06.08: Study makes us steady and sturdy
When we strive to live with spiritual and moral integrity, we often find our mind tormenting us. It tantalizes us with dreams and schemes of immoral and unspiritual pleasures. Over a period of time, we may find that resisting these allurements becomes a tiresome torture. We may even start losing our will to fight.
Times like these are ideal for us to experience the transformative power of scriptural study. This scriptural power comes to us in two installments:
- Steadiness: At the seeker’s level, the most important reason to study scripture is to convince and re-convince ourselves about where we will find real happiness: in Krishna. When we don’t study scriptures regularly and seriously, then we keep taking perpetual u-turns in our quest for happiness, sometimes seeking material enjoyment and sometimes seeking spiritual fulfillment. Scriptural study strengthens our philosophical conviction that the mind’s proposals for material enjoyment are all misleading and degrading; we will get real fulfillment only by purifying ourselves, and absorbing ourselves in inner remembrance and outer service to Krishna. This philosophical conviction enables us to neglect the disturbing mind and stay steady on the spiritual path.
- Sturdiness: The more we habituate ourselves to scriptural study, the more we become internally empowered. This power enables us to take the next step after neglecting the mind: silencing it entirely. As we become increasingly convinced of the folly of material enjoyment and the glory of spiritual fulfillment, we become sturdy enough to nail the wild mind into submission. When we thus domesticate the mind, it torments us no more. We soon relish undistracted, undiluted fulfillment.
The Bhagavad-gita invites us to this sublime state of consciousness when it declares (6.8) that scriptural knowledge makes us fully satisfied.