Monday, February 25, 2013

power of repetition

Verse 2.25: It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

For the past few verses now we have been hearing over and over again the descriptions of the soul and the truth that we are not this body but the eternal spirit soul. One could question, "Why the need to keep repeating this over and over again?! Can't we move on to something new?"

This is exactly my mentality. I always need something new and shiny to occupy my attention and hearing something repeatedly is often quite challenging for me.

The thing is, there is great power in repetition. It is only by hearing something over and over again that it actually sinks in. Think about it. How did you learn the alphabet? It was only by saying and writing the letters over ad nauseum that it became natural. Now, when your eyes take in the written word, you don't stop to think how you put together words and phrases, it's become natural.

Similarly, the beginning of bhakti yoga also starts of with it's own alphabet. The basics. Those a, b, c's are that we are spirit souls that are currently existing in a particular body. That body is temporary and limited, whereas the soul is eternal. If we don't realize this, even theoretically, then everything else we may know and hear becomes superfluous. This is the starting point and from there we can build and advance. That's why Krsna is spending so much time educating Arjuna (and us!) about the intricacies, characteristics and importance of the soul.

It's amazing if you think about it! Even basic principles that we take for granted and practice in everyday life originated from God! We all are constantly exposed to repetition, just think TV commercials. It's nothing new. Now, it's about applying it to spiritual life!

In fact, the cardinal rules of giving a speech/presentation is all about repetition: Tell your audience what you're going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.

Krsna, gets all the credit, since he originated the concept. So the next time you are going through a Vedic text, or even your homework, just remember: if something is being repeated over and over again there is a reason behind it. It's of great value and importance.


  1. I enjoy the repetition Vrndavana so I know what's important and to remind myself to pay attention. If I hear it once, it may impact me. But if I hear it 25 times, I can't forget. Grateful that many of our religious books apply the practice of repetition:) We also need to apply the principles of these books and regularly repeat in our daily lives.

  2. Yes, what a valid point. We need to apply the principles of these great bhakti texts and regularly practice those truths by practicing (repeating) them in our daily lives.