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The Breathing Bellows by Achyut Gopal Das

Every morning when I wake up and notice my breathing and observe my chest swelling up and down being pumped with air, I invariably remember a verse from the Srimad-bhagvatam which states that our breathing is like the breathing of the bellows of a blacksmith. Both the bellow and our body is made of leather. The bellow may feel that it is breathing on it's own and is fully independent but, it does not know that as soon as the blacksmith stops pumping air in it, it will stop breathing and lay lifeless. Similarly, we may be proud of our breathing and our life and may feel fully independent but, we don't realise that as soon as God decides to stop pumping air into our system, our body will stop breathing and lay lifeless. 
What is there to be proud of when we don't even have control over our breath? We should be grateful to God for giving us the wonderful opportunity and gift to breathe and live. And, the way we express that gratitude is by using our breathes and our very lives to serve Him, The One who pumps life into us. We shouldn't squander away the opportunity to serve God because we really don't know which breathe of ours will be the last. Therefore, one great Acharya has prayed beautifully in his song, Sri Kevalashtakam as follows -
Niḥśvāse Nāhi Viśvāsaḥ
Kadā Ruddho Bhaviṣyati
Kīrtanīya Mato Bālyād
Harer Nāmaiva Kevalam
"We don't know which breath of ours will be our final breath. Therefore, it is wise to always practice chanting the Holynames from one's very childhood knowing that the Holynames of Krishna alone is everything."



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