yatha hi puruso bharam
sirasa gurum udvahan
tam skandhena sa adhatte
tatha sarvah pratikriyah
yatha—as; hi—certainly; purusah—a man; bharam—a burden; sirasa—on the head; gurum—heavy; udvahan—carrying; tam—that; skandhena—on the shoulder; sah—he; adhatte—puts; tatha—similarly; sarvah—all; pratikriyah—counteractions.
A man may carry a burden on his head, and when he feels it to be too heavy, he sometimes gives relief to his head by putting the burden on his shoulder. In this way he tries to relieve himself of the burden. However, whatever process he devises to counteract the burden does nothing more than put the same burden from one place to another.
This is a good description of an attempt to transfer a burden from one place to another. When one gets tired of keeping a burden on his head, he will place it on his shoulder. This does not mean that he has become freed from the strains of carrying the burden. Similarly, human society in the name of civilization is creating one kind of trouble to avoid another kind of trouble. In contemporary civilization we see that there are many automobiles manufactured to carry us swiftly from one place to another, but at the same time we have created other problems. We have to construct so many roads, and yet these roads are insufficient to cope with automobile congestion and traffic jams. There are also the problems of air pollution and fuel shortage. The conclusion is that the processes we manufacture to counteract or minimize our distresses do not actually put an end to our pains. It is all simply illusion. We simply place the burden from the head to the shoulder. The only real way we can minimize our problems is to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give ourselves up to His protection. The Lord, being all-powerful, can make arrangements to mitigate our painful life in material existence.
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