Krishna is attained not by playing with the intellect but by striving with the will

Many people, especially intellectuals, use knowledge, even scriptural knowledge, as a play-toy for their intellect. Playing with the intellect involves memorizing, analyzing, synthesizing and verbalizing information. Often, such intellectual play is motivated by the vain (pun intended) desire to exhibit one’s learning for the purpose of impressing others and thereby converting them to one’s point of view. Such an intellectual performance based on scriptural knowledge may be dazzling for others, but it will be self-defeating if it inflames the very desire that scriptural knowledge is meant to extinguish: the desire to be an independent center of attraction as a competitor to Krishna.

The Bhagavad-gita (3.32) insightfully points out that even the knowledgeable fail to attain Krishna if their desires are misdirected towards imitating him instead of assisting him.

The purpose of acquiring knowledge about Krishna is to increase our attraction for him, not our competition with him. We become attracted to Krishnanot merely by acquiring scriptural knowledge, but by applying that knowledge. Only when we apply the scriptural teachings can we transform our desires from selfishness to selflessness, from I-centeredness to Krishna-centeredness, from decoration of our ego to glorification of our Lord. To thus transform our desires, enormous exertion of our will is absolutely essential. We need to repeatedly and rigorously beat down the selfish desires and to prop up the selfless desires.

If we are game for this exertion of the will, we can attain a reward that is unattainable by the most brilliant intellectual game-play: the reward of love for Krishna that alone brings everlasting happiness.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 03 Text 32

“But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not follow them regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and ruined in their endeavors for perfection.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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