Sometimes we find things when we least expect them, and it can remind us of the way to find the “ultimate” good things.
I drove to the garden to get some Tulsi leaves, and saw the exit I usually use blocked. Instead of grumbling and blaming, I decided to get on with it and take the long road around. As I turned the corner I came across a whole garden of blooming tube roses ready for the picking. I jumped out of the car, delighted with my surprise discovery. I would not have found them had I not taken the longer road.
The higher road, the road less travelled, the longer road - all are proven ways to find good things. If we don’t take them we can miss out on a ton of beauty, a treasure of experiences, and opportunities for deep growth and change. The long road is never easy because good things are not cheap.
Arjuna learned this on the battlefield where the Bhagavad-gita was spoken. He wanted an out, an easy way to walk away from the terrifying war. Krishna blocked his path. Take the high road, He urged him. Take the road to ultimate success - whether you win or lose the battle, serve under my direction and you will find good things.
And he did. Besides the extraordinary vision of the universal form (in the Gita’s 11th chapter), he also understood his friend Krishna in a completely different way. The long road didn’t make the battle easier, but all the way Krishna was there to help Him. The long road to Krishna is not about finding peace, it’s about finding our relationship with Him. That pure, spiritual, original relationship of love becomes revealed as we turn corners in our life, especially corners where we have decided to surrender and trust the detour.
Good things are only found when we can step beyond the ordinary course of ‘me’ first. By giving up this attachment to indulgence in and protection of our false worldly ego we find the most surprisingly good thing of all - a sense of who we actually are--a spiritual person. That’s really when life starts to live itself on a whole other level.
When Srila Prabhupada was asked one time what was the goal of the practice of Krishna Consciousness, he answered, “To become a servant of the servant of Krishna”. That’s the long road. When we take some trouble to serve Krishna and Krishna’s devotees, when we think more of others and less about ourselves - that’s the high road.
A genuine spiritual path, if done correctly, is the road less travelled. There is abundant goodness to be found there. Let the obstacles in your life open up splendid detours and then move down them with great joy. There are good things hidden around every corner.