The world can crowd Krishna out of our heart – and so can the mind
We may feel, “Today’s passionate world, filled with demanding people and unending to-do lists, distracts me from my spirituality. If only I could live in seclusion without any hovering to-do list, I could be much more spiritual; I could fill my consciousness with Krishna.”
However, does seclusion guarantee spiritual consciousness? No, because we get distracted from Krishna not just by the world, but also by the mind. And the mind frequently distracts us much more when we are alone. If we have nothing tangible to do or no one specific to interact with, our mind, by its wild imagination, can keep us deluded for hours upon hours. Worse still, nowadays, when we are alone, we are often alone with our devices which give us access to the products of the degraded imagination of minds from all over the world, thereby increasing our delusion manifold. Thus, seclusion can increase our alienation from Krishna, especially if we aren’t adequately purified or aren’t strongly striving to be purified.
How can we increase our determination to be purified? By intellectual conviction and devotional association. We can strengthen our conviction by analyzing our experience of worldly pleasures through the eyes of scripture, thereby realizing the emptiness of those pleasures. And in devotional association, we can most easily relish the highest happiness of absorption in Krishna, the ultimate purpose of purification. The Gita (10.09) states that devotees discuss Krishna’s glories and therein relish the ultimate happiness.
Therefore, rather than blaming the world or the mind for distracting us, we can strive to increase our determination to become purified. Reciprocating with our determination, he will guide us from within about how we, according to our nature, can be most conscious of him, be it through engagement or seclusion or a balance of both.
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