Friday, February 22, 2013

shopping around

Verse 2.22: As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

Do you like shopping? I do. I especially like shopping for new clothes. There's something about purchasing a new garment because of the way it feels, the way it hangs, the colour, style and/or design. I think one of the ideas that marketers promote is the notion that new clothes represent the "new" you. Since you are constantly changing, your clothes should reflect that as well.

Similarly, that's what happens when we give up one body and take on another one. One could say that as you're going through this lifetime in your current body, you are (for most) unconsciously shopping around for your next body. How so? All the desires that one accumulates have an impact on the thoughts that circulate throughout one's mind. Ever notice that? At least that's the case for me. As soon as I want something, really want something, I can't think of anything else. It totally occupies my thoughts and think of ways to satisfy my desire to acquire it.

So all the thoughts and desires that one cultivates throughout one's lifetime sets the stage to "purchase" the next body once this one has run it's course. In shopping for material clothes, we go through the same process. Although the time frame for choosing an item maybe mere seconds, there are certain motivations or inclinations that push us to purchase the item.

This means that we need to become more aware! If we can actually have an impact on the type of body we can receive in our next life, we need to become aware of our desires. As aspiring bhakti yogis, however, the goal is different. The bhakti yogi would prefer to make this life, in this body, their last. Why so? Because the soul is eternal. Continuing the cycle of taking on different temporary bodies will never give the soul satisfaction irregardless of how strong, beautiful or intelligent that body maybe.

The goal of the bhakti yogi is to quit shopping! Just like the time may come when you look at your closet and feel, "This is ridiculous. I have way too many clothes!" Similarly, the bhakti yogi thinks "Doesn't matter if I get another body if I'm still going to be subject birth, disease, old age and death. I want out!"

That's what the Bhagavad-gita is all about. It's for those who may have never considered, are curious about or have decided - enough shopping!

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