Sunday, January 6, 2013


Verse 1.15: Lord Kṛṣṇa blew His conchshell, called Pāñcajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhīma, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell, called Pauṇḍra.

The name of Krsna in this verse is very significant - Hṛṣīkeśa. Hrsikesa means He who is the owner of all senses. As I read the verse today, I discovered something very wonderful. This quality of Krsna is the first of many we will learn about in the Gita. In our own lives when we are introduced to a person we often hear about their accomplishments, personality and character. As we're now being introduced to Krsna the first thing we here is that He is the owner of all senses. Really serves to put in perspective all those other things we get easily impressed about!

This quality of Krsna is an important one to remember. As I mentioned before, the Gita is very practical. One of the things it will teach us is what constitutes our true selves; how we are actually not anything that we identify ourselves with. Our mind, intelligence, and even our senses are on loan to us. This name of Krsna confirms that. It's not our senses, they are being given to us to use for right now.

But what does that practically mean? If it's not my sense of sight, my sense of smell, my hearing...what does that mean in everyday life?

The aspiring bhakti yogi tries to spiritualize their senses by using them in bhakti (devotional service). See, even though the senses are not ours per say, we control the consciousness with which we utilize them. You may have practical experience of this. Think back to a time you cooked something (i.e. you were utilizing your senses) and you did so in a mood of wanting to bring joy to someone else. Now think back when you cooked something and you were anxious, upset or angry. Those who are sensitive can taste the difference.

Similarly we can use our senses for spiritual activities or material activities. What makes something spiritual or material? It's consciousness or attitude that goes into it.

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