Rise from defiance through reliance to transcendence
Our journey towards Krishna progresses through three stages:
Defiance: We start of imagining that we don’t need Krishna, that we can do fine without him. We mistakenly assume that defying him proves our self-worth. Of course, many of us may not consciously think about defying Krishna – we may just not think about him at all. But whatever way it works out, we end up neglecting or rejecting Krishna and the help that he can offer us in our life.
Reliance: Over a period of time, life in the real world – the school of hard knocks – teaches us a much-needed hard-learnt lesson: we need Krishna. While we turn to him for help, miracles may or may not happen in our life externally. But when seek his shelter, we find miracles happening internally – we find ourselves growing up emotionally. No longer do we find ourselves at the mercy of our moods, buffeted around by whatever feels good at the moment. No longer do we feel lost and lonely for we find that in the times of our greatest need Krishna manifests his presence and grace in our heart, giving us an inner strength that we never thought we had. Such experiences inspire us to bank on Krishna, to rely on him for wisdom and strength always – no matter what life hands out.
Transcendence: When we practice devotional service steadily and sincerely, we not only feel Krishna’s help descending on us while we battle our way through life at the material level. We also feel his hand raising us above the dangerous ocean of material existence, as he promises in the Bhagavad-gita (12.07). We gain conviction of our own spiritual identity as souls whose real life transcends matter. That conviction propels us to life’s ultimate destination: an eternal life of love with Krishna in his supreme abode.
“But those who worship Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pṛtha — for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.”