15.12-15: Krishna is not just somewhere out there; he is also close by in here

by January 27, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (15.15) states that Krishna personally resides in the hearts of all living beings. This revelation of Krishna’s immanence comes at the end of a series of verses (15.12-14) that demonstrate his love for all of us. By giving examples that range from the external cosmological realm to the internal physiological realm, these verses indicate that Krishna, out of love for us, maintains the entire material realm to facilitate our existence. Krishna’s love for us is so great that he is not satisfied just by arranging for our material existence; he also arranges for our spiritual welfare by making himself available to us in our own hearts –  not so much as a witness or a judge as a friend and a mentor.

When life hands out difficulties to us, the Vedic philosophical vision can help us make sense of those difficulties: we are, after all, suffering the just results of our own past misdeeds. But the Gita’s devotional vision goes further to give us solace and strength: “Krishna is not just somewhere out there, impassively watching us get our due. No, he is right here with us in our own hearts, actively and lovingly helping us to tolerate and transcend our due suffering, and to grow and go toward the spiritual realm that is beyond all suffering.”

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