Episode # 19 – What makes it tough for us to make spiritual progress in Kali Yuga? An important discussion!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important question to start up with the contents of the first Skanda of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. We officially commence from the episode of Sage Pauraanika, wherein he gives some valuable pieces of information that is important to all of us too. To begin with, his disciples who are seated around him at a place called Naimishaaranya, ask an important question about the life in Kali Yuga and how difficult is it going to be for people who are spiritual seekers. This is extremely relevant to all of us and we shall witness the reply from Sage Pauraanika in today’s episode. As his disciples ask him this question, Sage Pauraanika replies thus:

“Praayena alpaayushas-sabdhya kalaavasmin yuge janaaha!

Mandaahaassumandha mathayaha mandha bhaagyaah kyupad druthaaha!!”

Sage Pauraanika commences thus, “Oh disciples! You’ve asked an important question. As we’re in the starting phase of this Kali Yuga, I shall explain and add few more points to whatever you’ve said till now: In the upcoming Kali Yuga, as we progress further and further and as years roll by, people’s life span would start becoming lesser and lesser. Even within this short lifespan, it is going to be very hard for people to focus on spirituality and spiritual growth, owing to innumerable factors of disturbances. The surrounding environment and society in which people live are never going to be conducive for developing spiritual thoughts. Both physical and mental health of people in their short lifespan are also going to be on the decline. However, there would be some people who would try to walk the hard path of Bhakti (Devotion) towards Bhagawan. But it is not going to be easy for them too. Something “hard” would be pushing them again and again to the brink!”

It is to be noted that in the previous Yugas of Trethaa, Dvaapara Yuga, etc. lifespans of people were extremely long. For instance, we’ve witnessed during our Ramayana project that Bhagawan Rama ruled Ayodhya for more than 11,000 years. King Dasharata had ruled Ayodhya for more than 20,000 years! In fact, Valmiki Maharishi even emphasizes in many places that King Dasharata was childless for more than 16,000 years, before Bhagawan Rama was born! Of course, there might be some disputes in the method of calculation of days, months and years, but that is not important for us at this moment. Thus from all these examples, we can witness how people in those ages have had extremely long lifespans! Even in these long lifespans, people had that interest in spiritual growth and the environment in which they lived, was totally conducive for it. We’ve witnessed in the Valimiki Ramayana towards the end on how “Rama-Rajya” was!

However, this is not the same in today’s case! We hardly have 70-90 years of time within us, and in most of our cases, we spend even this short time duration in various other activities that never add any value to our spiritual pursuit. Now how do we manage this short time-frame and how do we learn to progress spiritually within this?

Saying thus, Sage Pauraanika says that in this seemingly tough Kali Yuga, there is a solace for all of us. He continues further thus,

“Devakyaanaam vasudevasya jaathoyasya chikeershayaa!”

Thus Sage Pauraanika explains here that if we are able to chant the names of Bhagawan Krishna in the Kali Yuga repeatedly with full focus, we shall be able to attain spiritual growth. Apart from Bhagawan’s divine names, we have the Vedas, Vishnu Sahasranaama, Lalitha Sahasranaama, Upanishads, etc. that can augment our pursuit towards Bhagawan.

Having said thus, we would immediately ask a question here – “Oh! These are seemingly quite easy for all of us to do! But the real question here is that, will we be able to do it? Moreover, will we be able to overcome those obstacles that are trying to pull us down every now and then, when we sit down to chant Bhagawan’s divine names?”

These are extremely valid questions. All of us have these questions in mind. Even in our daily lives, many of us, (or) almost all of us are never atheists! All of us are inclined towards Bhagawan in some way or the other. However, “sustainability” in our approach is the problem that all of us face. If today we take a resolve that we would focus ourselves on spiritual practices from this moment onwards, how many of us would be able to continue the practices for the coming days, weeks, months, etc. without a break? Just within few days, we would get some disturbance or the other and with that, we would gradually forget our resolve and revert back to our lazy routine. Moreover, in this short lifespan too, many of us might have health problems that might deter us from performing our spiritual practices. Even if we can have that resolve to overcome our health problems and still continue doing it, is our environment and surroundings conducive enough to encourage / motivate us to follow our resolve? The answer is “Never”! If people see us this way, they immediately “brand” us as “old-fashioned people” and “unaware people”! This again would hurt our ego and slowly we would come out of our resolve, isn’t it? Moreover, in today’s world, many people are creating a new “renaissance” that the principles explained in our “Sanaathana Dharma” are not true! Many of us sadly fall into this trap of false propaganda!

This is the nature of the Kali Yuga in which we are living! All these characteristics are being witnessed by us in today’s world, which have been explained by Sage Pauraanika at the end of the Dvaapara Yuga and during the commencement of the Kali Yuga itself!

So for today, let us give a thought on what’s happening currently around us and how are we getting demotivated every now and then from going the spiritual path. Before going any further, let us first perform an analysis within ourselves as to what are the ways in which we get disturbed every day and what are those aspects that keep “pegging us” back from the track of spiritual progress. We shall wait till the next episode to witness some solutions to these issues. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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