Devotion is not just about bringing God into our life; it is also about letting God bring us into his life
Most people nowadays are functionally nontheistic; they may not be explicitly atheistic, but they live as if God doesn’t matter.
We start bringing God into our life when we seek something that we can’t get on our own. Based on whatever little understanding of God we have, we think that maybe he can provide us what we desire and, by extension, prevent what we fear. Accordingly, we start worshiping him and giving him a place of respect in our life. The Bhagavad-gita (07.16) appreciates as virtuous those who thus bring God into their lives, thereby creating a basis for their spiritual growth.
Significantly, the Gita stimulates our further spiritual growth by expanding our understanding of both ourselves and God.
Understanding of self: The Gita explains that we are at our core indestructible souls. We long for life and love eternal because we belong to another world, the spiritual world, where we can relish lasting life and lasting love. With this understanding, we see our present life not as our ultimate life but as preparation for our ultimate life.
Understanding of God: The Gita explains that God is not just the fulfiller of desires, but also the fulfillment of desires. Indeed, everything attractive here manifests a spark of his supreme attractiveness (10.41). He is an all-attractive, all-loving person who delights eternally in ecstatic loving reciprocations with his devotees in the spiritual world. Wanting us to join him in that world, he descends to this world and demonstrates his amazing activities, thereby drawing our heart to him (04.09).
When we thus understand how attractive he is and when we direct our love toward him by practicing bhakti-yoga, we let him bring us into his life for eternal ecstasy.
Think it over:
- When do we bring God into our life?
- How does the Gita expand our understandings of both ourselves and God?
- How can we let God bring us into his life?
04.09 One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
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