All roads may lead to Rome but some roads are going to get us there quicker than others
By Byron Kyle
Have you ever been on a road trip and knew where your destination was but didn’t know exactly how to get there? You switched on Google maps and got directions but closer to your destination, you felt you knew a better way and ignored the GPS only to get lost and ultimately added thirty minutes to your trip.
I find spiritual life to be much the same. We naturally want to be controllers in our in lives. We sometimes ignore instructions and do things our own way. When we do this we hit roadblocks, get stuck in traffic, or get totally lost. Our teachers are like the GPS, they know the way, even if it seems tedious or roundabout, we are sure to get to our destination if we follow their instructions.
All roads may lead to Rome but some roads are going to get us there quicker than others. When we feel lost or challenged, we may become frustrated, or annoyed. We lose hope. We may even get depressed. Why is that? We ultimately lose sight of the goal. So many times I have heard people say, “Life is not about the destination it is about the journey.” I must say, for the longest time I have disagreed with this. We all seek direction in our lives, even if we don’t know it. We want to know that we actually got somewhere and that our lives actually mean something. All roads may lead to Rome but if we never get to Rome, what was the point? Could you really say that you enjoyed the journey if you never got to the destination? No! You couldn’t. There is no journey without a start or end point. Every journey must eventually end in order to tell a complete story.
So why is it that many of us feel that we will never get to our destinations? We feel stuck and feel like we’re making no progress? Or maybe we’re met with almost insurmountable challenges at every twist and turn? For me, there are three major reasons: pride, fear, and shame.
Pride is the whispering of the false ego ushering us to be controllers, duping us to be unwilling to listen to our teachers and the Supersoul within.
Fear keeps us from starting new endeavours and making renewed efforts.
And shame binds us to our excuses and depletes our energy reserves keeping us from owning up to our own truths.
If peace is what we really seek, then we should make Krishna consciousness our destination. Bhagavadgita teaches (2:66):
“One who is not connected to the Supreme [in Krishna Consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be happiness without peace?”
We should be determined in reaching our destination and we should follow our teachers’ instructions. They are our GPSs. They know the path. They have walked it. They have already faced the challenges we are facing now and we can trust in them. We can avoid problems if we humble ourselves and surrender to our teachers and to the Supersoul. Your conscience speaks to you for a reason. It’s no accident you feel guilty when you disobey – that is your internal GPS.
So, the lesson here is this: follow your guides. They are already programmed with the knowledge needed for your success. Take that turn in 200m and arrive at that destination you long for. Take the leap of faith and arrive at Goloka Vrindavan.
Hare Krishna News – Published by ISKCON Durban. Used with permission.