Don’t take shelter of the intelligence – take shelter of Krishna with the intelligence
Our intelligence is vital for our spiritual growth – it helps us to reject illusion and choose reality.
Aptly, the Bhagavad-gita (02.49) begins by asking us to take shelter of the intelligence. At this stage in its thought-flow, the Gita focuses on differentiating between the body and the soul, thereby guiding us to rise from self-centered material action to selfless spiritual action. As such differentiation requires a sharp intelligence, the Gita urges us to take shelter of the intelligence.
However, mere discerning of matter and spirit is not the perfection of the intelligence – its perfection is to focus on the highest spiritual reality, Krishna, who is the source of all happiness. Accordingly, towards its end, the Gita (18.57) urges us to take shelter of the intelligence for becoming conscious of Krishna. The best way to become thus conscious is with the heart, not the head. Because love can focus our consciousness far more easily, quickly and effectively than reason. Still, as long as our devotion to Krishna has not become strong enough, reason is a valuable, even indispensable, intermediary shelter. Whenever we feel agitated by temptation or tribulation, we can reason our way ahead, basing our reasoning on scripture and directing it according to conscience.
But here we may succumb to the temptation of making the intelligence the object of our devotion. If we treat the intelligence as the highest good and insist that everything be comprehensible through the prism of reason, we cannot properly appreciate the one who is greater than the intelligence, being its source. Therefore, the Gita (18.66) concludes by asking us to give up all other conceptions and just take surrender to Krishna.
By thus using our intelligence progressively according to Gita wisdom, we can relish the shelter of the shelter of the intelligence.
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