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, we will drive at the highest legal speed. But if the road becomes crowded, we will drive slowly. If we become inordinately irritated by how slowly we are moving, we may 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 our worldly obligations don’t let us spend too much time on spiritual practices. If we equate spiritual progress only with spending lots of time on explicitly spiritual activities, we may become disheartened, deeming spiritual life impractical for us. Instead, we can understand that these times are like high-traffic zones for us. We need to slow down and move at whatever pace we can. Later, when other obligations become less pressing, 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 providing the facility for flexibility of pace in connecting with him, Krishna reveals himself to be an understanding God who eagerly wants us to attain him. If we strive sincerely, he will soon deliver us (12.07).


Think it over:

  • How does flexibility of pace help us maintain fixity of purpose?
  • What is Gita’s multi-paced approach to spiritual growth?
  • What does Gita’s multi-paced approach reveal about Krishna?



12.10 If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.

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  1. Working for some good cause, then, also qualifies as following the instructions of Krishna. But saying that it is the highest level is wrong.

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  2. JAPA sets the pace in spirituality

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  3. Hare Krishna Prabhu PAMHO
    Thank you very much prabhu for sharing this article. This is very very helpful, especially for those who are having a little association of devotees due to circumstances. Thank you pr for guiding the entire world through simple yet inspiring, fascinating and amazing guidelines. Looking forward for more and more articles of you. All glories to Srila Praphupad ! May Lord Krishna blessed all of us with pure unalloyed devotional service at His Lotus Feet !
    Thank you !
    YS Dipesh Patil

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    • Yes, this reflection is helpful to realize that just because we are circumstantially distanced from Krishna doesn’t mean we have to devotionally deprived of Krishna.
      The above wording came to me while I was just responding to your comment. I might use it for a future Gita-daily article: “Just because we are circumstantially distanced from Krishna doesn’t mean we have to devotionally deprived of Krishna.” Thanks for the stimulating comment.

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  4. Thank You Pr, Harekrsna PAMHO.

    This gave me a matured understanding of how to act in our devotional practices when life is too much occupied by many responsibilities.

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