The past won’t last if to Krishna we hold fast
We are all products of our past. The circumstances we went through and the choices we made have contributed, for better or for worse, to making us who we are. They have determined our social positions and mental dispositions.
Gita wisdom, by explaining our identity as eternal souls, extends this formative role of the past to before our birth. This expanded conception of life helps us make sense of why we are different from others, even our family members with whom we share our genes.
The Bhagavad-gita (03.33) acknowledges our past conditionings when it declares that a wholesale repression of our material nature will achieve nothing. Gita wisdom provides a balanced program of material accommodation and spiritual cultivation. During our embodied material existence, we dovetail our material inclinations in an honorable occupation. Simultaneously, we invest due amount of time and energy in devotional practices that link us with Krishna.
While pursuing this balanced program, our conditionings can divert us by either material hyper-activity, making us crave and work excessively for material things; or by spiritual lethargy, making us lackadaisical in our devotional practices. The Gita (03.34) cautions us against succumbing to such distractions, urging us to recognize that they come from our material embodiment and so are alien to our spiritual essence. When such conditionings push us forcefully, we need to hold on to Krishna, either through inner prayerful remembrance or outer diligent service or a combination of both – essentially whatever works.
Our determined perseverance in devotion attracts Krishna’s grace. He reciprocates by granting intelligence and taste: intelligence to check the temptation of material hyper-activity, and taste to counter spiritual lethargy. When we become empowered by these divine gifts, the past’s hold on us just can’t last – we break free from our conditionings and march straight and steady towards Krishna.
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