Don’t blame gravity for the sinking of the boat
“I succumbed to immoral indulgences because my material desires were too strong.” Sometimes we may thus rationalize our fall from principles of spiritual integrity. This justification is fallacious, like blaming gravity for the sinking of a boat.
When we start practicing devotional service, we metaphorically board a boat for going to Krishna’s eternal abode. Just as gravity is ubiquitous, so are material desires. Just as physical boats are designed to float in spite of gravity, so the boat of devotional service is designed to float in spite of the gravity force of material desires.
Some of us may have deep-rooted material conditionings; so, we may feel strongly dragged down by material desires. But the Bhagavad-gita (04.36) assures that, whatever be our past conditionings, the boat of spiritual knowledge can take us across the ocean of material existence.
A normal boat may sink because of either the boatperson’s mistakes or factors beyond human control like stormy waves. When we board the special boat of devotional service, Krishna can take care of all factors beyond our control. But we alone have to protect ourselves from our mistakes. If we fall from our principles, the cause is not the gravity force of material desires but our own carelessness. Fortunately, the boat of devotional service is transcendental and indestructible; we can always re-board it and re-commence our spiritual journey.
When we understand these philosophical truths, we will no longer resort to fallacious rationalizations. Instead, we will become confident and cautious: confident about the capability of the boat and the competence of Krishna’s protection; and cautious about avoiding our own errors. This combination of confidence and caution will take us safely to Krishna.
“Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.”