07.16 – Not just survival value but also value to survival
The Bhagavad-gita (7.16) describes how most of us cultivate devotion for Krishna primarily because we feel that devotion has some survival value:
- it helps remove the miseries that we feel are threatening our survival or
- It bestows the wants that we feel are necessary for our survival.
Lord Krishna appreciates our devotion even if we are motivated by self-serving survival value (7.18), but he also gently prompts and prods us to rise to a less self-centered level of devotion. If we respond positively to his compassionate overtures, then gradually we open ourselves to receive a much greater gift: Krishna himself. After all, Krishna encompasses and embodies everything that our heart desires (vasudevah sarvam iti Gita 7.19). When we recognize and relish this sweet truth, then we discover that devotion has actually brought us a gift far greater than survival value: value to survival; it has made life worth living and loving.