Set targets not so much to meet them as to meet Krishna through them

Few things are as empowering in casting off lethargy as setting targets – they infuse our work with urgency and intensity. Of course, there’s a danger: targets can become a consuming obsession.

Significantly, bhakti wisdom helps us see targets as tools to a higher end – the end of connecting purposefully and earnestly with Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (11.33) points to such a targeted approach when it urges Arjuna to arise and fight, thereby overpowering his opponents and winning a prosperous kingdom. And the Gita boosts this call for targeted action by giving Arjuna the vision that his opponents have already been destroyed by divine arrangement.

But even while practicing bhakti, if we let our focus shift too much or too long from Krishna to the target, we can get caught in target obsession. To protect our consciousness, bhakti wisdom reminds us that for Krishna, the most important offering is the offering of our consciousness. And this devotional focus of our consciousness can be enhanced when we set targets in our services. But if we misconceive that the offering comprises something external to ourselves and that that external offering is the primary or only offering, we won’t be able to stay peaceful and devotionally disposed when worldly upheavals threaten that offering, as they inevitably will given the world’s unending uncertainties.

Of course, as we want to serve Krishna in this world, we can and should try our best to make the external offering. But if we are unable to do so, our focus on Krishna will increase our fervent prayerfulness, thereby granting us the sublime shelter of deep absorption in him. And as compared to our outer meeting of targets, our inner meeting with Krishna while pursuing our outer targets will be far more elevating, fulfilling and liberating.

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  1. Very enlightening and helpful in clearing dilemmas we face in our dealings in material world in our day to day life.

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    • Yes, the Gita is not just paramartha-shastra but also vyavahara-shastra, meant to guide us in our daily life.

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