Material adversity is a spur to transform spiritual opportunity into existential necessity

“See adversity as an opportunity” is an encouraging saying. But how can we apply it practically? By internalizing Gita wisdom .
The Bhagavad-gita explains that our present existence is two-dimensional: we are eternal spiritual beings existing in temporary material bodies. Presently, we seek at the material level the security and satisfaction and love that is found only at the spiritual level in Krishna.
When we practice bhakti-yoga, we get glimpses of sublime peace and bliss. Still, because our material attachments frequently define our default behavior, we keep turning away from Krishna towards worldly objects in our quest for pleasure. For correcting such default behavior, material adversities can serve as powerful, even if painful, impetuses.
The Bhagavad-gita demonstrates such redirection. At its start, Arjuna faces an adversity that triggers an existential crisis. Confronting the prospect of a fratricidal war, he finds his mind reeling, his intelligence deserting him and his bow slipping from his hand. He sees inauspiciousness all round him (01.30). To regain his composure, he seeks urgently and desperately spiritual wisdom.  And thus is spoken the Gita, which guides him towards Krishna’s supreme shelter.
Similarly, when material upheavals make us feel that we just can’t cope with things – that there is no point to existence even – Gita wisdom helps us understand that the problem is not existence, but material existence – and the solution is to raise our consciousness to the spiritual level. Therein, when we relish the supreme solace of absorption in Krishna, we feel inspired to wholeheartedly tap the spiritual opportunities to practice bhakti wholeheartedly, opportunities that we had neglected for so long. With our composure restored by spiritual absorption, we can deal with the material adversity more maturely.
Additionally, when we realize the sublime calm and clarity coming from Krishna’s shelter, we get the conviction to never let go of that divine shelter. Thus, the material adversity has impelled us to tap wholeheartedly the ever-present opportunity to relish Krishna’s supreme shelter.

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Seek not the mirage of sensual titillation – seek the ocean of spiritual satisfaction
We have to fall asleep, but we don’t have to fall for sleep

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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  1. Material adversity leads to spiritual necessity

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