Krishna sees not just our feelings but also our feelings about our feelings

Krishna sees not just our feelings but also our feelings about our feelings

During our spiritual journey, we sometimes find ourselves assaulted by non-devotional feelings such as boredom or nonchalance or, worse still, by anti-devotional feelings such as gross sensual or even sinful desires.

Such feelings may make us discouraged. And that discouragement may become aggravated by the thought: “Krishna sees my feelings. So what is the use of continuing an external show of devotion?”

However, such thinking is a complete mis-assessment of Krishna’s benevolence. Yes, he certainly knows our undevotional feelings, but he focuses on our feelings about such undevotional feelings. That is, he notes whether we embrace those undevotional feelings or resist them.

If we misidentify those feelings as our feelings, we cede our consciousness to them.

The Bhagavad-gita recommends that when certain feelings come to us unsolicited (14.22), we take on the role of detached observers (14.23). This role helps us to see those feelings for what they are: intruders encroaching on the territory of our consciousness.

If we misidentify those feelings as our feelings, we cede our consciousness to them. Such abdication of our rights makes us the puppets of the intruders who make us act contrary to our devotional aspirations.

By instead seeing the unsolicited feelings with detachment, we resist their aggression – till in due course they depart, for our moods are, like all material things, temporary.

But such unemotional observation is arduous. So, the Gita (14.26) urges us to activate the power of our spiritual emotions by maintaining a steady devotional commitment. By remembering that Krishna is watching and waiting to help if we just show him our devotional intention even amidst such undevotional intrusions, we can pray to him and gird ourselves to resist the intruders. Krishna becomes pleased by our steady devotional intention and reciprocates by giving us higher taste. And as the resulting devotional sweetness spreads through our consciousness, undevotional feelings get quelled completely.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11 Text 53

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  1. Long time ago I was introduced to Krishna through the book ‘Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead by Srila Prabhupada.’ Somehow I got the book from somebody who got the book from a devotee but she didn’t really want to have it and gave it to me. I liked the pictures and I read some of the stories. Especially the stories of Krishna and the cows appealed to me. They loved Krishna so much that milk streamed from their udders when they saw Him. Although fascinated with these stories I considered them rather mythological. During that time I practiced silence meditation on the syllable OM, in an impersonal way and not knowing that OM was Krishna Himself. One night I was meditating silently, OM, OM, OM, and as usual I merged into the comfortable feeling of oneness with everything. But then, as struck by lightning, it suddenly all changed: OM turned against me and it was as if the whole universe wanted to swallow me up. The entire sky and earth and trees and everything inside and outside me seemed extremely angry with me. I had never experienced such a deep, fundamental fear and I could not see a way out. I felt miserably small and everything around me grew terrifying big and the universe was ready to devour me. At that peek moment of overwhelming fear there was a tiny beam of light, I don’t know where it came from but somehow it made me remember Krishna’s cows. In that brief moment of thinking of them I uttered: ‘milk cows.’ Then, as in an instant, all the anger of OM disappeared and suddenly everything was bathing in joy and in my mind I saw hundreds of cows with milk streaming from their udders forming rivers of milk. It was like a switch that turned everything from anger and fear into love and safety. It was that day that I got to know Krishna via His cows and what seemed a mere mythology became a vivid direct experience. Krishna definitely saw my feelings of oneness with Him but also my impersonal feelings about that. By Krishna’s unlimited mercy He corrected me by sending His cows to teach me.

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  2. Hare Krsna Prabhu ji,


    The point is wondefully explained! Your description of feelings is often very deep yet straight for one to relate with it easily. Thanks for such invaluable gems!


    Asit dasa

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  3. Hare Krishna Prabhu thank you for this reminder. these reminders are like torchlight which are required in this dark age where most of the time our minds are in the grip of intruders. That is why association of devotees is very important.Keep motivating us like this prabhu.

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  4. Hare Krishna Prabhuji

    Thank you very much for giving such a nice explanation on how to make the difference between devotional and non-devotional feelings. Developing a resistance against non-devotional ones definitely will keep the sincere devotee aloof from the aggressive temptations of maya and Lord Krishna surely rewards every effort made in that sense.
    Hari Bol
    Narottama das

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