Devotion is not just reverential deference to God’s greatness; it is also passionate advocacy of his sweetness
Some people think that to be devoted means to perpetually bow down to God, being awed by his greatness.
Yes, appreciating God’s greatness and submitting to him are definitely parts of devotion. We live as kings and gods in our own mental universes. Due to such megalomania, we don’t pay much respect to others and to God. Gita wisdom explains how God is much bigger than us and how we are his servants. By understanding God’s greatness, we learn to devotionally defer to him.
Simultaneously, Gita wisdom reveals God to be far sweeter than the supreme king who demands obeisance. He is the supremely loving and supremely lovable Lord. And we are his eternal parts (15.07), meant to delight eternally in his unending sweetness. Unfortunately, we forget his sweetness and look for it elsewhere, thereby succumbing to the pull of our mind and senses, which drag us here, there and everywhere in the search for pleasure.
Helping us redirect our heart, the Gita reveals Krishna’s love for us. Out of his eagerness that we re-connect with him, he reveals the most confidential knowledge (18.64), declares that he loves us most dearly (18.65) and assures us protection from all misfortunes when we surrender to him (18.66). Understanding this, we naturally feel inspired to share Krishna’s glories with others. And the Gita declares such devotees to be on the path of guaranteed liberation and to be most dear to Krishna. Thus, our devotion rises to passionate advocacy of Krishna’s glories, wherein devotees want everyone to relish those glories.
With this holistic understanding of devotion, our reverential deference for Krishna is subsumed within a passionate advocacy that animates our life and the lives of all those we contact while also animating our journey towards him.
Think it over:
- Why do we need to appreciate God’s greatness?
- How does the Gita help us redirect our heart?
- How does our devotion rise to passionate advocacy?
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