Consciousness of Krishna is not just passive contemplation – it is also active dedication
Some people fear, “If I become conscious of Krishna, as the Bhagavad-gita recommends, won’t I become passive, just longing for some otherworldly reality, doing nothing practical?”
No, the Bhagavad-gita’s setting and substance both convey that spirituality fosters activity, not passivity. In its setting on the Kurukshetra battlefield, the Gita galvanizes Arjuna. Though he was considering a passive life of world rejection, after hearing the Gita, he embraces an active life of service as a martial guardian of society.
In its substance, the Gita (18.58) states that those who become conscious of Krishna will overcome all obstacles by divine grace. And the endeavor for cultivating Krishna consciousness centers on not passivity, but activity. This is seen in how Arjuna internalized such consciousness : he surrenders to Krishna’s will (18.73) and raises his bow in readiness to act (18.73).
More specifically, how Arjuna should become Krishna conscious is stated in the Gita itself. It (11.33) declares that the opponents’ defeat has already been divinely ordained; therefore, Arjuna should simply become an instrument of Krishna’s will.
This principle of harmonizing with the divine will applies to us too. We all are meant to work, according to our situations, in a mood of devotional service. Thus do we, as parts, do our parts in service of the Whole.
Of course, bhakti-yoga involves devotional contemplation that can seem passive. But through such contemplation, we connect more with Krishna and gain deeper realization of his greatness and sweetness. The resulting sublime taste purifies us of the lower desires that contaminate our intentions and misdirect our actions. With our selfish desires purged out, we get the dedication necessary to persevere through the world’s inevitable obstacles, thereby improving our contributions.
Thus, the passive-seeming contemplation invigorates the life of active dedication – and both comprise Krishna consciousness.
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