Devotion is more often depleted by indifference than destroyed by hate
Those who get a treasure protect it vigilantly from thieves. Similarly, when we get devotion for Krishna and understand that it can provide us everlasting fulfillment, we start treasuring it, protecting it vigilantly from thieves such as aggressive anti-theists.
Yet our devotion is most endangered not by this overtly hostile threat, but a covertly subversive one – not by hatred for God, but by indifference towards him. Whereas infection with hatred would stop us from doing devotional activities, indifference infects more insidiously; it stops us from putting our heart into those activities.
When we do devotional activities such as chanting, praying and worshiping wholeheartedly, Krishna reciprocates with our sincerity by manifesting himself through those activities. The resulting contact with him provides us higher taste. But under indifference’s influence, we hold back our heart and just go through the motions of devotion. So we can’t relish higher taste.
Such tastelessness depletes our enthusiasm for doing those devotional activities. Gradually, they start seeming like pointless burdens. Giving them up, we feel, will free us for more enjoyable activities. Thus we unwittingly accept the same illusion that anti-theists propagate – religious regulations are happiness-deprivers. But because this illusion is foisted on us subtly, we don’t resist it, as we would definitely have if an atheist had tried to polemically foist it on us.
To protect our devotion, we need to stay away from not just destructive hatred of God but also depletive indifference towards him. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.30) urges us to give up lethargy and practice bhakti-yoga in a fighting spirit.
By studying scripture to remind ourselves of the sweetness of devotion and by associating with those relishing that sweetness, we can guard our devotion from indifference. And by cultivating consistent connection with Krishna, we can over time relish higher taste perennially.
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