15.18: Our Choice: Infinite Longings or Longing for the Infinite?

by February 26, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (15.18) states that those who are enlightened offer all their heart’s love to Krishna, understanding him to be the supreme person, the highest truth, the ultimate reality.

This verse indicates that the essence of enlightenment is not an esoteric vision of a dazzling light or a powerful pulsation of a mysterious current up and down our body; enlightenment simply means understanding where to direct our heart’s longings and directing them accordingly.

Although our heart is finite, it has infinite longings for the innumerable things that promise happiness. However, because both our lifespan and our capacities are finite, our attempt to fulfill these infinite longings is a lost cause. Nonetheless, as we don’t know any better cause to live for, we are unwilling to abandon this lost cause. Consequently, we try to offer our heart a consolation prize by trying to fulfill as many of its longings as possible. But the consolation inevitably ends up making us disconsolate, because, no matter how many worldly things we achieve, the very finitude of all worldly things makes our heart call out for more, thus entrapping it in perpetual dissatisfaction.

Gita wisdom shows us a way out of this predicament. It reveals to us an endearing and enchanting conception of the Infinite: Krishna, who, though infinite, manifests eternally in a finite-seeming, human-like, non-material form so as to reciprocate love with us for all of eternity. When we make Krishna the longing of our heart, the resulting devotional remembrance of his beauty and glory suffuses and satisfies our heart completely.

Thus does our heart that was long restless due to infinite longings finally find rest in longing for the Infinite


Because I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person.



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