Bhakti bestows the intelligence for tolerance and the taste for transcendence

Bhakti bestows the intelligence for tolerance and the taste for transcendence

Tolerance and transcendence comprise our twofold defense against temptation. Tolerance refers to the capacity to endure the presence of unwanted temptations without succumbing to them.

Transcendence refers to the immersion in a higher joy that makes one oblivious to the presence of unwanted temptations.

Tolerance comes primarily from intelligence, which enables us to recognize the counter-productivity of sensual indulgences: they promise pleasure, but deliver trouble. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (05.22) lauds as intelligent (budha) those who recognize this and therefore tolerate sensual urges, as the next verse (05.23) indicates.

Transcendence comes primarily from taste, the fulfilling first-hand experience of sublime spiritual joys. The Gita (02.59) underscores that taste alone ends craving. Subsequently, it recommends (02.61) fixing the consciousness on Krishna as the means to taste.

Buddhi-yoga (10.10), though cognate with budha (05.22), has the added emphasis that this intelligence comes from Krishna and takes us to him

The Gita addresses the theme of higher happiness again in its four nutshell verses (10.0810.11). It (10.09) states that devotees derive the supreme delight in sharing their recollections of Krishna. Significantly, this verse refers to their delight with the word ‘ramanti’ which is often used to refer to the highest of all sensual pleasures: sexual pleasure. This usage in connection with devotional joy conveys its immensity and intensity, which enables devotees to transcend worldly cravings.

In case they still have some inner impurities that they need to tolerate, the next verse (10.10) indicates that Krishna gives them the necessary intelligence. Significantly, this verse refers to this intelligence as buddhi-yoga, which though cognate with budha (05.22), has the added emphasis that this intelligence comes from Krishna and takes us to him. As connection with Krishna is the means to taste, this intelligence paves the way to not just tolerance but also transcendence.

Thus, in our battle against temptation bhakti with its twin gifts of intelligence and taste comprises the complete protection-cum-liberation package.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 10

Explanation of article:

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Devotion is deepened, not depleted, by distribution
Those who mistake meekness to be weakness sentence themselves to spiritual sickness

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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5 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna Prabhu Ji,
    Thank you for explaining it so clearly.

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  2. Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    PAMHO
    Thank you very much for such a wonderful explanation of the concept of tolerance and taste.
    If we are able to overcome the mind with our intelligence, this makes its very easy to become tolerant to material temptations.
    And if we are able to dovetail our activities in the service of Lord Krishna and to relish the sublime taste of His reciprocation, we will become transcendental to the three modes of material nature.
    Hari Bol
    Narottama das

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    • Thank you for your in-depth explanations which always leave me astonished at the depth of the knowledge of the Bhagvad Gita.

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  3. Hare Krishna, thank you, sir for glorifying Sri Krishna’s 2 for 1 package deal. Bhakti gives protection-cum-liberation.
    Hari Hari!

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