Use the intelligence in Krishna’s service, not Krishna in the intelligence’s service
We often delight in intellectual stimulation, as recreations like chess, crossword puzzles and other cerebral teasers demonstrate. These recreations are especially appealing if we are influenced by the mode of goodness, the subtle force of nature that predisposes us towards contemplation and introspection.
When we come across Gita wisdom, our intellectual stimulation can rise to unprecedented heights, for now we get to reflect on the loftiest truths in all of existence. And the Gita encourages, even appreciates, such reflection, as its many thoughtful question-answer sections testify.
Intellectual reflection serves as a launching pad to catapult us to the spiritual level, where we relish loving reciprocations with Krishna. After all, we are not our brains or our intelligence; we are souls. Additionally, our intellectual reflection can also help us to convey to others the truth of Krishna’s words, thereby inspiring them to similarly catapult themselves. Thus, we are meant to use our intelligence in Krishna’s service.
However, if we are not vigilant, we may end up using Krishna in our intelligence’s service. This means that while processing Gita wisdom with our intelligence, we may get tempted and trapped by the intellectual level of reality. Instead of rising to the spiritual level of reality and relishing the loving remembrance of Krishna, we delight in accumulating more and more knowledge, exhibiting that knowledge to others and feeling gratified by the ensuing praise. This pleasure in the advancement of knowledge is in fact the shackle by which the mode of goodness binds us to material existence, as the Bhagavad-gita (14.06) cautions.
By being vigilant to delight in the remembrance of Krishna that our intellectual reflection brings and not the worldly praise that it earns, we can stay on track in our march back to Krishna.
“O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge.”