(continued from previous article…)
Given the modern ‘no time’ disease, it seems we are trapped; can we not practise Bhakti Yoga at all. Once a friend asked a busy looking, rapidly pacing man on the street, “Sir, what time is it?”, and he yelled back, “I have no time to die, and you have the time to ask what time is it?”; the moderns are indeed time-starved species.
My friend who is now a senior teacher of Bhakti Yoga has this experience to share:
“I came across Krishna consciousness when I was in college. I got convinced and took up to the practise of Bhakti Yoga seriously. As I began chanting a fixed number of rounds of Hare Krishna mantra on my beads, almost instantly I felt a lot of my wasteful and bad habits dissolve. I was also a slave to a few other addictions, and all of them fled from my life just as tiny animals flee at the roar of a lion in a jungle. Now I had a twin advantage; I had extra time generated from freedom of unwanted habits, and also a purified mind from the various practises of Bhakti Yoga. This made studying a wonderful experience for me. What I earlier accomplished in four hours, I could now do that in an hour….”
Furthermore, purpose or intent is more important than the availability of time. When there is a will, there is a way, and energy follows intent. If our sense of purpose is clear, the resources and time would easily flow in that direction. We all have been blessed with equal amount of time. We spend time on things that we chose to value in life. If we comprehend the value of spiritual life and the necessity of the practise of Bhakti Yoga, we wouldn’t complain of ‘no time’; we would happily remove time!
The renowned management guru and the author of the world acclaimed, ‘Seven habits of highly effective people’, Steven Covey refers to ‘Sharpening the saw’ as the most effective and critical of the seven habits. This means having a balanced programme for self-renewal where you take time out and make yourself physically, socially/emotionally, mentally and spiritually refreshed. Exercise and rest makes one physically nourished, while making social and meaningful connections with others makes one emotionally recharged. Learning skills, writing and reading rejuvenates us mentally and spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through prayer and meditation helps us grow spiritually. Therefore there is a critical need to balance all these four needs, and hence making strong spiritual connections through Bhakti Yoga is imperative.
A person may be busy writing with a pencil, but he could never be so busy that he has no time to sharpen it. If he continues without sharpening, it’s a matter of time before he’s unable to write any further. Similarly we use our mind, body, intelligence throughout the day, but we need to sharpen our souls; we need to spiritually exercise so as to pursue our duties better.