Three ways to see our abilities spiritually

We all have certain abilities. Though we often think that those abilities belong to us, they sometimes inexplicably desert us, as when talented sports players hit a lean patch or when award-winning authors hit a writer’s block. At such times, we may beat ourselves up and become discouraged.

Or we can learn to see our abilities spiritually. If we choose the latter, Gita wisdom offers us three progressively deeper spiritual visions of our abilities.

As gifts: The Bhagavad-gita (07.08) states that the supreme divinity, Krishna, manifests in the human as ability. If we consider ability to be like a river flowing through us, then we are the channels for those abilities, not their source. On understanding this, when ability manifests through us, we accept gratefully; when it doesn’t manifest, we accept gracefully.

As pointers to their source: The Gita (10.41) states that everything attractive is a spark of Krishna’s supreme splendor. When an attractive ability manifests through us, that too is a spark of Krishna. If even a spark-like ability manifesting through us feels magical, how much more magical would be the experience of Krishna! And we can have that experience regularly if we connect with Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga..

As means to our source: The Gita (18.46) states that if we worship the Lord through our work done according to our natural abilities, we can attain life’s perfection. This implies that devotion doesn’t just mean connecting internally with Krishna; it also means contributing externally in a mood of service to Krishna. Through such a service attitude, we can use our abilities for their ultimate purpose: taking us closer to Krishna and helping others come closer to him.

One-sentence summary:

See our abilities as gifts from Krishna, pointers to Krishna and means to Krishna. .

Think it over:

  • How can we see our abilities as gifts?
  • How can our abilities point to Krishna?
  • How can our abilities take us to Krishna?


18.46: By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work.

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