illicit scene between tile prostitute and a sudra made him lose all his devotional assets.
We may also think: 'I am just reading the newspaper headlines or just watching news and th is sport match, nothing illicit.' And, no sooner do we find ourselves in a cinema theatre or in a brothel! Slight deviation on the path can lead to major digression in our destination. So, let us remember – 'Alertness is the best defence' – not only in main taining social security but also in protecting our daily sadhana.
Yugavatara Dasa is an lecturer in anatomy in a medical college in Mumbai, and a regular contributor to Marathi edition of Back To Godhead.