Decrease the perception of effort and increase the anticipation of reward by intellectual conviction

When we practice spiritual life, our mind holds us back by making us feel that the effort is too much and the reward too little.

To counter the mind, the Bhagavad-gita (06.25) urges us to deploy the force of intellectual conviction. Such conviction decreases the perception of effort and increases the anticipation of reward.

Scriptural study reveals the glory, beauty and mercy of Krishna – and the never-ending thrills of remembering and serving him. 

Perception of effort: As long as we believe that worldly things are founts of joy, turning away from them towards Krishna will seem too demanding and exhausting because our energy will be internally sucked by our misbelief. We can counter the misbelief by studying scripture seriously, thereby understanding that all worldly pleasures end inevitably in misery. The material level of reality is doomed to disaster and destruction. Once we understand that the Titanic of this world is sinking, we won’t begrudge the effort needed to get out – we will see it not as deprivation but as protection.

Anticipation of reward: Scriptural study reveals the glory, beauty and mercy of Krishna – and the never-ending thrills of remembering and serving him. By remembering that those thrills await us, we can kindle our spiritual anticipation. We have occasionally glimpsed the peace and bliss of absorption in Krishna. By regularly revisiting those experiences, we can add the fuel of personal realization to further kindle that anticipation. Deep spiritual experiences may be presently rare, but we can see their infrequency not as an enthusiasm-dampener but as an anticipation-heightener. After all, scripture assures us that those experiences will become increasingly regular if we persevere in bhakti.

Steady bhakti practice will not only drive away the impurities that distract us from Krishna but also increase our attraction for him, thereby making absorption in him easier and sweeter.

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