Whose place are we seeking in devotion: ours or someone else’s?

Suppose we see someone speaking Krishna’s message attractively and getting a lot of appreciation and glorification. Feeling inspired, we seek to do the same service. But we may find that we are unable to speak that well or to get similar success. 

How can we avoid becoming discouraged? By reminding ourselves that we are all uniquely individual, and that our individuality is a part of Krishna’s plan for us. We can serve best when we harmonize with our psychophysical nature. Twice in the Bhagavad-gita  (03.35, 18.47), Krishna cautions against taking up an engagement that is contrary to our nature. By seeing how well others are serving Krishna, we can take inspiration to serve him, but we needn’t desire to do the service they are doing.

Consider Arjuna’s example. He was the foremost archer and the foremost devotee of Krishna; he played a critical role in winning the Kurukshetra war for Krishna. Yet post-victory, he didn’t become the king; his eldest brother, Yudhishthira, did. And Arjuna never craved for that service. 

Within Krishna’s plan, everyone has a place, but every place may not be for everyone. How can we find our place? By focusing first on connecting devotionally with Krishna in our heart, thereby becoming receptive to his guidance about the choices that will take us to him (10.10). And one such vital choice is the choice of the service that is best for us. The more we connect with him internally, the clearer that choice will become and the more enriched we will become in our service. Every service may not get the world’s attention, but every service gets Krishna’s attention — and ultimately, that’s what matters the most.

One-sentence summary:

To grow in devotion, focus on finding our place in Krishna’s plan, not on longing for someone else’s place. 

Think it over:

  • If our service isn’t as successful as someone else’s service, how can we avoid becoming discouraged?
  • How can we find our place in Krishna’s plan?
  • If our service doesn’t bring glorification, how can we stay content? 

***

10.10: To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

 

Author: Chaitanya Charan

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  1. Nice, please keep it up

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