08.07 – Scared of the Sacred?
Some of us may be held back in our spiritual quest by the subconscious apprehension that the advanced, sacred states of spiritual realization may be too difficult to attain or sustain. We may fear that the constant devotional remembrance of Krishna, as recommended repeatedly in the Bhagavad-gita, may be too unrealistic to attain. And even if attained, we may suspect that it may be too impractical to sustain; it might make us too other-worldly, thereby damaging our worldly positions and prospects. Thus, we may be scared of the sacred.
Our fear originates in a misconception about the requisites for reaching the spiritually advanced, sacred states of consciousness. The Gita doesn’t recommend a permanent withdrawal from the world for the sake of enlightenment; rather it recommends (8.7) that enlightened vision permeate and motivate our action in the world.
According to the Gita, the sacred is to be found not just in the silent sanctuary of our inner heart, but also in the thick of action in the outer world. If we have an enlightened service attitude, then we can see the material-seeming ups and downs of life as demonstrations of spiritual truths and as expressions of Krishna’s love in action.
Of course, for us to preserve this devotional service attitude amidst the passions and pressures of worldly engagement, we need to balance our periods of external service to Krishna with periods of withdrawal for focused remembrance of Krishna. Once we achieve this balance of outer service and inner remembrance, the excitement and fulfillment of life in the consciousness of the sacred starts enriching our heart.
When our heart is thus enriched, then we will realize that our past fears were entirely unfounded: the sacred is not something to be scared about, but is something to be cared about.