Everything can be utilized for the highest purpose—even worry. A person who is connected to God, who is finding that deep, deep fulfillment and love within, worries about other souls. That’s compassion. That’s higher than not worrying at all.
Great personalities worry for people of this world who are suffering because of birth, old age, disease and death. A person may be sick and dying, and someone who loves that person will naturally worry about him/her. Similarly, great personalities, understanding that everyone in this world—either sooner or later—is going to die, feel pained. But that type of worry, that type of pain and compassion, is perfectly focused on being an instrument of the mercy of God. Yes, it’s not illusion, it’s not ignorance, but it’s based on truth. And therefore it’s beautiful. And acting according to that type of compassion makes one’s inner fulfillment and inner realization deeper and deeper and deeper. It enriches one’s relationship with God.
So the path of devotion is the path that transforms the material world into the spiritual world through change in consciousness. Material world is the material world, and we can’t change it too much on the external level. No doubt, it’s our duty to try to make it better as far as possible, but the best we can do is to facilitate people in realizing the spiritual world.
By Radhanath Swami