Integration inspires integrity
To live with integrity means to commit to live according to certain principles and thereafter conscientiously live accordingly.
Integrity is best inspired by integration. For example, when a family is well-integrated, that is, when family members have good relationships with each other, they feel inspired to act for making their loved ones happy and to avoid things that will hurt their loved ones. In contrast, if a family is fragmented, then members of that family won’t hesitate much to do things that may hurt other family members if those things promise them pleasure. Kids who are estranged from their parents may get into drugs and spouses who are not well-bonded with each other may indulge in infidelity.
While any committed relationship can inspire integrity, a committed devotional relationship inspires integrity most powerfully. Devotional relationship rests on the understanding that we are souls, who are parts of the Whole, the all-attractive Absolute Truth, Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) indicates that when we become disintegrated from Krishna, that is, when we forget, neglect or reject our eternal spiritual connection with him, we come under the sway of our senses. They drag us towards various alluring objects and sentence us to struggle and suffering as we cast aside ethics in our pursuit of pleasure and end up reaping the grievous consequences.
In contrast, when we practice bhakti-yoga and become integrated with Krishna through a bond of loving devotion, we get, by his grace, higher wisdom and taste. Higher wisdom empowers us to see through the façade of short-term pleasures, and higher taste enables us to relish the supreme joy of devotion. We realize that living with moral and spiritual integrity helps us relish the highest happiness.
When we thus joyfully absorb ourselves in Krishna, that devotional integration inspires us to choose integrity naturally as the pathway to our enduring spiritual fulfillment.
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