Once, there was a miser on a boat ride accompanied by his friends. As the boat reached the middle of the river, a 25 paise coin from the miser’s pocket fell into the water. He impulsively jumped inside the river without realising that he didn’t know how to swim. The miser was about to drown. So, he raised his hand about the water urging his friends to rescue him. One friend called out, “Come on! Give me your hand.” The miser failed to respond and he continued his appeal to be saved. Another friend reminded, “This fellow is a miser. He doesn’t understand the language of giving because he has never given anything in his life. So tell him to take your hand instead.” Again, that friend called out, “Come on. Take my hand.” And immediately, the miser grabbed on to him and he was lifted back to the boat.
This humorous story indicates the strong influence of one’s habits. Each of our activities is forming a habit. If we do not take to spirituality that grounds us to the truth in our youth, we allow ourselves to become more vulnerable to reckless impulses for the rest of our lives.
Bodily concept of life increases with old age
Balastavat Kreeda Sakthah
Parame Brahmani Kopi Na Sakthah (Bhaja Govindam Verse 7)
“Childhood is spent in playing all kinds of frivolous sports. As one grows young, most of the time is spent in chasing after a young girl and romance becomes the central theme of life. When one grows older, he is entangled in the responsibilities of family life. In old age, life becomes ridden with innumerable anxieties, and at none does one choose to shift his consciousness towards God.”
However, there is one thing in common between youth and old age. Both have a heart problem. In youth, the heart is stolen and in old age, it is swollen. This way, we fail to pay attention to the real goal of life, which is to accept Krishna Consciousness with seriousness. Despite achieving the rare human form of life, one maintains a callous attitude towards spending any energy at all for spiritual endeavours. The biggest miscalculation one does is to postpone the spiritual aspect of their life. For a fact, Tomorrow never comes. Days, minutes, decades and even years pass by in a split second. As age increases, the attachments to the body and mind increase. Unfortunately, all one is left with is his memories of how the body was working according to the demands of its own needs and society’s expectations, and thus spends the rest of his days in regret before vanishing into oblivion.
Real Solution should be applied earlier
The body which we all are attached to and are striving hard to protect will ultimately collapse one day like a pack of cards and all our efforts and powers fail to defeat the reality of death. Because the laws of nature are such that the inevitable time ultimately destroys the temporary matter. Simply taking medicines for maintaining a healthy body does not assure freedom from the cycle of repeated birth and death. The most powerful antibiotic is the elixir of Holy Names of the Lord Sri Krishna which immediately releases us from the material hankerings and transports us to the transcendental realm of reality.
Research says that the lifestyle one maintains both on a physical and mental level till the age of 30 shapes and determines the well-being one will carry till the end of his life. This is because of how receptive and fresh the young minds and bodies are. For those who lead an active and balanced lifestyle, there is a higher chance of them being immune to certain types of diseases as he grows old. So, we have to take this antibiotic of higher consciousness when we are young and energetic. Only then, as one progresses towards old age, our mind can be focused.
Duryodhana Vs Maharaja Pariksit
The best examples can be drawn by comparing the lives of King Duryodhana and King Pariksit. When Duryodhana was young, he was constantly encouraged by his father Dhritarashtra to snatch the throne of Hastinapur from the rightful heir Yudhisthira. His consciousness was moulded with envy, greed, arrogance, lust for power and pride. After he grew into a man, all he did was the most abominable activities of deciphering ways to torture and harass his brothers of the Pandava clan and even went to the extent of greatly disrespecting his brothers’ wife Draupadi in the assembly of Hastinapur. All it led was to the Great War of Mahabharata.
Whilst the tiny foetus in the womb of Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu, the great warrior son of Stalwart Arjuna was protected by Lord Krishna himself. And he came to live as Maharaj Pariksit and was given the crown to rule the entire world after Maharaj Yudhisthira decided to step down from his position. He was the best of all kings, the most virtuous, god conscious and compassionate King the world had seen so far. Because of his devotion to the Lord and the sacrifices he made, we ultimately received the nectarean Srimad Bhagavatam.
These two personalities and lives prove as clear evidence that how the consciousness imbibed within from tender age has a tremendous effect in transforming the attitude once they grow older. Thus, youth undeniably is the perfect time to take to Krishna Consciousness and serve the Supreme and his creation through selfless acts of love and gratitude.