What we fear reflects what we hold dear

When we feel fearful, our fear points to something we hold immensely dear, something whose possible loss terrifies us. The Bhagavad-gita (16.11) indicates that as long as we are attached, we will be fearful.

When we start feeling fear, we often let that fear trigger our imagination and become overwhelmed. Or we resent ourselves for being so weak-minded as to feel fear. Instead, we can use that fear as a spur to introspect and understand what we are attached to and what about that object attracts us so much.

By studying Gita wisdom, we can understand that whatever shelter or pleasure we may get from any attractive object, we can get all that and more from Krishna, who is the source of all shelter, pleasure and attractiveness (10.41). The time-honored process of bhakti-yoga enables us to make Krishna our foremost object of attachment and see all other dear objects in relationship to him – they are entrusted by him for aiding us in his service.

Does becoming attached to Krishna mean that we don’t take do anything practical to address our fears? No, it just means we don’t think that practical measures alone are enough – we also take transcendental measures to spiritualize our attachments by practicing bhakti. The resulting divine attachment directs our consciousness to naturally flow towards him. And that flow calms us amidst fearful situations because we remember that he is the supreme spiritual reality and is always present in our hearts. No matter how many things threaten us, he remains our supreme well-wisher, competent to bring good out of the bad.

When we thus become attached to and absorbed in Krishna, we become better equipped to tolerate and transcend our fears – not because the uncertainty of the material world ends, but because our attachment to the uncertain material world ends.

Think it over:

  1. What can our fears tell us about ourselves?
  2. How does the Gita’s knowledge inspire us to redirect our attachment?
  3. How does attachment to Krishna calm us amidst our fears?

 

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