We have to live our lives ourselves and live with ourselves
People whose lives are messed up often long for a magic wand type solution – just one touch and everything becomes wonderful.
Gita wisdom doesn’t approve of such fancies even when they purport to be spiritual. It does indeed talk about a spiritual transformation that is supremely wonderful – the transformation of our consciousness from its present entangling attachment to matter to its eventual attachment to Krishna. Yet it reminds us that the sustainable redirection of our heart takes time. And during the interim period, we have to:
1. Live our lives ourselves: No doubt, the Gita insists (04.34) that we take the guidance of spiritual seers. Their mercy is always there, yet they are not always there physically to guide us moment-to-moment. Of course, the inner guru, Krishna as the Supersoul, is always there. But again, learning to recognize his voice and understand his will takes time. Even with the counsel of our outer and inner guides, the onus for implementation is on us. The Gita unambiguously communicates this through both Krishna’s call (18.63) and Arjuna’s declaration (18.73) to that effect.
2. Live with ourselves: Our material side is a part of our present conditioned self. We can’t wish away this part; we can only work it away through steady lifelong purification. Thus we have to live with ourselves, our present conditioned nature. When Arjuna faces a colossal fratricidal war, he thinks of reclusive spirituality as a quick solution. The Bhagavad-gita (18.60) disapproves such knee-jerk solutions that seem spiritual but are not sustainable. Instead, it urges us to act according to our psychophysical nature, dovetailing it in Krishna’s service in the best possible way.
By acknowledging our present reality, we can thereafter chart a balanced course for taking us to the ecstatic spiritual reality that is our eternal destiny.