18.63: Krishna walks with us, but not for us

by April 2, 2012

When we strive to live spiritually, we often find ourselves succumbing to materialism, despite our prayers to Krishna to protect us. At such times, we may start doubting whether Krishna is doing anything to help us.  

Doubts of this kind arise because we often don’t understand the exact nature of the help that Krishna offers during our spiritual journey towards him. Krishna has gifted all of us with the precious gift of free will and he never takes back what he has given; he never forces his will upon us.

This is demonstrated in the Bhagavad-gita when in its concluding section Krishna tells Arjuna (18.63) to deliberate and decide for himself what he wishes to do. This principle applies for all of us. Krishna has done his part by outlining clearly through Gita wisdom the destinations of the various paths that beckon us from the crossroads where we stand. Now Krishna expects us to do our part: to walk along the right path, the path of pure devotional service to him. This implies that the onus for rejecting materialist allurements that distract us from pure devotional service is on us; Krishna will not reject them for us, for that would infringe on our free will. 

Lest this make us feel lonely or insecure, we need only look to the Mahabharata to see how, once Arjuna started off on the right walk, Krishna as a charioteer was walking with him constantly, counseling, encouraging, cautioning and urging him to make the right moves. Similarly, once we resolve to walk the good walk on the pathway of pure devotional service, Krishna will be constantly right next to us, gifting us ideas, insights and inspirations for implementing our resolution. 

Let us therefore not blame Krishna for not doing what is our part: to make the resolution. And let us not burden ourselves with worries about Krishna’s part: providing the strength to implement that resolution. 


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