Prerana Youth Festival – Lecture on Developing Fearlessness by Vraj Bihari Das at ISKCON Chowpatty on 18 Aug 2017
Following is an excerpt from the lecture on Developing Fearlessness on Prerana Youth Festival – Vraja Bihari Das.
Krishna while instructing Arjuna begins by saying that ‘one of the divine qualities of a spiritual warrior is that he is fearless’. So we going to discuss this quality which we all need to possess if we want to be successful in life and fearless. Not having too much anxiety and stress and not allowing the stress to debilitate our lives.
In this world, one of the main characteristic is fear. There is quote saying “fear is like a dark room where negative things develop”. Most of the things we fear in life, have no basis and we generally worry about things that never happen and that is why in this world people are always in anxiety. And our goal is to go back to Krishna’s world, spiritual world which is free from anxiety. There is an interesting statistic which shows that
65% of fear and worries which people have are of that things which will never happen in life. 12% of worries and fear we have are all useless because it’s all based on past events. 13% of fear is cost by people whom we cannot change. 6% of fear develops because of events which are beyond our control. And Finally the last 4% of fear are the ones that actually have basis. But we have no time to deal with it because we’re busy dealing with other 96% of imaginary anxiety.
Most of the people’s fear have no basis because it’s in the mind and it is imaginary. Because of which the material world is characterized by the Lord of anxiety, Lord of worry and Lord of stress. Most of the anxiety is caused by the mental assumption we make of people or situation. All this fear and anxiety is because of our mind. Bhagavad Gita describes mind as “the best of friends and the worst of enemy”. Even if you have everything in this world, our mind will point out that one thing which you don’t have and it will make everything miserable for us in life. People are always in anxiety and lamentation of having lost of what they had or they are crying for what they don’t have and if they have everything, they fear of losing it. This is our mind who is always dissatisfied which always creates unnecessary fear and so many complications.
We perceive reality, we imagine prejudice, we fantasize revenge and how the mind can trick you was scientifically proved by scientist when this famous movie came “Lawrence of Arabia” the movie is revolving around a dessert. When this movie was released in Canada where it was a winter and temperature was -30 degrees. So during the screening of this movie, the movie theaters recorded the highest sale of ice-cream. Although it was peak of winter. So scientist proved that mind made them feel that they are feeling hot or they are in a dessert, they could identify the characters in the movie. This is how the mind can make a fool of us in fact mind can cause so much of fear that this fear can actually kill you.
We may get small fears but slowly they may add and may become huge so therefore imagination is the real problem of this world. According to scriptures there are three reason on why fear exist and the very first reason is ‘Bodily consciousness’ we are constantly thinking about your body and things related to out body. We’re not the actual body, we’re pure spiritual soul, but because we’re identified as our bodies, we don’t have time to remember Krishna. Therefore, we are always fearful. Shrimad Bhagvatam describes that we are so attached with our body and body related things and think that this will protect them but he doesn’t realize that it is temporary. And he becomes mad because of this identification, he sees that everything is getting destroyed, he sees there is death everywhere and that everything is temporary still he ignores. When he starts losing his own things then he starts panicking and this is the characteristics of this world.
From childhood we have been brain washed by media and society that we should take care of our body and bodily relationship. Identification with yourself is very deep especially the body and because of this we lose focus from Krishna and when we lose focus of Krishna then all the things in the world haunt us. We have been brain washed that this body will give me pleasure and the moment we enjoy anything, that enjoyment will lead into double amount of suffering and we have capacity to enjoy something higher if we are focusing on these four activities which are eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
These are the four common activities between humans and animals. Unfortunately, our whole life goes in these four activities which animals are also enjoying anyways. The difference between humans and animals is that we are not tapping our potential, we have unlimited potential to experience happiness of real high and not like animals who are happy only by eating, sleeping, mating and defending. We can experience very high level of happiness but instead of tapping that higher level of happiness which is possible in human body and which is not possible in animal body, instead of focusing and tapping that potential, we are busy doing what animals are doing.
These activities cause lot of anxiety and fear and if we keeping focusing on these activities then our life will be filled with stress. So it is said that human life is very rare and we should not waste it in these activities. Aspire for something higher and you will get higher level of happiness and after getting that happiness, there will be no anxiety and stress in this material world.
The second reason for the existing fear is the Gap between expectation and reality. We all have expectations in life but the reality is completely different from it. That gap is stress and that stress will lead to fear. If somebody is beautiful and the center is beauty and the identification is beauty then when beauty is fading away, they can’t accept the reality because their expectations have been place very high. So in this world fear is mainly caused by having a very high and unrealistic expectation and that is the reality which is completely different. People are also afraid of death; they have expectation that they will live forever. “Love is what we were born with, Fear is what we learned here”.
The third reason why fear exist is because of the time factor. Time is the most powerful feature of this material existence which causes fear. Time invades our lives, as we get older our capacity to enjoy reduces because body’s capacity reduces but because you’re not trained your desires don’t go down and it keeps increasing. Time is very powerful and if we’re not prepared then this will cause anxiety. We should be careful and we should make ourselves strong and cope up with these stress causing factors. In Hare Krishna we follow two principles to lead a fearless and stress free life of which the first is the process of hearing and second is chanting HARE KRISHNA. Chanting will immediately take you to a higher level, you will not only feel relieved but also you’ll feel positive nourishment. When we chant Hare Krishna we come under the shelter and embrace of Lord. You may say that you are happy in life, Chant Hare Krishna and you will be happier in life. The conclusion is Chant Hare Krishna in all the situation and you will cross the ocean of material existence and develop complete fearlessness.
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