Bhakti is not another to-do – it is another way to do
Amidst our overscheduled and overworked lives, practicing bhakti may seem like another to-do that adds to our burden.
However, devotion is not another to-do. Why? Because it is not just a matter of external action; it is essentially a matter of inner redirection. It centers on reconceptualizing our identity and purpose.
Bhakti wisdom explains that we are souls who are parts of the whole, the all-attractive supreme Krishna. Our life is meant for establishing a loving connection with him and for making, in a mood of service to him, devotional contribution according to our abilities and resources. This mood of service brings inner stability amidst outer uncertainties.
Normally, we conceive of ourselves as controllers. Consequently, when we can’t control things, we get agitated. But if we understand that we are servants of Krishna, then, for his service, we may try to control and get things done. But even if we can’t, we can still stay fixed and secure in our spiritual identity: “I accept Krishna’s will and move on to my next service to him – if he wills, things will get done. Let me be diligent in doing what is in my control and be dependent on him for what is beyond my control.” This steady self-understanding decreases our vulnerability to external disturbances and increases our capacity to respond effectively.
The Bhagavad-gita (02.50) states that yoga is the art of doing work expertly. What is that expert way? Of working by being situated in our spiritual identity and purpose, being thus able to face life’s dualities with equanimity.
Therefore, rather than thinking of devotion of another to-do that burdens us, we can see it as another way to do – a way that unburdens us from being the controller and empowers us to contribute resiliently in a mood of service.
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