12.13 – Be grateful for everything we can live without
We often approach Krishna for getting some things and feel grateful on getting them.
This utilitarian and businesslike relationship with Krishna can’t truly satisfy us. At our innermost level as souls, our greatest need is Krishna himself, not his worldly gifts. Those gifts are the demands of the body and especially the mind. Satisfying their demands doesn’t satisfy our heart, our soul – the real me.
That’s why Gita wisdom urges us to rise to a purer level of devotion, wherein we serve Krishna just to love him. Krishna reciprocates by revealing his glory and beauty. The more he reveals himself, the more we fall in love with him. The more we become satisfied in him. The less we need things other than him. Thus, the Bhagavad-gita (12.13: santushtah satatam) proclaims that a devotee is satisfied in all conditions.
This devotional enrichment dramatically changes our reasons for being grateful to Krishna. We feel grateful not only for what he gives us but also for what he enables us to live without. We realize that all worldly things beyond basic bodily necessities are dependencies. Such things being external are not always controllable. Needing them and depending on them simply increases our anxieties.
When life doesn’t give us those things or takes them away, Gita wisdom helps us see this situation not as a deprivation, but as an opportunity. An opportunity to relish a heightened level of freedom and an enhanced capacity to focus on life’s more important things, ultimately on Krishna.
When we tap this opportunity, we experience for ourselves how we can live happily without those things. Our freedom from dependency on externals becomes living evidence that Krishna consciousness satisfies us at a deeper level. Our faith in bhakti increases and we march confidently towards Krishna.
One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisﬁed, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence ﬁxed on Me – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.