There are certainly more “countrified” places than we live in……I mean there is a “convenience/gas station/general/pay too much store” only 5 minutes away. However, if we want to get any “serious” supplies, it is a minimum of 30 minutes. That will get us to the nearest branch of the “evil empire” or Wal-Mart (it is cheaper, but I know well all the cons).
To reach the health food store and others takes an hour. The point being that getting supplies is a major time investment, and we only go every week or two. Sometimes neighbors can pick up odds and ends, and we do order bulk grains for most of the devotee community.
On the drive I try to make the best of the trip with Krishna Conscious (KC) lectures and music, and sometimes I take a neighbor.
I have to admit loving to watch people, for instance, when I am waiting in line, in the park, or getting car repairs etc. Although I haven’t written any fiction yet, I do look with both a curious writer and compassionate devotee eye. I see many sad cases of misery, yet I think anyone without any religion or spirituality is the most unfortunate. Thus in all my interactions or witnessing I wonder how I can benefit these people. I do pray for their all around good, and spiritual advancement.
To my way of understanding this praying for others benefit is one of the devotees’ important functions in society, and especially those of us involved in healing work or ministering to others. And who is a healer?? Not all devotees are designated “healers”, yet the activities of devotional service are truly healing for the planet and people in general, since the ultimate disease is forgetfulness of Krishna.
Forgive my new age label here, but “light worker” could easily be applied for devotees. We are meant to carry the light of Krishna, remembering him always, and share him with others as appropriate. At the very least (it is not small thing either) we can be a well wisher and positive force—-even a smile and well wishing thought is good for others, and good for us. A devotee is “para upakara”: Prabhupada defines this term: “doing good to others, this is the Vaishnava special interest”.
We do have to save our self by our sincere and serious practice of devotional service (bhakti-yoga) yet along the way it is good to try to help others awaken spiritually. There is no impediment to this, and if we want to give KC to others, then Krishna will reciprocate with our desire. As with most things, our own self is the most limiting factor if we have a limiting attitude (I speak from experience). We can learn much from successful people by having a “can do” attitude.
“Where there is a will, there is a way”, is a useful saying for our own practice of KC, and in sharing our faith and understanding to others. Truly, by the mercy of Shri Guru and Gauranga (Lord Chaitanya, who is the incarnation of God for this age—who is considered most merciful), all things are possible. So as we carry out even what appear to be mundane or ordinary activities we can make those activities Krishna conscious, and also help others.
Please read the 24h verse of the 4 th chapter of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita and his purport. The theme is one of my favorites. Here is some of it, which applies to our current topic:
“The more the activities of the material world are performed in Krishna consciousness, or for Vishnu [God] only, the more the atmosphere becomes spiritualized by complete absorption. The word brahma (Brahman) means “spiritual”. The Lord is spiritual, and the rays of His transcendental body are called the brahmajyoti [clear light or Gods’ aura], His spiritual effulgence. Everything that exists is situated in that brahmajyoti, but when the jyoti is covered by illusion (maya) or sense gratification, it is called material………[and my favorite part]…. The Absolute Truth covered by maya is called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality. Krishna consciousness is the process of converting the illusory energy into Brahman, or the Supreme”.