By Niraj Bidawatka
As long as we are in the bodily concept of life, stress will remain. The bodily conception of life means that one identifies oneself as the body; one thinks that “I am the body”. But the fact is that, “I am not this body, I am the spirit soul.” It is like identifying oneself as the car whilst seated within a car. If someone seated within a BMW says, “I am a BMW”, then one can conclude that he is a crazy man. He is in fact a living entity seated within the car and therefore different than the car. Similarly, we are spirit souls seated within bodies of different models. Someone is in an Indian body, someone in an American body, in a black body, in a white body, in a dog’s body and so on. In the bodily concept one says “I am Indian”, “I am African”, and “I am a doctor”, just as person identifying with the car says “I am a BMW”. If one thinks, “I am the car”, then will his hunger be satiated by supplying fuel to the car? No; he has supply fuel (food) to his stomach. Similarly in the bodily concept of life, we think that we can satisfy our quest for happiness by giving comfort to the body, but that does not yield results since the living entity occupying the body is not being nourished. We are different than the body and therefore when someone dies, we always say, “Oh, Mr. John has gone away”. If Mr. John was the body, then the body is still lying in the front; so why do we say that he has gone away? Mr. John was not the body but a spiritual spark who was occupying the body and has now gone away. The body is always dead, but when the living entity occupies it, it starts functioning and when he leaves it, it is called a dead body.
When we are in the bodily concept of life, we have many desires of satisfying the senses. As the level of desires increases, stress also increases. So, one school of thought advises that one should remove all desires. However, this is an impractical solution. Since we are living entities, and not inanimate matter, desires will always remain within our hearts. Inanimate matter such as stones, tables and chairs are free from desires because they have no life but since we are living beings, we can never become free from desires.
The real solution lies in redirecting or rechanneling our desires. At the present moment, our desires are directed towards to the body, its comfort, its maintenance, our social status and improving our financial status. But, when the desires are upgraded to the level of the spirit soul, which is our real identity, then all the stress will vanish. In the simple words of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “When we desire for the satisfaction of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then our desires are on the spiritual (of the spirit soul) platform.”
There are many teachers who prescribe various ways of dealing with stress. Some will advise deep breathing, others will talk of some sort of meditation; some will prescribe standing upside down and so on and so forth. But such techniques can provide only temporary benefits, if at all. However, if one aims to solve the problem permanently, he has to understand the “self” – “I am not this body, I am the spirit soul.” Once we understand this, then there is no more stress.
The chanting of the “Hare Krishna” mantra helps us in getting out of the bodily conception of life. Mantra means “one that delivers the mind.” If one chants Hare Krishna regularly, then one can easily overcome stress because it is a transcendental sound vibration and has power to make one peaceful and joyful. It is very easy to chant Hare Krishna. It is composed of sixteen words:Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
You can chant it anywhere and when you chant it, you will immediately feel de-stressed and refreshed. It is simple and free. There are no rules either. You sing it aloud or murmur to yourself. You can also listen to the Hare Krishna chants on a CD while travelling in your car or at home and it will purify your subtle body by removing all stress.ALSO READ: THE SIZE OF THE SOUL EXPERIENCING THE SOUL WHO AM I? “THE RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE” ALBUM – SUNG BY THE LONDON DEVOTEES WITH GEORGE HARRISON “THE RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE” ALBUM – Personal Accounts of People Getting Attracted To Krishna Consciousness Through It