In this material world, spiritual life—the attempt to make spiritual progress, to get closer to God—is very difficult. But God provides an easy way to come close to Him.

It is very unfortunate that even though God makes approaching Him relatively easy in this age of chaos, we reject the easy way and instead make things difficult for ourselves.

Rejecting What Comes Easy

This tendency to reject what comes easy and to over endeavor for things that are more difficult to get is evident in people all over the world. One example I noticed while visiting Samoa in Polynesia is simple but valuable for illustrating this point. As you probably know, it is vevela in Polynesia—very hot. So naturally God provides the perfect coolant—coconut water. God created a natural soft drink in the perfect container. It won’t spoil. Whether it’s on the tree or the ground, the unopened coconut stays fresh. You just open the husk, offer the water to God, and then drink it. And since you may be hungry after you drink the water, God provides some “meat” in the coconut that you can eat to satisfy your hunger.

God provides common-sense practical things. People’s thirst and their need to cool their bodies in the heat are very real things. So in a humid climate, He makes available a very cooling, balancing agent. The coconut water balances the heat and cools the heart and liver. No matter how hot it is, if you drink some coconut water, immediately your body is cooled down.

Coconut trees are all over Samoa, full of coconuts with their free, cooling, delicious water. But what do most Samoans drink to cool their bodies in the heat? Most people I saw were drinking soda pop, Seven Up, Coca Cola, etc. Virtually no one drinks from the coconuts that are all over the place; instead, they drink soda pop imported from California.

This is a simple but classic illustration of people rejecting the easy and choosing the difficult.

In this material world, spiritual life—the attempt to make spiritual progress, to get closer to God—is very difficult. The difficulty in remembering God and becoming close to Him can be compared to the very great heat in Polynesia. But just as God provides and easy-to-obtain cooling drink in the oppressively hot Polynesia, God provides an easy way for us to come close to Him in the very materialistic modern world. The more materialistic the world becomes—the more difficult it is to achieve union or oneness with God—the easier He makes it for you to do so.

Age of Chaos and Confusion

The present age, referred to as Kali Yuga, is described as the age of quarrel, chaos, and confusion. It is so much the age of quarrel that people are even quarreling over whether it’s really Kali Yuga or not. They’ll argue, “I don’t believe it’s the age of quarrel!” Or they’ll say, out of confusion, “I don’t understand!” All you need to do is watch the evening news or television to see that this is the age of chaos and confusion. The news announcer could get by with simply saying, “There’s chaos and confusion in the world today!” Chaos and confusion here, chaos and confusion there, chaos and confusion in the newsroom, chaos and confusion in the governments, chaos and confusion in your house.

In this Age of Kali, it is very, very difficult to realize God. Therefore, God makes the method for realizing Him very, very easy. In this age, we don’t have to give up all our possessions and become monks or nuns. We don’t need to engage in complicated methods of ancestor and demigod worship. We don’t need to engage in austerities like sitting for ten hours or putting hooks through our lips and being pulled around, as some people do in Indonesia.

Easy Path to God

Lord Chaitanya and the Vedic scriptures make it clear that there is a very easy way to get to God. All we need to do is regularly hear and chant (repeat) God’s Holy Names. Simply by regularly hearing and chanting His names, you will become increasingly aware of His presence. You will increasingly experience faith in Him and love for Him. This is the easy path to God that He has provided in this age.

In you want to get close to someone, what must you do? You must please them. In this age, all we have to do to become pleasing to God is regularly hear and chant His names. God has told us how to become pleasing to Him, and He’s made it very easy. He doesn’t say to a man with no money, “If you want to please Me, you must build Me 20,000 golden temples.” He doesn’t say to a man who can’t tolerate pain, “If you want to please Me, you must stick yourself with nails.” No. God simply says, “If you want to please Me, simply chant and sing My names.” This is the Supreme Person’s kindness. He says, “Simply look upon My beautiful form and offer Me a flower, a little fruit, or a little water.”

Our Lack of Intelligence

The process of developing love for God—bhakti yoga—is very easy. But in the Age of Kali, we are very stupid. We have the tendency to reject what is easy and instead do what is difficult and ultimately bad for us…which brings us back to Samoa. God provides that perfect refreshment in the hot Samoan sun. I can simply reach up and pick a coconut off the tree or from the ground–for free. I can drink the cooling water and be refreshed. But instead, being stupid and determined to do things the hard way, I go to work in a factory all day to get some paper they call “money” so that I can go to the store and buy some imported soda pop.

So, as we chant again the names of God, we pray, “Please release us from our ignorance.”

Thank you very much.

“This world and everything in it is the property or the energy of the Supreme Energetic. But unfortunately most of us have forgotten the connection between ourselves, the world and the Lord. We falsely identify ourselves with the material body we temporarily live in, and due to our identifying with matter, we seek fulfillment in the material world. Thus, we falsely lay claim to God’s property and endlessly compete to exploit each other and the environment. This continuous exploitation makes our hearts harder and harder and it is thus a great rarity for a person in this world to feel real love and compassion. Therefore, kindness is rare, friendship is rare, honesty is rare, and simplicity is rare and happiness and humility are rare. But fear is not rare, nor is international, interracial, interfaith, and intersexual warfare. But bitterness is of no necessity. There can be a new society. But the outer can change only by changing the inner. The nature of our place of residence is determined by the nature of our mentality or consciousness. Thus, our destiny is in our own hands.”
~ Jagad Guru