02.15 – Are we rejecting the eternal because the temporary has rejected us?
When we face misfortunes that seem impossible to cope with, we may get the question: “I am trying to be a good person and a good devotee. Why is Krishna letting this happen to me?”
Gita wisdom informs that whatever happens to us is a result of our past karma. How and when it happens to us is Krishna’s arrangement to facilitate our spiritual evolution. However, this evolution is not automatic; it essentially requires our desire for that evolution – our longing for the eternal.
This longing stems from the insight that whatever happens at the material level is temporary. Any reversal, no matter how devastating it seems today, is only a rejection in this temporary arena. Sometimes such a rejection is what we need to jolt us out of our infatuation with the temporary, an infatuation that blinds us to the eternal.
Without Gita wisdom, we become sucked in by the tunnel vision that fails to see beyond the temporary. Then the very reversal that was meant to open our eyes to the eternal ends up closing our eyes further to the eternal. By refusing to believe that there’s anything eternal beyond the temporary, that Krishna’s benevolent plan underlies life’s malevolent-seeming turns, we condemn ourselves to hopelessness: when we are rejected by the temporary, we respond by rejecting the eternal, thereby leaving ourselves with shelter in neither the temporary nor the eternal.
The Bhagavad-gita (2.15) reassures us that tolerance towards the temporary enables us to connect with and catapult ourselves to the eternal. And that connection with the eternal blesses us not only in the next-world, but also in this world: it becomes our inner anchor that empowers us to face life’s ups and downs intelligently, and grow through them towards our fullest potential.