Invest emotion to relish transformation
We live where our heart lives. When our heart lives in material things, we live in the material world. When our heart lives in Krishna, in his loving service, we live with him.
The process of bhakti-yoga redirects our heart to Krishna by giving us Krishna-experiences. Bhakti involves engaging in external service to Krishna while also cultivating an internal mood of devotion towards him. By this external-internal connection with Krishna, we gain experiences of his presence and power, his glory and beauty, his love and grace. These experiences turn out to be so relishable, so far beyond anything we have ever experienced in the material world, that we feel inspired to seek them repeatedly. By seeking Krishna-experiences, we seek Krishna. Over time, this devotional longing displaces and replaces the material cravings that keep us bound in material existence.
This redirection of our heart hinges on our experience of Krishna. And experience happens only when the experiencer is present; without the experiencer, whatever happens is just an event, an occurrence in material space and time, a motion that involves no emotion and brings no transformation. That’s why the Bhagavad-gita (10.10) underscores that we need to serve Krishna with affection (bhajatam priti-purvakam); this alone makes us receptive to his gentle experiential guidance, guidance that redirects our heart towards him.
What can we do if we feel no devotion for Krishna? We can still invest whatever little affection we have for him in our service to him. By that baby step, we show him that we do want to love him. And he reciprocates with our intention by giving us more devotion. When we invest that increased devotion in our service to him, he rewards us with still more devotion, thereby stimulating a rich reciprocal cycle that ultimately transports us to his world of eternal love.
“To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”