Go beyond the shelter of the intelligence to the shelter of Krishna with your intelligence
Intelligence is vital for our spiritual growth. The Gita’s flow reveals how the role of the intelligence evolves with the evolution of our spiritual understanding.
Initially (02.49), the Gita asks us to take shelter of the intelligence. At this point, it hasn’t yet revealed the ultimate object of devotion; its focus is on differentiating between matter and spirit, and by extension differentiating between actions for gratifying the body and actions for realizing the soul. As discerning such differences requires intelligence, the Gita recommends that we take shelter of the intelligence.
Just before its conclusion (18.57), the Gita urges us to take shelter of buddhi-yoga, the intelligence that nourishes spiritual connection, and to thereby become conscious of Krishna. This verse conveys the summit of the Gita’s revelation – it goes beyond generic spiritual reality to the supreme spiritual reality: the all-attractive, all-loving supreme person, Krishna.
For becoming conscious of Krishna, far more potent than the logical analysis of the intelligence is the spontaneous love of the heart. Why? Because love can propel our consciousness far more easily, quickly and effectively than logic.
What if we can’t avail of the force of love because our devotion to Krishna is not yet mature? Then, logical analysis can serve as a valuable, even indispensable, intermediary shelter. Whenever we feel agitated by temptation, we can use our scripturally-guided intelligence to understand that Krishna is the source of all happiness – whatever happiness we may get through anything else, we can get all that and more through him (10.41). With this intellectual understanding, we can determinedly take shelter of him and practice bhakti-yoga.
Gradually, as our heart becomes purified and increasingly attracted to Krishna, we no longer need intellectual analysis to take his shelter – we become spontaneously, constantly, joyously absorbed in him.
Think it over:
- Why does the Gita initially ask us to take shelter of the intelligence?
- How can the intelligence help us to take shelter of Krishna?
- How does our connection with Krishna rise from intellectual to trans-intellectual?
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