Absorption is a function of not just attraction but also determination

Sometimes during our devotional practices we may find our mind slipping away to other things that we are more attracted to and may wonder, “How can I stay absorbed in Krishna when I don’t have much attraction for him?”

Actually, absorption doesn’t come from attraction alone – it can come from determination too. Consider students preparing for an important exam. Rarely do they feel strongly attracted to their subject. Yet responsible students push themselves to study by the power of their determination.

Similarly, we too can as spiritual students in the bhakti-yoga university can bolster our determination to absorb ourselves in Krishna by using our intelligence. The Bhagavad-gita (06.25) urges us to slowly, step-by-step bring the mind under control by using a combination of intelligence and determination. When the mind slips away from Krishna or refuses to re-focus on him, we can use our intelligence to focus it on the consequentiality of bhakti practice: bhakti-yoga can rescue us from multiple lifetimes in miserable material existence and grant everlasting spiritual happiness.

Additionally, we have a big advantage over students of ordinary subject matters. Krishna is inherently attractive, in fact supremely all-attractive. And our heart is meant to be attracted to him, for we are his eternal parts. Just as an iron filing’s attraction to a magnet becomes re-manifest once the rust covering it is removed, similarly our attraction to Krishna will manifest as the impurities covering us are removed. And these impurities are most efficaciously removed by meditating on the all-pure Krishna. Thus the more we force ourselves to stay absorbed in Krishna, the less we will need to force ourselves; as we become purified our attraction for him will manifest and will power our absorption in him.

When our absorption comes from attraction, our devotion becomes increasingly, eternally joyful.

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Don’t obstruct bhakti with an intellectual filter – or with an anti-intellectual filter either
If we don’t recognize the mind, it will make us unrecognizable to ourselves
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