When the supreme soul is glorified, the small soul is purified

When we hear the Bhagavad-gita’s recommendation to practice bhakti-yoga, which centers on glorifying the object of bhakti, Krishna, we may wonder, “What do we get by such glorification?”

We get purification and everlasting spiritual satisfaction thereof.

To understand how, let’s begin with the spiritual fundamentals, as explained in the Bhagavad-gita. We are at our core souls, who are eternal and are meant to relish eternal happiness. To relish such happiness, we need to lovingly absorb ourselves in the supreme soul, Krishna, who is the source of everything attractive and is the reservoir of unlimited happiness.

The devoted love to glorify Krishna as a natural expression of their love for him, just as in any loving relationship, lovers love to praise their beloveds. However, because Krishna is all-pure and all-powerful, glorifying him is powerfully purifying even if we presently don’t feel much affection for him. By glorifying him, we start relishing his glories more and more, thereby losing our craving for impure worldly pleasures.

What about people who glorify God for some material motive such as wealth or relief from distress? They may get their desired result, but it will be at best fleeting and ultimately unfulfilling. From their present piety, they will go through many lifetimes of spiritual evolution to rise till enlightenment (07.19).

What does enlightenment mean? It means to understand that Krishna is the embodiment and fulfillment of everything attractive that the human heart longs for. On understanding this, we become wholeheartedly devoted to him (10.08). When we are thus devoted, we delight in speaking, hearing and sharing Krishna’s relishable glories (10.09). Thereby, we feel increasingly attracted towards Krishna and become increasingly detached from worldly pleasures. And these two results are the essence of purification.

Thus, when the supreme soul is glorified, the small soul is purified.

Think it over:

  • How is glorifying Krishna beneficial even when we don’t have much affection for him?
  • What is the nature of the result of glorifying God for some material motive?
  • What is enlightenment?

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