12.19 – Do we have our own inner sanctuary?
We all need encouragement. The regular obstacles and occasional reversals that life brings our way tend to be discouraging.
To regain our spirits, we need our own inner sanctuary where we can withdraw for philosophical reflection and emotional rejuvenation.
Philosophically, we need to be able to make sense of what is happening in our life. With our own intelligence, we may be able to see some of the patterns. But to glimpse the complete picture, we absolutely need divine revelation. The Gita offers us the calming insight that life is intrinsically an unending undulation of pleasures and pains all of which are temporary; we are indestructible souls who can remain unaffected if we just intelligently tolerate.
Emotionally, we need more than just the mandate to tolerate; we need to feel loved. If we get that from affectionate and like-minded devotee-friends, we are fortunate. But if we don’t – and even if we do, we need our own inner devotional connection with Krishna. This connection takes us to our inner sanctuary where we feel the warmth of his presence and the reassurance of his benevolent controllership of the world. To establish our connection to the sanctuary, we need to practice devotional meditation regularly, attentively and prayerfully.
The Bhagavad-gita (12.19) states that seasoned devotees are aniketah sthira-matir, not dependent on any external home because they have found their inner sanctuary with Krishna.
We can avail of a similar sanctuary ourselves by assimilating philosophical wisdom and cultivating devotional remembrance of Krishna. Initially, we may seek this inner sanctuary as a retreat center for recouping from life’s discouragements. But over time we will realize that it is much more; it is an accessible pathway that will take us out of the material world and reunite us with Krishna in the spiritual world.