Your Beautiful Life is Slipping Away

Picking up this one New Year resolution will beautify your life forever

About a month ago, at the recommendation of a friend, I began to pay more attention to my sleeping posture. A quick Google search revealed a treasure trove of information on the subject—over 20 sleeping postures analyzed in detail, complete with their pros and cons for our health. It wasn't just about posture; factors like mattress type, recommended sleep duration, sleep stages, and even dietary and exercise practices for better sleep were explored. Without hesitation, I decided to give Left-Side sleeping a try, considering its numerous benefits with minimal drawbacks.

On a bright, sunny day with a hint of chill in the air, as I made my way to work, a cat caught my attention, prompting me to pause. Not for any superstition about crossing my path, but for how it was sleeping. The cat had strategically dragged a gunny bag into a patch of warm sunlight and positioned itself on it to enjoy a sound sleep in the same left-side posture I had recently discovered. It felt like a wake-up call.

This incident led me to reflect on profound aspects of life. The small cat, intelligently seeking the best sleep, left a lasting impression, bringing to mind other intriguing examples.

Consider the industrious spider, crafting an intricate web within an hour. This marvel not only ensnares passing insects but also exhibits remarkable resilience. The Bombardier Beetle, when facing threats, unleashes a small chemical explosion from its abdomen, reaching temperatures close to 100˚C. Lastly, there's the Male Bowerbird—an intelligent architect constructing bowers adorned with carefully chosen ornaments to attract mates.

Didn't those examples astound you as well? In your day-to-day life, you've likely encountered numerous intelligent creatures utilizing their abilities to meet their physical needs. These creatures engage in activities such as eating, working, sleeping, and recreation to sustain themselves and secure their livelihoods.

Now, if we contemplate all the activities that humans engage in daily, it's not surprising to find that the narrative is more or less consistent. Here are the statistics of how a person with an average lifespan spends his life [1].

Elaborate arrangements to fill our bellies and tickle our taste buds mirror the efforts of spiders. Our endeavors to create a cozy bedroom with air conditioning echo the actions of cats. The pursuit of a good education for a well-paid job, ensuring a secure life, reflects the strategy of Bombardier Beetles. Similarly, our aspirations for a luxurious house with the best amenities to attract a good spouse align with the practices of Bowerbirds. Don't you find these parallels intriguing?

This contemplation led me to a pressing question: Are we fundamentally any different from birds and beasts, or are we, too, sophisticated beings with similar instincts?

Recalling a Vedic verse frequently cited by my spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada—the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)—it asserts that the refined thinking abilities humans possess aren't solely meant for catering to bodily needs but also for seeking answers to life's most fundamental questions. Vedic teachings offer satisfying and authentic responses to inquiries such as: Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the meaning of life or death?

Year after year, we enter the New Year with joy, but it also serves as a reminder that time is slipping away from the span of our lives. Unlike birds and beasts, we possess the intelligence to ponder and act upon this realization. With such a faculty, we can address the most neglected but fundamental issue of life: Death.

Ancient scriptures encourage us to move from mortality to immortality with the phrase 'Mrityoma Amritam gamaya.' In embracing spiritual practices such as 'Hare Krishna' Mantra meditation and studying the Bhagavad-Gita, a concise summary of Vedic wisdom, we expand our understanding beyond the physical realm. By making small changes in our daily lives inspired by this wisdom, we can infuse spirituality into everyday activities like sleeping and eating, bringing more joy and meaning to our lives. Thus, we can gain access to the spiritual domain, attaining a state of everlasting bliss and existence.

As we welcome the New Year, let's make a resolution to nurture our spiritual growth and beautify our lives indefinitely. May we use our intelligence not only in researching sleep but also to awaken from our 'permanent' sleep—the most fearful, inevitable impending death!