02.16: Be Intense, not Tense
The pace and pressure of our contemporary lifestyle often makes us stressed. This tension is a nag that lurks constantly in the background of our consciousness. The nag comes to the foreground as a piercing jab when the sheer unpredictability and uncontrollability of life’s changes overwhelm us. If not checked and countered, the jab can cause a nervous breakdown.
Gita wisdom broadens our perspective of life. The Bhagavad-gita (2.16) helps us understand that there are two realms to life: the material realm that is characterized by constant change and the spiritual realm that is beyond the effects of material change. The spiritual realm is much greater, far more stable and infinitely more meaningful than the material realm. We as spiritual beings belong to that indestructible realm and so are beyond being harmed by any material change, no matter how threatening it seems. This knowledge of our indestructible spiritual identity defuses our tension.
Gita wisdom further illumines us that Krishna, our supreme benefactor, monitors and maneuvers the changes of the material realm for the express purpose of elevating us spiritually. This illumination enables us to see change not as a threat to be countered or neglected but as an opportunity to be comprehended and capitalized.
To capitalize this opportunity, we need to be philosophically acute and practically astute to see Krishna’s message and motivation in everything. That requires us to replace our default feeling of being tense with the consciously cultivated feeling of being intense, concentrated in our focus on Krishna. When we thus become intense in our devotional consciousness, we see every change as an opportunity to serve Krishna and move closer to him through every situation.