13.10-11: Let’s make our memory our treasury
When the present presents us with difficult times, the memories of past emotionally fulfilling moments can be timely energy-boosters.
Unfortunately, many of us are subjected to a relentless media blitz that evokes our strongest emotions as, for example, when our favorite sports team wins a championship or when our pet hero bashes up a villain in a movie climax. Consequently, such media images soon become the fabric of our most emotionally stirring memories. But as such memories are largely disconnected from our actual lives, we soon find ourselves internally bankrupt if we try to draw upon them in demanding times. They provide us feelings without meanings; they may emotionally transport us away from our present difficulties, but when we return to the present, they don’t help us in any way to make sense of what is happening. In short, such memories provide titillation, but no illumination.
The Bhagavad-gita (13.10-11) urges us to steady ourselves amidst life’s challenges by undistracted devotional remembrance of Krishna. To be able to remember Krishna, we need to regularly fill our memory with devotionally surcharging images and experiences of his enchanting deities, soothing holy names, electrifying kirtans, magnetizing pastimes, loving devotees and absorbing service.
Once we have invested adequately in such a devotional memory bank, when we draw on it in difficult times, the memories quickly draw us into them. They enable us to re-experience the reality of Krishna’s love and wisdom, and then return us, emotionally enlivened and intellectually empowered, to discover the hidden opportunity that Krishna has kept for us within the difficulty threatening us.
Thus, when we make our memory a devotional treasury, it offers both emotional relief for our troubled hearts and intellectual direction for our perplexed heads – and thereby becomes the complete self-empowerment package.