How The Vedic Scriptures Can Improve The World ~My realizations from Sri Isopanisad
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
We are all looking for ways to progress in life, to be happy and to feel real love. From a young age, there is something deep within, that tells us that there is more out there, but we cannot find these truths alone. We must rely on the parampara, or the bona fide system of disciplic succession. Only through this unbroken chain of Vedic knowledge, can we realise the Absolute Truth.
While allowing ourselves to trust this Vedic knowledge is a challenge, and also the reward when we can realise these teachings. Imagine a world where everyone understood the love of Krishna!
The Sri Isopanisad explains the inconceivable oneness and difference of the Lord. The Lord is in us and outside of us; all-encompassing and within our heart. We are like a drop of salt water and He is like the whole ocean. While we are quite small and insignificant, we are also part and parcel of the Lord. This understanding can help us on our passage back to Godhead, lessening the anxiety of wondering, “where is God?”
Our journey teaches three steps or levels, that see us realise the Supreme Lord and His manifestation. Beginning with the lower step, where one attends temple, or a similar place of devotion, and believe this is the only place they can worship the Lord and He is nowhere else. The next step up, is where one observe four principles in relation to the Lord. One experiencing this step will act differently towards those experiencing each of these principles. The higher of the three steps is to see everything as part and parcel of the Lord. They know there is no difference between an ant and a person, and those in this stage will try to do good by everyone.
Along our way, we may come across those who believe the Lord to be a glaring effulgence of formless light. They may believe that they should not follow scripture and the parampara system and may pose as the Lord Himself. Impersonalism prevents us from having a personal relationship with the Lord.
Instead, we can come to recognise the Supreme Person to be one with spiritual qualities, a person with features, but also realising that He also has an impersonal or formless aspect. As Personalists, we offer the Lord our service as our purpose in life. By understanding this, we can selflessly carry out devotional service, bringing us closer to God and bringing love and joy to our hearts.
We will realise the Absolute Truth is a step-by-step process. First as Brahman, the impersonal, empiric philosophy, Paramatma, who enters our heart with knowledge and Bhagavan who is bliss, personal to us and our Supreme Lord. Once we can realise this and share with others, anything is possible. One day, everyone’s realisations could deepen the world’s love for Krishna, which could lead to peace and ending of wars.
As easy as we feel it may be to follow the path, which is laid for us in Srila Prabhupada’s books, there are also obstacles. Some will wrongly come to worship the demigods. Usually this is those who are searching for material benefits and those people will enter into the darkest ignorance. How can we help these people? One way may be to offer them the holy names, chanting these spiritual vibrations to reach their heart.
Our journey may lead us to more questions. What can happen with karma when we choose our path? We can choose Karma, actions that are performed of one’s prescribed duties, akarma, actions that will free us from the cycle of birth and death or vikarma, actions performed through the misuse of one’s freedoms, directing us to the lower forms of life. By helping those engaging in demigod worship, or indeed anyone who wants and needs guidance, we can support them in choosing the right path, to bring us back to Godhead and away from the repeated cycle of life and death.
If we all were to apply the lessons from the Sri Isopanisad, we could pray to surrender to the Lord, asking for forgiveness and to understand our passage back to Godhead, away from the repeated cycle of birth and death. We would lessen the anxiety of searching for God. We could understand that by selflessly carrying out devotional service we can be closer to God and realise the love and joy in our hearts. The Lord would at once take charge of such surrendered souls, and make us free from all reactions to our sinful acts.