The answer is that sooner or later we will have to let go of all upadhis and designations anyway. Better to do it voluntarily, rather than waiting until a health crisis forces us to do so. We are encouraged to turn towards internal life voluntarily and preferably at around 50 years of age – if we wait until sudden bad health leaves us no other choice, we may fall into depression. We may face an internal vacuum, a lack of internal substance, with nothing to fall back on. We may have been keeping ourselves busy running around all our life, and neglected to cultivate a rich and deep internal life. Thus we may experience a kind of midlife crisis, feeling unwanted and not needed any longer. We may end up looking back on our life with sadness and depression, with an empty feeling in our heart.
Interestingly, in former Vedic traditions people would observe a special ceremony for the father to hand over the business to the son, passing over the keys. Since handing over and allowing the next generation to take charge is a challenge to our material attachments, there was a recommended ritual and ceremony assuring that this step would take place.
Delegating our responsibilities to the younger generation and allowing them to take charge is of the greatest importance. If this does not take place, it invites stagnation to creep into our life and the lives of others around us. Our own attachments to positions and titles will keep us trapped, and we will not be able to let go of them and dissolve our false designations, which we have been carrying with us for many years. In this way, we will not be able to move on to higher levels of detachment and spiritual experience, but will be stuck to our positions and ego satisfaction.
And it also invites stagnation to the lives of others around us, since the younger generation will not be empowered to rise up and accept more responsibilities. Every generation has a valuable contribution to make to Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana mission – every generation moves things forward. The heroes of yesterday will not be the heroes of today, and the heroes of today will not be the heroes of tomorrow.
As the saying goes, the perfection of any ability lies in passing it on to others. True glory manifests in making others more successful and glorious than we have been. This requires renunciation, detachment and non-envy, which in return requires transcendental knowledge of our eternal position: Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya – krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’ [Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.108] – every individual soul is eternally a servitor.
On the 9th of August I moved on to Wroclaw/Poland.....
Your servant, Devaki dd
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