18.71 – The words will change us – provided we don’t change the words
When a doctor writes a prescription, those words are meant to change the patient by curing the disease. But if the patient changes the words of the prescription as per one’s own convenience, then they lose the power to heal.
The Bhagavad-gita’s words are like a doctor’s prescription. They can cure the disease afflicting our heart – the disease of misdirected desires, wherein we love temporary worldly things instead of the eternal Lord of our heart, Krishna.
The Gita’s words are not just the prescription but also a part of the medicine. Hearing the message of Krishna is itself a central limb of devotional service, the process that cures our heart disease. The Bhagavad-gita (18.71) indicates that those who hear the Gita faithfully become purified and elevated.
How does this happen?
The Gita’s words reveal Krishna’s unfailing, unflinching love for us. If we hear those words faithfully, we naturally feel attracted to reciprocate love with the Lord who loves us so much.
Hearing faithfully doesn’t mean that we accept unquestioningly, but that we consider open-mindedly. Open-minded consideration implies readiness to be patient and persistent – as we are when we study, say, a scientific subject. If understanding an aspect of existence, as is studied by science, requires patience and persistence, then won’t understanding the source of existence require similar, if not greater, endeavor? Logically it will.
Unfortunately, some people who don’t want to endeavor thus change those words of the Gita that don’t make sense to them. For example, failing to understand how Krishna is the transcendental Supreme Person, they reduce him to a metaphor – and thereby deprive themselves of his love.
If we resist this temptation to take intellectual shortcuts, the Gita’s words of love will take us smoothly on the devotional expressway towards Krishna.
18.71 – And one who listens with faith and without envy becomes free from sinful reactions and attains to the auspicious planets where the pious dwell.