To have fixity in purpose, we need flexibility in pace
Suppose we are driving to a distant place for some important work. If the road is clear, then we would drive at the highest legal limit. But if the road becomes crowded, we would drive slowly. If we become inordinately irritated by how slowly we are moving, we might just give up and never get there. To maintain fixity of purpose, we need flexibility of pace.
We need a similar attitude if we wish to progress steadily on our spiritual journey. This is a journey from being attached to the world to becoming attached to the source of the world, Krishna.
We drive on this journey by our spiritual practices such as studying scripture, meditating and worshiping. But sometimes because of our worldly obligations, we can’t spend too much time on spiritual practices. If we equate spiritual progress only with spending lots of time, we may become disheartened, deeming spiritual life impractical for us. These are times when the traffic on the road of life is high. We need to adjust pace and move on slowly. Later, when the demand of other obligations goes down, we can start moving faster again.
The Bhagavad-gita points to such a multi-paced approach towards spiritual growth when it outlines various levels at which we may connect with Krishna. Best is to be lovingly absorbed in him (12.08). If not, we can strive to be focused on him (12.09). If not, then we can work for him (12.10). If not, we can sacrifice for some good cause, thus cultivating a mood of selflessness (12.11).
By thus giving us the facility for flexibility of pace in connecting with him, Krishna reveals himself to be an understanding non-demanding God who eagerly wants us to attain him. If we strive sincerely, he will soon deliver us (12.07).
Think it over:
- With a driving metaphor, explain how flexibility of pace maintains fixity of purpose.
- What is the Gita’s multi-paced approach to spiritual growth?
- What does the Gita’s multi-paced approach reveal about Krishna?
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