Bring out the best within, not the beast within
We all would like to improve ourselves, become better – and yet we sometimes act regrettably, worse than ourselves. What makes us act like that?
The impurities within us. Deep inside our psyche reside dark forces that are like a beast. The Bhagavad-gita identifies three such forces, lust, anger and greed, (16.21) and urges us to steer clear of them (16.22). If these forces come out, they allure us with promises of pleasure. Captivated, we become blind to our spirituality, morality, even rationality, and end up acting uncharacteristically, unrecognizably, even unconscionably.
Making matters worse, these forces are armed by our contemporary materialistic culture. It exposes us to a relentless fusillade of sensual stimuli that increase our lust, anger and greed. If we contemplate uncritically on these stimuli, they fan these forces, empowering them to impel us to unworthy actions. Thus, our culture externally and our contemplation internally bring out the beast within.
Thankfully, Gita wisdom explains that deeper still within us resides something far better – our core self, the soul. The soul is godly, being a part of God.
Bringing out best means bringing out the latent goodness of the soul, helping it manifest its destiny.
To bring out this best within, the best way is practicing the process of bhakti-yoga, which brings us in contact with all-pure God, Krishna. Just as the rising of the sun removes darkness, the rising of Krishna in our consciousness through our cultivation of his loving remembrance dissipates the impurities within.
To help bhakti-yoga act efficaciously, we can create, as much as possible, a devotional environment around us to ward off the contemporary culture’s materialism. And we can strive to invoke Krishna’s presence within our consciousness through diligent bhakti-yoga practice.
By such conscientious outer and inner home keeping, we all can bring out the best within.
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