We may be unqualified, but we are never disqualified
To be unqualified for something means to not have the necessary qualifications to do it. To be disqualified means to not be allowed to do it.
In the path of devotion, most of us are unqualified because we have little, if any, devotion. Yet we are never disqualified because bhakti is the path of grace. Krishna is supremely merciful and his mercy is the qualification of the unqualified. This magnanimous nature of Krishna is most evident in the conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita (18.66) wherein he urges everyone to surrender to him, irrespective of any past impiety that may disqualify them – he assures that he will free the surrendered from all sinful reactions. And Krishna’s merciful offer is always open to everyone, no matter how unqualified they may be. So, no one is ever disqualified.
Of course, if we abuse Krishna’s offer to rationalize and perpetuate our wrongdoings, then we will deprive ourselves of the supreme sweetness of pure devotion, which can’t be tasted by a heart contaminated and distracted by impure attachments.
To help us progress towards purity, Gita wisdom underscores that surrendering to Krishna means learning to lead a life of integrity and purity – a formidable challenge indeed.
Significantly, this challenge can be an opportunity, not a burden. If we obsess over how fallen we are, then that self-centeredness will make surrender seem like a daunting, draining, demanding burden. Instead, we can focus on how Krishna is so merciful, how he has unlimitedly long arms to reach down to however low we may have fallen and raise us up. Such Krishna-centeredness will help us discover how surrender is an exciting, enriching, empowering opportunity to witness his magical grace at work in our hearts, uplifting it from the dirty ditches of depravity to the exalted heights of purity.
Explanation of article: