Stepping-stones can become sucking swamps if we don’t step over in time

Stepping-stones can become sucking swamps if we don’t step over in time

“Go from darkness to light, from illusion to truth, from mortality to immortality,” exhorts a celebrated aphorism from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28).

The Bhagavad-gita, also known as the Gitopanishad, reiterates this exhortation and renders it practical through its program of krishna-bhakti. As Krishna is the supreme light, the supreme truth and the supreme immortal being, the more we become attached to him, the more we automatically leave behind darkness, illusion and mortality.

Bhakti-yoga increases our devotional attraction for Krishna through a spectrum of activities that give us experience of his sublime sweetness. Such activities include hearing his glories, chanting his holy names and worshiping his sacred forms.

Bhakti-yoga is so inclusive that it spiritualizes even our worldly activities by reinventing them as service-offerings to Krishna.

Additionally, bhakti-yoga is so inclusive that it spiritualizes even our worldly activities by reinventing them as service-offerings to Krishna. By recognizing that our inclinations and talents are ultimately due to his arrangement, we can use them for doing our material occupations and shouldering our worldly responsibilities – all in a mood of service to him. In fact, varnashrama was essentially a social facilitator for such spiritualization of vocation.

Within this progressive program, our material inclinations and occupations can be seen as stepping-stones that offer our consciousness footholds while it crosses over from the world of mortal matter to the world of immortal spirit. But if we become unduly attached to our material designations, imagining that they alone can make us happy and that we don’t need Krishna, then they become our bonds to material existence. Thus, the stepping-stones transmogrify into sucking swamps. Pertinently, the Gita (03.34) cautions us against letting our attachments control us.

By diligently practicing devotional service, we can keep our heart safe in Krishna’s control and also increase our attachment to him. That attachment will powerfully propel us from mortality to immortality before our time runs out.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 03 Text 34

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The defining characteristic of humanity distorted by ignorance is inhumanity
To ascribe omnipotence to the laws of nature is poor – and pure – fiction

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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  1. Material impressions can be carved into our minds like in stone, sand, water or air. The density of stone holds on to the impressions for a long time while the thinness of air easily let go of the impressions. Immersed in the vastness of the oceanic remembrance of Lord Sri Krishna, His holy Names and His pastimes, we can see the material impressions as waves on the surface of that ocean; rising and falling on the outskirts of our experience. Although the sense objects are sensed they don’t leave a lasting impression. The main impression comes from the immensity of our remembrance of the Lord. The sensing of the sense objects is just a practicality to move around within this material nature. In this way we will drive on the correct side of the road while we stay immersed in the anticipation of Lord Sri Krishna’s unfolding adventure. Although we might live in concrete cities, at any moment, Krishna, His friends, and thousands of cows can come running from around the corner, showering a cloud of sacred dust on our experience of being.

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