12.19: An inner drive that is beyond cheers and jeers.
Our drives shape, even determine, our life’s destiny.
Gita wisdom reveals our ultimate destiny: eternal, ecstatic love for the all-attractive Lord, Krishna. The realization of this destiny hinges on our drive to practice devotional service.
To sustain our drive for Krishna, we need to transcend the world’s opinions, for those opinions originate in a fallible conception of life that rarely accords Krishna any significance or even existence. The Bhagavad-gita (12.19) mentions that a serious drive for Krishna (sthira-matir) empowers serious devotees to transcend the world’s jeers and cheers (tulya ninda stutir). Let’s see how they transcend the world’s views:
Jeers: The world may scorn or sneer devotees, but they march on undaunted; they know that these jeers are simply ways by which Krishna is exhausting their past negative karmic reactions, so that they can return to him faster. Of course, devotees are humble and alert enough to check and correct themselves if they are alienating anyone unnecessarily. But they don’t let the fear of alienation impede them in their necessary devotional practices.
Cheers: The world may sometimes cheer devotees especially when they achieve something materially significant. Devotees know that these material achievements are important to the extent they contribute to their devotional aspirations. But for themselves they see these achievements as mere fringe benefits on the path of devotion. So they don’t let the cheers of the world distract them from their central goal of reviving their love for Krishna.
Deriving inspiration from the consciousness and commitment of such serious devotees, we too can transcend the world’s jeers and cheers for Krishna’s sake. The more we let our drive center singularly on Krishna, the more he enriches our heart by revealing his presence there.
That epiphany is life’s ultimate fulfillment