Spirituality provides a capacity to cope that transcends our capacity to comprehend
We usually approach technology pragmatically – we use gadgets if they work, even if we can’t comprehend fully the science involved.
The Bhagavad-gita demonstrates a similar pragmatism. At its start, Arjuna is discombobulated at having to fight a fratricidal war. While guiding him, the Gita doesn’t go into the intricacies of the karma of the various assembled warriors. Instead, it begins by underscoring the indestructible spiritual essence of all living beings, including those protagonists (02.12). And it follows the delineation of our spiritual identity (02.13) with a call for tolerating life’s inevitable dualities (02.14).
Pertinently, the Gita here doesn’t philosophically justify the dualities such as pleasure or pain. Instead, it stresses their temporariness as an impetus to endure them. It points to an eminently pragmatic example: we tolerate summer and winter, even if we can’t comprehend the ecological reasons of why seasons need to exist.
The Gita further explains that we are parts of Krishna and can harmonize with him by bhakti-yoga. Through bhakti practice, we can relish security and serenity through absorption in Krishna, even amidst life’s inexplicable complexities. We thus realize that bhakti works in offering us sublime shelter, even when our comprehension capacity has stopped working.
Of course, just as we may try to understand better the mechanisms underlying our regular gadgets, we can try to understand better the principles of causality such as karma. And Gita wisdom substantially expands our understanding. Still, as in technology, so in spirituality – workability needs to trump comprehensibility. We needn’t make our adoption of spiritual practices conditional to our capacity to comprehend.
Thankfully, unlike gadgets that sometimes don’t work, bhakti always works – whenever we remember Krishna devotionally, we find solace and strength in that remembrance.
To summarize, spirituality expands our capacity to comprehend and extends further our capacity to cope.
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