Art of Living

Art Of living – In the previous blog, we discussed Bhakti Yoga. Here we will see how Bhakti teaches us ART OF LIVING- how to live perfectly.

Living a Life dedicated to Krishna

In Bhakti, we learn the art of living a life completely dedicated to Krishna. One may be a professional, a farmer, a trader, or even a student, (s)he can perform bhakti while discharging his/her duty. One does not require retiring to the caves of Himalayas to perform bhakti. In fact, bhakti is the way of life:

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

[BG 9.27 ]

Translation: “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.”

As we constantly meditate on Krishna through objects around us, hear about Krishna as given in Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, and worshipping Him in His deity form, we make our external environment fully surcharged with Krishna consciousness.

As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī mäm namaskuru
mäm evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ

[BG 9.34]

Translation: “Engage your mind always in thinking of me, become my devotee, offer obeisance to me and worship me. Being completely absorbed in me, surely you will come to me.

This verse of Bhagavad Gita is the state of perfection in the art of living. A devotee always remembers Krishna gratefully and never forgets Him. When nobody could come to rescue Draupadi in Kuru assembly, she remembered Krishna. And Lord Krishna did not fail her – in fact He became infinite saree and shamed Duhshasan.

Art of Living

By practice of bhakti yoga, we will attain Krishna’s mercy which will lead to having spontaneous attraction for Krishna. Thus, we transcend this material existence.

Even while living here in this material world, we become blessed to embrace our spiritual existence. This is the perfection of living.
Pandavas demonstrated this principle; so also our acharyas like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Haridas Thakur, Srila Ramanujacharya, Srila Madhvacharya and Srila Prabhupada demonstrated this perfection by their example.

Haridas Thakur and the Snake

A perfected person does not put anyone into difficulty, not even a snake. And he himself/herself is fearless of everything and everyone. Haridas Thakur was chanting Hare Krishna mahamantra

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

in a cave. Although Haridas Thakur was born in a Muslim family, people knew that he was a great saint. So, from everywhere, people used to come to have darshan of Haridas Thakur in his cave. There in the cave was a black cobra. It used to come and raise its hood in front of Haridas Thakur while he was chanting. After some days, this snake started feeling peace in Hare Krishna mahamantra. It used to just sit there and listen mahamantra.

Art of Living

Haridas Thakur had noticed it but he had no fear. He does not think that snake is his enemy. You see how a snake and a saint they can live in a cave together without having fear for one another. One day, people noticed the cobra, and they requested Haridas Thakur to leave that cave. When Haridas Thakur saw that unnecessarily these people are getting disturbed, he agreed to leave that place. As soon as he decided to leave, the snake left the cave in front of everybody because it did not want to give trouble to the great saint and his followers. So if you are perfected in yoga, you will live in this world without any enemy.

Bhagavad Gita