To gain spiritual momentum, focus on the soul’s nourishment, not the mind’s amusement
Suppose a person driving a car keeps alternately accelerating and braking it. Such intermittent moving and stopping will prevent the car from gaining any substantial momentum. If it encounters a steep rise on the road, it will soon slow down and stop.
When we start practicing bhakti-yoga, we embark on a spiritual journey. During our bhakti practices, our mind frequently goes through wildly oscillating feelings – ranging from the euphoric (“Bhakti feels so good; I will give up everything else for practicing it.”) to the apathetic (“Bhakti doesn’t feel good at all; why am I practicing this stuff?”) If we dwell too much on such feelings, we let them inordinately shape our spiritual practices – when we feel good, we practice enthusiastically; when we don’t feel good, we practice lackadaisically. Such alternate accelerating and braking prevents us from gaining any substantial spiritual momentum. Thereafter, when we face obstacles, akin to encountering a steep rise, we have very little momentum left to persevere.
How do we avoid such spiritual unsteadiness? By contemplating that our devotional practices are meant not for our mind’s amusement, but for our soul’s nourishment. We are at our core spiritual beings, parts of Krishna. By cultivating devotion for him, we can relish a profound inner satisfaction far deeper and richer than the mind’s superficial feelings of pleasure or displeasure.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita indicates that serious devotees are convinced that Krishna, being beginningless and endless, is the ultimate object of shelter (09.13). So, they strive to serve him with great determination (09.14). Such determined practice connects them with him through inner remembrance and outer service. That connection nourishes the soul and provides sublime spiritual fulfillment.
When we let similar philosophical conviction animate our spiritual practices, we gain substantial momentum that empowers us to persevere towards eternal fulfillment.
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