Doing what we don’t feel like doing is not necessarily being superficial

Some people say, “Why should I practice bhakti when I don’t feel like doing it? I don’t want to be superficial. I won’t do it for show.”

Yes, it’s sadly true that some people do religious activities just for show, as in the case of VIPs treating visits to temples as photo-ops. But not doing something just because we don’t feel like doing – does that automatically make us the opposite of superficial, namely substantial?

A thing becomes substantial when it matters to the substance of our being. When we start practicing bhakti for connecting with Krishna, that is the most substantial activity we can ever do. Because Krishna is the ultimate substance, the foundational reality, and we at our core substance are souls who are his eternal parts.

Even if we don’t feel like practicing bhakti and if we keep practicing it, then we are doing the opposite of being superficial – we are going deep to the very substance of our being, our soul, which has an innate longing for Krishna, a longing that is presently covered by the impurities present in the mind, which is actually superficial to us as souls.

The Bhagavad-gita (14.22) states that those deeply fixed in their spiritual identity see the moody emotions that come and go in their mind as superficial. Instead of being swayed by those superficial emotions, they subject those emotions to a two-pronged attack: internally by their intention to adhere to the process that helps them realize their spiritual identity and externally by their engagement in time-honored bhakti-yoga practices that foster spiritual realization.

Thus, we go beyond superficiality not by rejecting external action because we don’t feel like doing it, but by rejecting inner emotion when it doesn’t harmonize with what we truly aspire for.

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1 Comment

  1. Life changing advice. In current times when its fashinable to say “i will do what i like” and ” you can do what whatever you like” we are essentially giving up the sense of direction to fleeting emotions if MIND. Krishna is saying rise above fluctuating feelings of the mind(like waves of an ocean) and persist long term goals like Bhakthi.

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