03.41: It is never too late – and it is already too late
Intelligence and experience help us see that matter is temporary and unsatisfying, whereas Krishna is eternal and supremely satisfying. This vision inspires us to redirect our attraction from matter to Krishna. Once we start this redirection project, two feelings threaten our progress: we may become either disheartened or complacent.
Gita wisdom offers us twin insights to overcome these two emotional obstacles:
- It’s never too late: We may become disheartened on seeing that our conditionings seem deep-rooted, endless and irreformable. But Gita wisdom assures us that no matter how great the power of our conditionings, it is no match to the power of Krishna. As long as we are fighting a solitary battle, overcoming our conditionings is nearly impossible. But when we are sheltered and strengthened by Krishna through the process of bhakti-yoga, overcoming our conditionings is entirely possible, even if they have been around for long and have become very strong.
- It’s already too late: At the same time, Krishna’s omnipotence shouldn’t become the cause of our complacence. Even with Krishna’s power, the onus for redirecting our desires is on us. And bringing about this redirection is usually a lifetime project that is best started in childhood. So from that standpoint, we are probably quite a bit behind time – at the very least a few decades. Fortunately, the process of bhakti-yoga can place us on the fast-track to spiritual advancement and help us make up for lost time. Yet again, to press the bhakti accelerator, it is we who need to hike the intensity of our practices.
In the light of these spiritual dynamics, the Bhagavad-gita (3.41) uses the word “adau” to urge us to immediately start serious spiritual practices, without becoming disheartened or complacent.