I owe everything to my teachers. I am indebted to all the Angels, Guides, plants, animals, people and gems that have come into my life to bless me. I thank you. I honor you with all my heart and soul. If only I could repay you for the debts I have incurred in begging your mercy. Please allow me somehow to do that in this lifetime so that I can complete my mission this time around. I beg to be blessed continuously because without such mercy raining down on me I amount to little but a dry weed of existence. I have no good qualities, save and except that I am determined to succeed, despite my failings, my hypocritical behavior, and the weaknesses I’ve exhibited in the past. I know that deep down I am strong. I have all that is needed to succeed. Determination and purity are my soul right. I will succeed, because it is written…erm…somewhere!
So how do we measure true success? Is it measured by how high we go? Is it measured by how much we accumulate? In a spiritual sense that may refer to knowledge acquisition. What is that measurement? What is the mark of success – the pinnacle for all souls? Is it individual and unique to one and all? Or is there some common ground by which we innately know when we have arrived? That is a question for the ages — a question that we all must ask at some point in our evolution. I mean, seriously, what the heck are we doing if we don’t know the ultimate goal of our existence?
We are all inherently flavored with the same essence – originating from the same source. All of us are eternally connected in a brotherhood/sisterhood kind of way, and so what feels right for one, will feel somewhat right for all, only, there is the factor of “filtering”. In a mundane sense “filtering” is when we reject things that do not fit our chosen paradigm. In a spiritual sense, however, “filtering” just means that we have unique lens and therefore each one of us has an exclusive way of looking at the world and a distinctive and wonderful relationship with the Divine. That relationship or rasa will determine everything about our innate spiritual qualities, emotions, character and service.
What that is for me, I have no idea at the moment. Neither will anyone else unless they are given the divine eyes to understand, as Arjuna was in the Bhagavad-gita. Without such anointed eyes, Arjuna would not have understood his true self, nor understood the position and greatness of Lord Krishna.
BG 11.8: But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give you divine eyes. Behold My mystic opulence!
BG 11.12: If hundreds of thousands of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.
BG 11.23: O mighty-armed one, all the planets with their demigods are disturbed at seeing Your great form, with its many faces, eyes, arms, thighs, legs, and bellies and Your many terrible teeth; and as they are disturbed, so am I.
When Krishna revealed His universal form, Arjuna was dumbstruck and scared. He didn’t know what to do, so Krishna blessed him with the ability to understand and finally revealed his original humanlike form
BG 11.53: The form you are seeing with your transcendental eyes cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. It is not by these means that one can see Me as I am.
This story serves to illustrate that the blessing of a higher more evolved soul is absolutely essential for understanding our divinity. Indeed, the Vedas state that the ONLY auspicious thing in this material world is the association of the Lord’s devotees. Why? Because from the association of such advanced and pure souls all auspiciousness flows and we are automatically blessed with everything else necessary for our spiritual advancement. The pure souls of this world are literally like walking places of pilgrimage or gateways to the Divine. The Lord resides in their heart and dances on their tongue. They are veritable magnets for attracting positivity. Meeting such pure souls is indeed the greatest benediction one could ever hope for, what to speak of meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as was the case with Arjuna.
So coming back to my earlier question, how do we get those blessings? How do we get so lucky to make it out of this material world in this lifetime? Well, as I have explained, the recommended way is to take shelter of those more evolved than us, but consider this: It is also recommended by these same great souls that the path of spiritual success must be paved with humility. Simply put: one should consider themselves lower than a straw in the street, be more tolerant than tree and ready to offer respect to all living beings. It follows then that we should essentially see all living beings as higher than us, including the animals, plants and insects. You see, if we accept that our constitutional nature is to serve and recognize how other living beings are constantly serving us, it is becomes perfectly honorable and right to worship and serve them. Such a reciprocation of love is the very foundation of a divine life. Indeed, in India it is not at all uncommon for a tradesman to worship their tools at the beginning of the day as a show of respect. The tools may appear inanimate, but at a closer look, like us, they too are made of the very same natural elements that make up our body.
Indeed, at the time of creation, the natural elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and ether, all enter into the body of all manifested entities — the seas, mountains, aquatics, plants, reptiles, birds, beasts, human beings, demigods and everyone materially manifested. The body of the human being, mountains, plants, as also the bodies of demigods like Brahmā, are all of the same ingredients — earth, water, etc. Similarly, the Supreme Lord, by His different energies, namely the internal and external, is within everything in the manifested cosmos, including every atom, and at the same time He is outside of everything, situated in the kingdom of God. This expansion of His plenary parts is clearly explained in the Brahma–saḿhitā (5.35) as follows:
“I worship the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who, by one of His plenary portions, enters into the existence of every universe and every particle of the atoms and thus unlimitedly manifests His infinite energy all over the material creation.”
We sometimes foolishly look up to seek blessings, when in fact those blessings are all around us. Just open your eyes and see how blessed you are all the time. This attitude of gratitude will empower you to attract even more blessings and your belief that you are indeed a servant and insignificant in the larger scheme of things will guarantee that you will remain in the right consciousness to progress in your spiritual evolution.
So go ahead, hug a tree today, thank the bees, lady bugs, flowers, nature spirits, and even your trade tools for all that they have done for you all these years. Every animate and inanimate thing has in some way served you, because all of them have a role to play in the dance of Mother Nature. Start recognizing the blessings that surround you on a day to day basis and you might be surprised just how much more will come your way!