Where we are doesn’t determine who we are

We might sometimes be at a very bad place in life. What could make our plight worse is if we had arrived at that bad place because of our own mistakes and misdeeds. We might beat ourselves down with guilt and self-recrimination, thereby feeling utterly worthless and hopeless.

At such times, Gita wisdom reminds us that at our core, we are still pure souls; we are eternally parts of the all-pure Supreme, Krishna (Bhagavad-gita 15.07). Even if the soul is covered by impure conditionings, those are circumstantial and ephemeral – just as the wind acquires the smell of the areas through which it passes (15.08).

The wind might smell foul after passing through a noxious area, that smell will soon disappear once it goes into a fragrant area. The same applies to us, though of course conditionings may take a significantly longer time to get cleansed.

Nonetheless, understanding that we as souls have a core purity can be heartening amidst discouragements caused by our dark side. And if we strive to grow spiritually by connecting with Krishna, then we can rapidly regain our core purity. Indeed, that is the power of bhakti-yoga (09.31).

Undoubtedly, our present condition is important – we can’t deny it or wish it away. If we are in an attached or addicted state, we will have a long hard climb to raise our consciousness from there to the spiritual level where we can relish lasting happiness. Still, the ardor of that climb needn’t dishearten us because we don’t belong where we are presently, at the bottom of a dark valley – we belong at the top of the mountain, in pure love for our Lord.

Knowing that his grace can empower us to get where we are meant to be, we can gird ourselves for the climb determinedly and confidently.


Think it over:

  • How might our present condition dishearten us?
  • Why does our present condition not define us?
  • How can we go beyond our present condition?

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Words are not just vehicles of thought, but also engines of thought
Between naiveté and cynicism is the courage to trust
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1 Comment

  1. GITA guides you to your destiny

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