Have you seen how peacefully a child sleeps in the lap of his
parent, even in a noisy, crowded local train? The hustle-bustle
disturbs everyone, but not the child – due to his implicit faith
in the protection of his parent.
All of us strive diligently to overcome our many fears –
financial, familial, social, academic and physical. However the
necessary security measures like insurances, helmets, buzzer
alarms, health checkups fail to free us from a disconcerting sense of insecurity within us. Why?
The Vedic texts explain that all fear originates in an unbalanced, unrealistic material conception
of life. The material aspect of our life has its importance; we need to feed, clothe, house and
provide for ourselves and our loved ones. However Krishna explain in the Bhagavad-gita (16.10)
that when we seek our sense of identity, self-worth, security and pleasure exclusively from our
material positions and possessions, we open ourselves to fear. Because the material realm is
characterized by constant, unpredictable changes, which often threaten to destroy or harm
whatever is dear to us. We prepare ourselves to face some of the small, predictable and
controllable changes, but still we consciously or subconsciously dread the huge, unpredictable and
uncontrollable changes. Is there any way to overcome this deep-rooted fear?
The more things change, the more we need to embrace the things that don’t change. The
Bhagavad Gita (2.14) describes, “Of the material, there is no endurance and of the spiritual there
is no cessation.” Beyond the stage of material activity that preoccupies our mind lies a vast,
unexplored realm of spiritual tranquility. We are spiritual beings, souls, originally from a spiritual
world, the kingdom of God, who is our eternal loving father. Currently we are occupying material
bodies and inhabiting this material world. The more we harmonize with our spiritual nature, the
more we become fearless. Understanding that we are, at our core, spiritual and, hence
indestructible, fills us with an unshakeable self-security; we recognize that worldly upheavals that
affect our material assets have no power whatsoever to hurt us. Moreover, understanding that a
benevolent God is ultimately orchestrating all material happenings helps us to see order amidst
change, plan amidst chaos.
The most practical and potent technology to equip ourselves with steady vision of this spiritual
reality is divine sound. By chanting the bona fide holy names of God like the name of Allah,Christ,Hare Krishna mantra,
we progressively experience both our own spiritual identity and God’s the protective presence and
guidance in our life. The more we enrich our faith by chanting, the more our devotion for Krishna
increases. And when we make our life’s work a devotional offering for His service, we focus more
on the object of our service – God and not its fruit – the immediate material result. This shift of
focus releases large reserves of mental energy, which are choked by our worry about the future.
Chanting gives us the calmness to see that almost all fears are more perceived than experienced.
The more we become free from fear of the future, the more we can fully absorb ourselves in our
present duties. Thus spiritual principles and practices empower us to access and utilize even our
material talents better and execute even our material duties better. Ultimately spirituality is the
only way to conquer the greatest of all fears – death. For a mature devotee, death is not a fearful
termination of existence, but a joyful reunion with God in His everlasting abode. Therefore just
as the child stays peaceful amidst chaos, let us become tranquil amidst ups and downs by
empowering ourselves with spiritual devotion.