Devotion is not a possession, but a person
Cellphone, laptop, car – we try to possess many such things in life.
With this possession-seeking mentality, when we come to know about spiritual life, we see devotion, which is the supreme achievement in spiritual life, as one more possession to be obtained.
However, devotion is not a possession, but a person. The Bhagavad-gita (09.13) indicates that the great souls take shelter of the divine nature (daivi prakrti) of Krishna. Gita wisdom explains that this nature is actually God manifesting in female form as God’s eternal consort, Srimati Radharani. She is devotion personified – she is the supreme devotee and is the source of the devotion present in everyone else. Whenever we relish genuine devotion in our heart, that feeling is neither a chance occurrence nor a chosen emotion – it is Radharani’s grace manifesting in our heart. Of course, we may experience spikes of devotion occasionally, but genuine devotion is profoundly transformational – it makes us long for Krishna more and more, and it burns away our longing for the temporary things of this world.
Thus, bhakti is not a thing to be acquired, but a being whose blessings manifest as the feelings of attraction for Krishna in our heart. This understanding changes our basic disposition in our practice of spiritual life – we no longer think of spiritual progress as a record to be broken, as a puzzle to be cracked, as an achievement to be sought. We see spiritual growth as an evolving relationship that centers not so much on what we do, but why we do it. It involves choosing to love Krishna and expressing that choice by acting in ways that will please him.
When we cultivate this Krishna-centered disposition, devotion grants us a fulfillment far greater than that attainable through the world’s best possession.
“O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.”