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Truth and Power

There are big truths and small truths and truths that are true just for some and not for others.

There are also absolute truths - those that are for everyone. Dying is one of those. Old age another. No matter what we call them or how we try to avoid them, they come with the territory of the world.

These absolute truths, shared by all of us, are also powerful. Power, by this definition, is something that is stronger than us and can control us. Besides things like time and death, we also have mother nature that is super powerful, and even certain animals and people. A tiny mosquito has power that can kill us with a malaria-ridden bite!

To bring it closer to home, our own body has a certain amount of power. We recognize that our mind, senses and false ego, can madden, sadden, and bewilder us. They pull us here and there and everywhere in our search for happiness and yet at the end of the day often leave us feeling empty and alone.

For a better life, the practice of bhakti invites us to speak truth to power on a regular basis. Any material power, no matter how powerful, can be put into perspective by daily spiritual exercise.

The first truth is that we, as spirit souls, are something completely separate from our body and mind. We need not be defined by the experiences of our life. The soul cannot be burned by fire, withered by the wind, nor cut to pieces by any weapon. We are, happily, something untouched by this material body and the world around us.

We can speak that truth to any and all material power. Prabhupada said it many times and he would return to this truth again and again in his writings and lectures - “We don't talk of any religion. The material consciousness should be changed into spiritual consciousness. That is our propaganda. It is meant for Hindu, Muslim, Christian, anyone. White, black, yellow, everything. Because it is the function of the soul. Soul is not black, white, yellow. Soul is spirit. So one has to realize that "I am spirit soul. I am not Indian nor American nor Englishman nor German nor white nor black. This is my bodily description. I am not this body." This is the beginning of spiritual understanding.”

Life is messy and understanding it and all of its complexities can take a lifetime. With essential spiritual truths in our pocket, we can cut to the chase and stand tall against the weather patterns of our material karma. It is a truth that is both powerful and kind. It is the truth of the soul.

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