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Shifting Burden from Head to Shoulder

A man may carry heavy burden on his head and upon feeling distressed he may shift the burden to his shoulder. It surely relieves his head of the burden but it doesn’t relieve him from the burden itself. Whatever process one may devise for countering the burden, it is nothing more than shifting it from one place to another. The real relief is in becoming free of it altogether. 

Srila Prabhupada explains, “The human society in the name of civilization is creating one kind of trouble to avoid another kind of trouble. We see that there are many automobiles manufactured to carry us swiftly, but at the same time we have created other problems like constructing so many roads, traffic jam, air pollution and fuel shortage. The conclusion is that the processes we manufacture to counteract or minimize our distresses do not actually put an end to our pains. We simply place the burden from the head to the shoulder under the name of counteraction.”

The real cause of all the trouble our material existence. This material world has been declared in the Gita as duhkhalayam – a house of miseries. Seeking a material solution may solve the problem at hand but this solution itself creates another trouble. This is the nature of this material world. 

The first step of relief is to know, “I am not the body but a spirit soul.” When one understands this, he realizes that as a spiritual being, he has nothing to do with this material world. And the burden is relieved. Further, when one realizes that as a spirit soul, he is an eternal part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrenders unto Him, he is assured that the Lord being all-powerful can mitigate all the pains of material existence. This is the only way to counter all the problems arising out of our material existence. For a surrendered soul, all his concerns become the Lord’s concerns. Lord Krishna promises this Bhagavad-gita 9.22 that for His devotees He carries what they lack and preserves what they have. This is real relief… real happiness.