Is spiritual shopping taking the place of spiritual seeking?
Ours is an age of obsessive individualism. Everyone wants to do their own thing. This holds true all the more for spirituality, wherein people frequently act as spiritual shoppers. They examine the wares in the market of spirituality and grab whatever catches their fancy.
Such spiritual shopping may be good for those who are just beginning to explore the spiritual dimension of life. However, spiritual life is ultimately not about finding the best product in the market, but about developing a relationship with the best person – Krishna.
And relationships require consistent commitment, not fickle flirting. We need to go beyond the shopping phase to the seeking phase, when we stop fishing around and start focusing on raising our consciousness from the material level to the spiritual level.
The Bhagavad-gita (10.15) urges us to take this critical and transformational step when Arjuna exemplifies the attitude that a serious seeker needs to emulate: “I accept everything that you say.” This doesn’t refer to a blind sentimental accepting, but a wise rational choosing, just as a patient chooses to follow a treatment after analyzing the diagnosis given by a doctor. Just as a patient can’t expect to understand everything about the disease and the treatment – certainly not as much as the doctor, we too can’t expect all the answers on day one of our spiritual quest. Arjuna humbly acknowledges this reality when he states in the same verse that even the gods can’t understand Krishna fully. But Gita wisdom does answer our basic questions, just as a doctor answers the patient’s basic questions. Physical healing can happen only when the patient takes this step forward. Similarly, spiritual healing can happen for all of us only when we choose to commit ourselves to Krishna – and choose to stay committed consistently.
“O Kṛishna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.”