10.08 – Krishna is not just God; he is my God

by November 21, 2012

Many people may believe in the existence of God. Higher is the specific recognition that God in his highest manifestation is Krishna. Still higher is his enthronement in our heart as “my God.”

Gita wisdom leads us towards this ultimate spiritual summit. The Bhagavad-gita (10.08) states that those who understand Krishna’s supreme position become wise and worship him with all the emotions of their heart. A significant point in this verse is the sequence: the understanding of Krishna’s supreme position engenders, facilitates and reinforces devotion to him.

This sequence counters the assumptions underlying karma-kanda and jnana-kanda. In karma-kanda, people worship different demigods to get some material benefits. Such people may say that this demigod is “my god,” but their statement is largely sentimental and is philosophically unfounded. Some such philosophically uninformed people may apply the term “my god” to a god-man, a politician or even a sportstar or moviestar – anyone who provides material benefits. The sequence of this Gita verse reveals how a devotee’s acceptance of Krishna as “my god” is not similarly sentimental or utilitarian; it grows out a through philosophical understanding of Krishna’s supremacy.

In jnana-kanda, people treat devotion as a tool to knowledge. They assume that merging into the impersonal oneness of Brahman is life’s highest goal. To progress towards this goal, they utilize the difference between worshiper and worshiped as a convenient fiction. According to them, when one attains the peak of knowledge, the illusion of devotion is rejected. The sequence of this Gita verse thoroughly debunks this notion by declaring that at the peak of knowledge devotion is reinforced– not rejected.

Such is the metaphysical depth of this verse! No wonder that it comes first among the four verses that are celebrated as the Chatur-Shloki Gita (Gita in four nutshell verses).

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