Appreciating Krishna’s immanence integrates recollection and participation

The Bhagavad-gita’s directive (08.07) – always remember Krishna and do your prescribed duty – raises the question: “How can we do both simultaneously? If we are to do our duties responsibly, we need to focus on them. Does the Gita recommend living with a split consciousness – recollecting Krishna with half of our consciousness and participating in our work with the other half?”

No, not at all. That distracted functioning isn’t the Gita’s call is evident from the actions of its original student, Arjuna; after hearing the Gita, he executed his martial duty whole-heartedly – and did it in divine consciousness.

We too can infuse our work with such divine consciousness by making Krishna the purpose of our life and by realizing his proximity.

First and foremost, we need to daily invest some quality time, wholeheartedly absorbing ourselves in Krishna’s remembrance by connecting with his direct manifestations such as Deity, scripture and the holy name. By such absorption, we realize and relish his greatness and sweetness. Thus, our devotion becomes enhanced and our conviction to dedicate our life to him becomes reinforced. With this heightened devotional sensibility, we can increasingly sense Krishna’s immanence, thereby helping us realize that he is never far from us.

Pertinently, the Gita explains that Krishna is not just transcendent but is also immanent. The Gita’s tenth chapter illustrates Krishna’s immanence by listing some fifty opulent manifestations. The chapter concludes by declaring that everything attractive manifests a spark of Krishna’s attractiveness (10.41). This insight implies that while doing our duty, if something attracts our attention, we can redirect our attention from that object to its source. And that all-attractive source is present in our own hearts in his immanent manifestation as the Supersoul.

By thus cultivating devotional purposefulness and relishing divine immanence, we can both remember Krishna and do our duty diligently.

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Seek not to be enjoyers or achievers; seek to be cooperators
What needs to be done needs to be done well
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  1. Many many thanks prabhuji for providing this wonderful and very valuable insight. I had been struggling with exactly the same question past many days and reading your today’s post has been like intellectual eureka moment for me. Please accept my respectful obeisances and please bless me that I may be able to practically live this post day in and day out.

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    • Yes, the Gita can give all of us many intellectual eureka moments. Happy that I was an instrument for one.

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