03.30 – Expecting the default to change by default is a dangerous fault
“Will these immoral thoughts ever go away?” Questions like these may trouble us devotee-seekers when temptations provoke us even after we have adopted purifying spiritual practices.
Surely, answers Gita wisdom reassuringly, provided we change our default thoughts from material to spiritual.
We have indulged in material and even immoral pleasures for a long time – in this life and in our previous lives. Consequently, our mind has developed a deep-rooted attachment to those pleasures. This attachment makes the dreams and schemes to achieve them our default contemplations.
These default contemplations don’t change even when we adopt spiritual practices. Why? Because we tend to engage in spiritual practices mechanically and expect our internal default thoughts to change by default. This faulty expectation makes us lax about exerting to purify our thought-life. Due to our internal laxity, we experience neither substantial satisfaction, nor tangible transformation – and so continue being dangerously allured by material temptations.
The Bhagavad-gita (03.30) exhorts us to shed internal lethargy and fight (yudhyasva vigata jvarah) to make our default thoughts spiritual (adhyatma-cetasah). To spiritualize our default thoughts, we need to internalize our external spiritual practices by cherishing the devotional orientation that they bring to our thoughts. For example, after we gain an insight from Gita wisdom, we can internally preserve that insight and draw on it for triggering devotional contemplation when our thoughts return to their default material contemplation.
This internalization process may be deeply demanding but it is also richly rewarding. Over time, it makes our default thoughts devotional; the more we strive to think about Krishna, the more Krishna becomes our default-thought. And as Krishna is the reservoir of all fulfilling, default Krishna-thoughts means default fulfilling thoughts.
A ceaselessly fulfilling thought-life is life’s richest reward. No effort is too much for it.