Inner calm activates the intercom to God
We often use intercom to connect with people with whom we cannot talk directly. The process of bhakti-yoga acts like a spiritual intercom to connect with the supreme spiritual person, God. Bhakti invokes the presence of Krishna in our heart and enables us to relish his sweetness, thereby granting us an engaging higher taste that draws our attention away from the lower tastes of worldly pleasures.
However, just as a noisy environment can interfere with good communication through an intercom, a noisy inner environment interferes with our connection with God even when we use the intercom of bhakti.
No doubt, we can still chant and study and pray even when our inner territory is abuzz with the noises such as desires and worries. But these noises distract us and make us unreceptive to Krishna, thereby making our bhakti practice mechanical and devoid of enlivening spiritual experience. The inner noise can be be conscious wherein we can identify the desires or anxieties or subconscious wherein we can’t sense what it is that is bothering us. But whatever be the nature of the inner noise, it is the cause of the fluctuations in our experience of taste in bhakti practice.
These inner noises originate from both our inner impressions of past materialistic indulgences as well as the rampant materialism in today’s mainstream culture. And they can for all practical purposes cut off our communication with God.
Significantly however, bhakti practice itself can curb the noises in the inner territory, provided we continue practicing it even when we don’t get any taste. The Bhagavad-gita (18.62) urges us to surrender wholeheartedly to the indwelling Lord, with the assurance that it will grant us lasting peace. Thus, by bhakti practice, we will get inner calm, thereby becoming able to hear the voice of Krishna and relishing his presence.
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