Bhakti is not inaction – it is action with the deepest sense of purpose

Sometimes people think that practicing spirituality means giving up all action. While some forms of spirituality do recommend inaction as a means for minimizing one’s karmic entanglement, inaction alone is not the means to liberation and it certainly isn’t the best means to liberation.

The Bhagavad-gita (03.04) unambiguously states that inaction alone doesn’t ensure freedom from karmic culpability, nor does renunciation alone guarantee liberation. At the Gita’s start, Arjuna considered giving up action. But after hearing the Gita, he acquired a deeper self-understanding and resolved to act as an instrument of the divine.

The Gita takes our self-conception to the very core of our being: beyond the body and the mind to the soul, and further still to the soul’s eternal connection with the Whole, Krishna, whose parts we are eternally. Gita wisdom explains that love is the deepest motivation we can have for our actions. And such love attains its purest and strongest manifestation when it emerges from our core self and rises towards Krishna, the source of our self.

Such spiritual love is not world-rejecting; it is world-encompassing, acknowledging that the world’s resources come from Krishna and are meant for his service. Bhakti-yoga helps us see the world not so much as an arena of entanglement as an arena of engagement. It is a place where we can, by using our God-given talents for God’s service, proclaim his glory in the here-and-now.

With this vision, we feel inspired to act with a purpose that goes far deeper than mere provision or prosperity or prestige. The inspiration to contribute devotionally helps us both in this world and beyond it: it brings out our best into this world, and it raises our consciousness beyond this world to the highest fulfillment of pure spiritual love for Krishna.

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  1. Bhakti is the action of mind that catapults the body into action

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