The appreciation we get for our service is not as consequential as the absorption we get in our service
Whenever we do anything, we usually have various levels of motivation for doing that thing. And depending on how deep or substantial our motivation is, we persevere in that activity when we face obstacles.
The same principle applies in our practice of bhakti too. We often want a sense of acceptance and respect in our community. And if that community is pious or spiritual, the kind of services we do therein determines our stature. So, we may do services to gain appreciation.
Such appreciation isn’t always a craving of the ego, it can also be a basic human need for reciprocation, wherein we do something for someone and naturally expect them to speak a few words recognizing what we have done.
Still, because of the unpredictable nature of the world, sometimes our service may not produce results noteworthy enough to be appreciated. Or even if we do something worth appreciating, others may not appreciate us because they may be going through their own moods and issues.
That’s why if appreciation from others remains our sole motive for doing service, our bhakti practice will soon become erratic and sporadic. To develop a steadier and deeper motivation, we need to understand that our ultimate purpose in practicing bhakti is to connect with Krishna. And that connection comes in the most enriching and fulfilling way through absorption in him. Indeed, if our mind and intelligence are absorbed in him, then we will attain him at the end of our lives (08.07). Not only that, we are already living in him (12.08), and our elevation to his abode is just a matter of time.
If we get absorption in a service, that is itself a great treasure worth cherishing and relishing, because such absorption will keep us with Krishna, now and forever.
Think it over:
- What is the problem with seeking appreciation for our service?
- What is the glory of absorption in Krishna?
- Think of a service in which you can absorb yourself.
12.08 Just ﬁx your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.
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