How to think of Krishna even in the Classroom where only material education is taught?
A girl student devotee asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji, I am a university student just newly involved in Krishna Concioussness. Though I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to know Lord Krishna, and I immensely feel the warmth of his presence in ISKCON Temples, my school atmosphere is heavily materialistic. I’m surrounded by classmates and professors who are only interested in money, the best jobs, the best marks. No one ever thinks beyond these mundane things in life. Even while I am sitting in class during a lecture it’s easy to let that negative energy bring me down, is there a way where I can remember Krishna even during class time while I am surrounded by a very negative atmosphere? Hare Krishna, please hide my name.”
There is nothing in this world as material and all are spiritual only.
Because everything originates from Krishna.
Read this also: How to balance my devotional practices during exam preparations?
Then, why we say differentiating as material and spiritual?
Only for better understanding, we have classified something as material. Hence we too call them as materials.
Instead, there are only two classes : living and non living things.
We call LIVING BEINGS as SPIRITUAL and NON LIVING THINGS as MATERIAL. That’s all. It is for understanding only.
Otherwise, all the creations are spiritual only.
If we use the available things for our pleasure, it is material and if we use them for Krishna, it is spiritual.
If all the people use the things available in this world for Krishna, the entire world will become spiritual.
This world may be a material world. But, we can make this as vaikunta/ Goloka if all of us follow devotion to Krishna.
We use ghee for Krishna making it spiritual.
We use flowers making them spiritual.
We use a vessel for Krishna making it spiritual.
If we do not eat because of not having food, it is hunger; If we have food but avoid it for Krishna, it becomes spiritual, ie, fasting.
If you eat something, it is food that is material; If you offer that food to Krishna and then honour it, it is prasadam that is spiritual.
Thus, if we use everything for Krishna, then, everything in this world is spiritual.
Since we are not using so, and using everything for our pleasure.
Hence, this much of materials in this material world.
If you take this body, if we use it for our pleasure, it is a material. If we use this body for Krishna, we are making this body spiritual.
How many of us use this body for serving Krishna?
Most of the people use their bodies both for Krishna and their own pleasures.
Most of us are riding on two horses at the same time.
In your case, you are telling that education you are studying is material.
Actually, if you use that education for your pleasures, it is material.
If you use the same education for serving and supporting the service for Krishna, it becomes spiritual.
How can you use your education for Krishna?
By studying well, you can go to a good job. By going to a good job, you can use that money to serve Krishna or to support the genuine devotees and sathsangha forums that are serving Krishna.
You can buy some copies of Bhagavad Gita every month and distribute to the needy people.
You can donate some amount every month for those who are genuinely serving the Lord.
You can support the family of devotees that are suffering in their life.
You can save some amount every month and donate for constructing a temple for Krishna.
Thus, you can use your money for Krishna and your money is purified. All the purified money becomes spiritual.
By using the earned money for Krishna, you can make the material money as spiritual.
Our school and college education is also important for us. It is to maintain our body. Knowledge about Krishna is spiritual education that cultivates the athma.
However, if we use this material education to earn and serve the Lord, it becomes spiritual.
Also read this: Why should we work instead of following devotion alone?
Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that unless one performs his assigned duties, he can not maintain even his body. He also says that He Himself is working as an example for others to work.
Our education and going to job are also performing our assigned duties.
Only thing to be done by you is, you should do the studies in a mindset that you are studying just as your assigned duty and you will use some part of the earning for the service of Krishna.
And, in the classroom, hear the lectures with concentration/ attention. During the intervals, chant one or two rounds of Hare Krishna Maha Manthra. During the lunch breaks, you can chant. While coming back to Home or going to school, you can chant.
However, if you yourself are driving the vehicle, don’t chant while driving. And, don’t chant while doing sensitive jobs that require full concentration.
Thus, you can make your material education itself as spiritual.
When you can serve the Lord using your education and career, then, why should you consider them just as material education?
Only our mindset is important. Not the activities. Any activity that can be used for Krishna can be considered as spiritual.
I know many devotees supporting the construction of temples, devotees, etc., using their earnings from their business. Mr.Ford, who is the chairman of the most popular car company is also supporting the services of Krishna and construction of temples using his earning.
Similarly, many well earning devotees are supporting the devotional services.
They do not advertise their support. That’s all. They are silently doing that.
You too can follow their footsteps by using your studies and career.
Hope you understood.