Uncomfortable in the comfort zone and comfortable with being uncomfortable
By Chirag Dangarwala
Complacency is a dangerous element in the progress of Spiritual Life. It is very essential for an endeavoring spiritualist to always remember that the material world is not a place of comfort. It has been certified by the Creator, Lord Sri Krsna himself as dukhalayam and asasvatam, which means it, is full of misery and temporary.
mäm upetya punar janma
saàsiddhià paramäà gatäù [ B.g. 8.15]
“After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.”
One may ask that, if the world is temporary and Miserable then why have we come here. The reason of our coming here is our desires to imitate Lord Sri Krsna. The only purusa, which means enjoyer is Lord Krsna and others all are his prakriti that is they are to be enjoyed. We the ordinary living entities constitute his marginal energy who can either be under the control of His Divine energy i.e. Radharani or in the control of his material energy that is Mahamaya or Durga Devi. When we desire to become the Lord and try to enjoy like him we come under the control of his material energy that is maya which means ” which is not” or in other words illusion and As soon as we recognize that we are not the enjoyers but are supposed to be enjoyed and surrender our propensity to lord it over the material nature we come under the control of spiritual energy which makes us feel happy and free from all anxieties.
The practice of Spiritual life is the struggle to get out of the clutches of material energy to reach the spiritual energy of the Lord and be situated in the His eternal service as loving servants. It is very difficult for the living entity to come out of the material energy by his own. It is only by the mercy of Spiritual master and the Lord himself one can progress in the spiritual understanding. After receiving the mercy of Spiritual master and the Lord it is very important for a serious practitioner to safeguard against the falls down to material energy itself.
Complacency is one of the weapons by which the material energy tries to bring the living entity under its grip. Complacency creeps into the consciousness of a living entity when everything around him is going well and every one looks happy and satisfied with him or her. When one is able to fulfill his desires easily without much effort, the modes of nature act in such a way that one starts feeling that ” After all material world is not such a bad place, may be I can enjoy a little bit here”. It is very easy to fall trap to such thinking especially when everyone around us is thinking in this manner. As again and again stressed by great sages and the Lord himself one must be aware that in this material world there is no happiness whatsoever. The illusory happiness that we feel for a moment or two in this world is not actually happiness, but it is a lack of distress for a while. The example given here is that, in the olden days when the kings used to punish some criminal, they used to forcefully dip the criminals face in the water and keep it there for a long time, just when the criminal is about to pass out they would bring him out of the water for a short period to breathe, the criminal would consider that to be happiness, but again his face would be plunged into the water to suffer more. So in this material world the so called happiness is the little relief from misery that is awarded to one as per once’s karma, if one mistakes it to be real happiness we must understand that we are being pulled by the material energy.
The only way by which one can save one self from this agony and misery of this material world is to chant the holy names of the Lord, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, for this is the method prescribed by the scriptures for this age of Kali. Always associating with the devotees keeps the momentum and enthusiasm for spiritual life going on. Eating Prasadam and reading Scriptures purifies one from the contamination and protects one from falling into the complacency.
kaler doña-nidhe räjann
asti hy eko mahän guëaù
kértanäd eva kåñëasya
mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet [S.B. 12.3.51]