Monday, January 7, 2008

Tips from the Gita: God-remembrance is not a hideout from karma

If our job involves fighting corruption, or evil in any other form, and we have neglected our duties to reach God, chanting the Lord’s name with untrustworthiness within is simply an attempt to “fool the self.” In the Mahabharata, this is what Arjuna was trying to do prior to listening to Krishna’s discourse. Like Arjuna, most of us, who are newcomers on the spiritual path, run into moments where we try to use God remembrance as a hideout from our responsibilities, some of which may be distressing, and leave our problems for God to solve.

As the Bhagavad Gita holds, God has installed mechanisms within us through which we are compelled to act in accordance to our instincts. If we plan a formal renunciation from the material world and the social responsibilities we ascribe to it, our renunciation has to coincide with our instincts; it has to be real – usually characterized by a mindset of minimal attachment to pension packages, position, fame, home, and family. On the other hand, if we opt to renounce even a few dollars under fascination, we will eventually aspire to get them back or will keep ourselves emotionally engaged in finding profits as we outwardly renounce money to waste some time in a self-created drama.

Because we all have a divine element within, it is impossible for us to fool ourselves. When we get rid of our passions, we get to renounce selfish karma automatically – without the uncertainties. Until then, every instance of God remembrance slowly molds our instincts towards a higher spiritual plane. The fulfillment of our responsibilities is supposed to complement our moments of God remembrance and lead us towards the development of a sattva-predominated (righteous) personality so that we can clearly see our way to God.

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