Knowledge of Krishna’s position stimulates submission and his disposition stimulates affection
Some neophyte devotees ask, “In bhakti-yoga, why do we need to study scripture and gain knowledge? Isn’t simply loving Krishna enough?”
Yes, it is. But can we love Krishna steadily throughout our life? We may feel some devotion for him sometimes, but such sporadic feelings won’t take us very far on the devotional path. Why? Because when those devotional feelings weaken, worldly feelings coming from our material attachments will impel us to take detours or even U-turns.
To succeed on the devotional path, we need to keep serving Krishna, even when we don’t feel devotionally disposed. For such perseverance, scriptural knowledge of Krishna is invaluable.
Scripture contains encyclopedic knowledge, but, as the Bhagavad-gita (15.15) declares, the ultimate purpose of it all is to know Krishna. Scripture reveals two divine attributes vital for steadying our devotion: his supreme position and his benevolent disposition. Let’s understand with an example.
When a cricket fan comes to know that a visitor is actually a champion cricketer, the fan feels inspired to serve that champion. Similarly, when we understand that the person we are serving is the Supreme Being, that understanding inspires submission.
When the fan finds that the champion is courteous and caring, the fan’s affection increases manifold. Similarly, when we understand that Krishna loves us and strives for our good, that understanding kindles affection.
Thus, knowledge of Krishna’s position and disposition helps us counter non-devotional feelings and stay fixed in devotional service. The resulting sustained contact with the all-pure Krishna purifies our heart and strengthens our devotion. When scriptural knowledge thus reinforces our determination, we march steadily towards spiritual perfection: pure devotion.
That’s why Gita wisdom affirms that knowledge of Krishna stimulates devotion. The Bhagavad-gita (15.19) declares that those who know Krishna to be the Supreme Person become wholeheartedly devoted to him.
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