Balance the here and the hereafter through bhakti-yoga

Gita wisdom declares the world we live in, the here, to be a place of ephemerality and misery. So, it deems the spiritual world, the hereafter, the destination that the intelligent aspire for. At the same time, the Bhagavad-gita’s central message is a call for connection, not rejection: the connection of the here with the hereafter, not the rejection of the here for the hereafter.

If we care only for the here, we become attached to the here and blinded to the hereafter. If we care only for the hereafter, we become apathetic and irresponsible about the here.

How do we achieve the dynamic balance between the here and the hereafter? Through bhakti-yoga which sees both the here and the hereafter as arenas in Krishna’s supreme jurisdication.

The Gita points to this devotional balance when it (08.07) exhorts Arjuna to cultivate remembrance of Krishna and perform his prescribed duty of fighting. Generalizing this exhortation helps us arrive at the universal balancing principle: aspire wholeheartedly for the hereafter and act responsibly in the here.

By keeping in mind the eternality and the beauty of the hereafter, we can avoid infatuation with the fleeting pleasures and the deluding promises of the here. By keeping in mind the role of the here as the arena that shapes us for attaining the hereafter, we can face the challenges of the here with wisdom and determination.

This dynamic balance enables us to make effective contributions in the here and attain the best possible destination in the hereafter.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 08 Text 07

“Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent interpretation.

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