02.16: Rooted in the unchanging, branching into the changing

by January 21, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (2.16) encourages us to meditate on the difference between the unchanging – the realm within, the realm of the spirit – and the changing – the realm without, the realm of matter. Gita wisdom urges us to grow our roots in the world within: in realization of our own spiritual identity and our relationship of spiritual love with the supreme spirit, Krishna. Our roots comprise our strongest desires, our foremost priorities and, most of all, our defining notions of reality. When we are rooted in matter – in possessions and positions, in pleasures and treasures, then we are repeatedly buffeted by the stormy changes that characterize the realm of matter.

When we start getting buffeted, our default response is to strive and pray for the end of the storm. If this remains our only response, then we overlook the precious nugget of wisdom that the storm had blown our way: the more we are shaken by external change, the graver it is a reminder for us that our internal roots are weak and under-developed.

If we take note of the reminder and strive to deepen our internal roots, then we will not only be less affected by the world of change but will also be able to affect that world better. When we are emotionally secure due to our inner spiritual roots, then we don’t get overwhelmed by storms, but intelligently and prayerfully find our way through them.

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