Love is a prize far bigger than the palliative of peace

Some spiritual aspirants ask: “I had thought of spirituality as a state of peaceful withdrawal from the world while seated in a smart yogic posture. But the path of bhakti involves various practical services that don’t seem peaceful. Are these actually spiritual?”

Yes declares Gita wisdom. It reminds us that our innermost need is not peace but love. We act in the world because we hope to express and experience love. However, when the world’s temporariness and uncertainness thwarts our hopes for love, we seek spirituality to apply the balm of peace to our hurt heart.

Thus love is our heart’s cherished prize. When this prize seems out of reach, we try to settle for the consolation prize of peace.

But the cherished prize of love is not beyond us, Gita wisdom assures. It begins by confirming our realization that the quest for love in the world is destined for frustration sooner or later. Next it expands this realization by pointing out that beyond the world is an object that can fully and eternally satisfy our heart: Krishna. We can awaken our love for him not by rejecting the world, but by engaging the world in his service. Worldly events are not irritating distractions but are adventurous opportunities to express our love for him dynamically.

To offer us models for this dynamic spirituality, the Bhagavad-gita (09.14) describes the most evolved spiritualists in not peaceful but love-ful terms: they constantly glorify Krishna, they strive and struggle to serve him, and they take rigid vows to ensure that their service-offerings to him are tangible and substantial.

When we infuse our spirituality with such devotional dynamism, we become enriched with a love that far exceeds the palliative of peace.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 09 Text 14

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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