Devotion kindles an inner drive that is beyond jeers and cheers
Our drives determine our destiny. Gita wisdom reveals our ultimate destiny: eternal, ecstatic love for Krishna. For realizing this destiny, we need to have a strong drive to practice devotional service.
To sustain this drive, we need to transcend the world’s opinions. Why? Because they originate in a fallible conception of life that rarely accords Krishna significance or even existence. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (12.18) asserts that serious devotees transcend the world’s jeers and cheers (manaapamanayoh). Let’s see how they transcend the world’s views:
Jeers: The world may scorn devotees, but they march on undaunted. They know that these jeers are simply ways by which Krishna is exhausting their past negative karmic reactions so that they can attain him faster. Of course, devotees are humble and alert enough to check and correct themselves if they are alienating anyone unnecessarily. But they don’t let the fear of alienating others impede them in their necessary devotional practices.
Cheers: The world may sometimes cheer devotees, especially when they achieve something materially significant. Devotees know that these material achievements are important to the extent they contribute to their devotional aspirations. Otherwise, they see these achievements as mere fringe benefits on the path of devotion. So they don’t let the cheers of the world distract them from their central goal of reviving their love for Krishna.
We can take inspiration from the consciousness and commitment of such serious devotees, thereby learning to transcend the world’s jeers and cheers for Krishna’s sake. The more we let our drive center singularly on Krishna, the more he enriches our heart by revealing his presence and love there. That epiphany is life’s ultimate fulfillment.
“One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisﬁed with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is ﬁxed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service – such a person is very dear to Me.”