Transcending the Times
Does transcendence mean we ignore current events? Does it mean ‘we are spiritual’ and ‘that is material’ and we don’t get involved? Does being detatched mean we don’t care?
Yes and no.
Yes because we are all caught in karmic cycles of events, and on many levels we cannot do much about it. We should remember we are souls inhabiting our bodies, and that all that is happening does not touch the soul...can not touch the soul. Spiritually we are not defined at all by the externals of the world. By our spiritual nature, we are ‘sat, cit, ananda’ - eternal, happy, and complete with knowledge. Our soul in its essence transcends all that is matter, both body and mind. This temporary world, with all it’s comings and goings, is the stage upon which our false ego, our bodily sense of self, builds its identity.
But temporary, and ultimately false as it is, this world and our place in it is also real. Life and spiritual life really can’t be separated, as they are both God’s energy. The understanding that we are spiritual and part and parcel of a real and loving God, is meant to make us better humans, better people. We need to take a step back and remember who we are beyond the body, and then we have to step in and live our best life with our body.
As devotees of Krishna we will each respond differently, because of our unique individuality, to how public life is playing out before us. But our response will be based on a foundational principle of the practice of Krishna consciousness - that is, a devotee of Krishna cares about the suffering of others. We care when lust, anger and greed - gateways to hell the Gita teaches - become rampant. We care when the bodily concept of life makes one group put down another - my body is better than yours, my country is better than yours, my religion is better than yours. Oh, how we have lost our way and fight like arrogant children sometimes.
For most Krishna devotees their best response is to teach the wisdom of the scriptures and the practice of meditation. They inspire faith and offer good counsel to all. Some may also feel their calling is in the realm of Krishna conscious social justice - fighting for proper leadership. Arjuna is perhaps the most famous devotee of Krishna, and he was front and center in the great battle of Kuruksetra. His duty (and nature) as a warrior was to protect - to stand up for right action and to protect the earth and all who live here from the burden of misuse and abuse.
Krishna Consciousness is devotional service - action in relationship to the self, to community, to guru, and to God. It means loving service to Krishna in thousands of different ways, but under the guidance of wisdom teachers and teachings. Then our actions can transform ourselves and others - no matter how we are called to serve.