Is the immediate becoming the enemy of the ultimate (Gita Daily)

Published on Oct 17, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10, Text 34

We often get caught in the exigencies and emergencies that keep coming up in our lives.Despite knowing the importance of developing our relationship with Krishna, we are just not able to allocate time for it. When this unfortunate patternbecomes repetitive, it is a sure sign that the immediate is becoming the enemy of the ultimate. In other words, the urgent this-worldly to-dos are encroaching on the time meant for the important other-worldly must-dos.

No doubt, emergencies do crop up occasionally; at such times, our worldly obligations cannot and should not be avoided or postponed. But if emergencies crop up daily, then probably we need the emergency treatment more than the situations. It is we who by our unbalanced priorities are breeding emergencies.

To give ourselves an emergency treatment, we need to subject our priorities to an unsentimental reality check. We may feel that we are giving priority only to things that are unavoidable. If we give in to such feelings, then we will rarely be able to prioritize our relationship with Krishna.

To counter such feelings, we need to firmly remind ourselves that nothing is more unavoidable than death, as the Bhagavad-gita (10.34) indicates. At that fateful moment, our immediate worldly to-dos will no longer count, because the ultimate will have become the immediate. But by then it will be too late to do much about the ultimate.

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