We may be infinite steps away from purity, but we just need to take one step now
If we have to walk on a long journey, thinking how far our destination is can discourage us. Instead, we can focus on doing what is eminently possible for us: take one step at a time. By doing that, we will gradually traverse the long journey.
When we practice spiritual life, we embark on a long journey to attain the all-pure, all-attractive supreme, Krishna. To traverse this journey, we need to become free from impure desires such as lust, anger and greed by practicing the purificatory process of bhakti-yoga. Unfortunately however, despite practicing bhakti, impure desires may keep appearing within us again and again. Seeing their recurrence, we may feel disheartened, thinking that we are infinite steps away from purity.
However, instead of discouraging ourselves by such thinking, we can focus on doing all that we need to do right now: strive for purity one moment at a time, one day at a time. The Bhagavad-gita (02.64) states that when we strive to regulate ourselves, putting aside our aversion and attachment, we attract Krishna’s mercy. He often bestows that mercy by revealing his all-attractiveness, which gives us so much higher satisfaction that impure pleasures soon become resistible and even unpalatable.
Phrased in terms of the journey metaphor, if we keep taking small steps towards Krishna, he reciprocates by taking huge steps towards us. He is not a static goalpost an infinite distance away; he is a reciprocal person who is more eager that we attain him than we are to attain him. He just wants to see that we genuinely want to attain him.
When we show that to him by striving to take baby steps in pure living, his mercy will gradually make the impossible-seeming purity not just possible but also relishable.
Think it over:
- When practicing spiritual life, what may dishearten us?
- How does Krishna’s mercy free us from impurities?
- How does Krishna reciprocate when we take steps towards him consistently?
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