Learning by doubting is like driving by braking

Suppose we are learning to drive a car and suddenly find it veering off course. We will promptly brake and avert any danger. But if that one near-accident makes us paranoid and we refuse to take our foot off the brake, we will never get anywhere.

When we start exploring life’s spiritual side, we embark on a journey towards higher consciousness by following some spiritual path. During our fledgling spiritual explorations, we may find that we ourselves have gone on a wrong path – instead of becoming purified and elevated, we are being manipulated and exploited. Sensing this, we may immediately brake, giving up that path. But if we let that bad experience paralyze us, we become like the driver who refuses to take the foot off the brake.

By doubting, we may be protected from the wrong track, but we can never go on the right track. For that, we need to take our foot off the brake – we need to stop doubting and start exploring. We can evaluate whether a path offers a reasonable understanding of life and its purpose. And we can experiment to see if it transforms us internally, offering us some higher insights. The Bhagavad-gita opens itself to such scrutiny (18.63) and assures that diligent practitioners will gain experiential realization (09.02). Simultaneously, it disapproves perpetual doubting (04.40), cautioning that doubting souls find happiness neither in this world, nor the next.

Encouraging us to shed our doubts and become intrepid spiritual explorers, the Gita offers us a philosophical map of our inner territory. And the living Gita tradition connects us with contemporary practitioners who having traversed that territory can address our doubts empathically.

By studying the Gita and applying it with other Gita practitioners, we too can press on in our explorations and attain immortal spiritual fulfillment.

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  1. Your gita wisdom articles are a precious gift to the entire Vaishnava society and indeed the whole world prabhuji. I am thinking that Srila Prabhupada’s gita is called Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Yours could be named Bhagavad Gita – more swallowable and easily digestible than as it is.

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