10.41: “So much, O Krishna, do I long for you”
Love, in its essence, is desire: strong, sustained, single-pointed desire. As spiritual seekers, we aspire to awaken our love for Krishna. In the ultimate sense, krishna-prema is a gift bestowed from without; when Krishna reveals his supreme all-attractiveness to us, then we cannot but fall completely in love with him. Additionally, in an immediate sense, krishna-prema is a choice exercised by us from within; we show Krishna our desire for that love by choosing him over the things of the world.
Normally, our desires get splayed and split over a wide variety of worldly things. Consequently our desire for Krishna remains a mere background music, a noble but feeble aspiration that we hope to act upon sometime in the future. To aid us in intensifying and accelerating our desire for him, Krishna gives us the holy days that illuminate the calendar.
These holy days provide us precious opportunities to concentrate the full power of our desires on Krishna. Abstaining from food and similar innocent pleasures of life frees all our desires so that we can focus them on Krishna. Whenever our mind reminds us of food or any such innocent worldly object, we can remind ourselves of the proclamation of the Bhagavad-gita (10.41) that the beauty of everything stems from a spark of Krishna’s beauty. The corollary to this proclamation is inspiring: whatever satisfaction any worldly object could have offered us, Krishna can offer us all of that – and much, much more. To enable Krishna to provide us that satisfaction, we just need to open our heart to him. Fasting helps us open our heart by showing him: “So much, O Krishna, do I long for you – as much as I long for food and more.”