Tuesday, February 26, 2013

getting to know you...

Verse 2.26: If, however, you think that the soul [or the symptoms of life] is always born and dies forever, you still have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.

In the middle of all the intricate and wondrous explanations about the soul, Krsna decides to play devil's advocate! Can you imagine? God is now taking the other perspective. All along we've been hearing that the soul is eternal, it can never die, it can't be harmed, etc. Now, Krsna says, "But...if you still think that the soul is born and dies after this one lifetime..." Krsna understands our skeptical nature better than we do!

But back to that in a second. This verse is incredible for another reason because it serves to remind us that the Gita is not just a book that we are holding in our hand. It's a conversation that took place five thousand years ago between two people. Of course, one of those person's was God, but work with me here! It's totally relatable. Just think about the last time you were giving advice to someone. It might have been a sibling, a daughter/son, a friend, whoever. You may have started off by giving reasons why they should do something. Then, in the middle of the conversation, you suddenly stop and play devil's advocate. Your arguments and advice are so strong, that even taking the opposite position, you can still convince them of your point.

This is exactly what Krsna is doing right here. We've been hearing Krsna explain that one need not lament at the thought of death because the soul is eternal and can never die. Now, he's saying that even if you don't believe that, I'll give you further reasons why you have no reason to lament at the thought of death.

This is how incredibly intelligent Krsna is. He understands the different kinds of mentality that we all have and he addresses it head on.

This is what bhakti is all about. It's about getting to know Krsna. How can we even think or hope of loving someone if we don't know who they are. All the bhakti texts and processes of bhakti such as hearing, chanting, remembering, offering prayers, offering worship etc., are simply there as different means by which we can get to know Krsna better.

Do you remember when you were really intrigued by someone? What did you do? If you were anything like me, you'd find all kinds of excuses to get close to them and find out more information about them. The path of bhakti facilitates this process. We get to hear about Krsna, we get to remember him, offer prayers to him, worship him, and thereby get to know him. The only thing is, when we try to cultivate relationships with one another here, there is always a chance that the other person won't reciprocate.

We don't have to worry about that with Krsna. He'll reciprocate. In fact he'll reciprocate with our attempts to know him and love him so much that we'll wonder why we never thought to do so sooner. So now you know the hidden secret. Bhakti is about getting know Krsna.


  1. great post Vrdavana! so helpful the way you've presented bhakti yoga - as a way of getting to know God. And enjoyed your take that in this case we don't have to worry about reciprocation like we do in other relationships. God will always reciprocate - it's us who have to spend time getting to know him.

  2. Thank you so much! Yes, it's true....all we need to do is take that first step. As for we who need to spend time getting to know him, I think it's only fair since he knows us better than we know ourselves!