07.09 – Rise from “willpower is power” to “willpower is his power”

by August 7, 2013

We all need willpower for doing anything worthwhile. In fact, willpower is the power that unleashes our other powers such as undeveloped talents. Without willpower, potential geniuses end up becoming prodigals instead of prodigies.

Strong willpower is a great power to have, but it’s not all that great if it’s divorced from spiritual reality. Let’s understand how.

Gita wisdom offers us a vivid vision of spiritual reality. We are all souls, parts of Krishna. All our abilities come from him – even our willpower, as the Bhagavad-gita (07.09) indicates. We can glimpse this truth when the willpower we think is ours sometimes suddenly deserts us, leaving us struggling to do the things that we normally do effortlessly.

As long as we think that willpower is our power, we labor under the illusion that doing the things that we want to do will make us happy. But we as souls can’t be satisfied by anything except spiritual love for Krishna. We keep erecting new goals and maybe even attaining them, but happiness keeps eluding us. Still, our willpower intoxicates us with vanity, making us pretend to be happy at our achievements or making us believe that the next achievement will make us happy.

To end this vain intoxication, we need to see willpower not as our power but as Krishna’s power. This vision inspires us to surrender to Krishna and use all our willpower to serve him single-mindedly. Such service wins his heart, and he grants the supreme power of love for him. When we are animated and guided by the power of love for Krishna, our willpower enables us to do wonderful things in his service. These devotional achievements enrich and flavor our love for Krishna, thereby propelling us towards an everlasting life of love with him.


I am the penances of all ascetics.


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