Do we need to introspect whether we are progressing in our spiritual life?
From Madan Govind P
We carry out our sadhna everyday & as you mentioned Krsna reveals himself gradually though realization of the same might be sudden. How do we know on ongoing basis we are making positive progress & Krsna is indeed reveling gradually or there is a need to get into introspection to find out what is working & what is not.
Transcribed by: Argha Maji
Question: Do we need to introspect whether we are progressing in our spiritual life?
Answer: No, we do need to do introspection, but the level and nature of introspection will vary depending on individual inclination and individual personality. So the important point is that overall we should be finding that our attitude toward Krishna, attitude toward devotees and our attitude toward the world should be changing. That is bhaktirparesanubhava viraktir anyatracha that is by the process of bhakti
para isa anubhava, we find more and more relish in remembering Krishna, in serving Krishna. And as we get more and more para isa anubhava then what happens is viraktir anyatracha, we become more and more detached from other things, from worldly pleasures that are there, we get more detached. So if broadly these two things are happening, we shouldn’t be bothered about it on a daily basis but periodically it is good to check. When there are worldly troubles or worldly pleasures, how much do we get distracted by them and how much is our attraction and absorption to Krishna increasing. It may not be that we get detached from all kinds of worldly pleasures and we stay calm in all kindly troubles, it will affect us no doubt. It is like a sine wave, we have to see whether amplitude of sine wave is becoming smaller or not. So in some cases that amplitude may still stay the same because so e anarthas may be more deep rooted and some anxieties may be much more existentially agitating for us. And that’s why they may trouble us more. But in some cases we will see that attachments do go down and we become more focused on Krishna. It may not also be that we feel absorbed in all manifestations of Krishna, we may find that we are more attracted to Bhajans or we may be more attracted to Kirtans or we may not be so attracted to all forms of devotional service. All that is okay but overall putting aside specific forms of material actions, specific forms of devotional service, overall our attraction is turning from world toward Krishna , that indicates we are making spiritual advancement and over a period of time we will surely make a substantial spiritual advancement and attain in due course of time, Krishna’s lotus feet. So is introspection needed? Yes in general we should whenever there are out of the ordinary event in our life, we can observe our reactions and see what is the nature of our reactions. And by that itself we will be able to understand whether our reaction today is the same as it was same months ago or one year ago or five years ago or is it different and that way we can learn. Some devotees may write journals to monitor their progress and to see whether they are moving forward to Krishna or not and that depends on individual nature. Its helpful if somebody has an introspective nature and otherwise one can just observe oneself especially when extraordinary situations come up in one’s life and see one’s reactions and thereby learn more about oneself and understand whether one is going in the right track or not. And if we find that somehow we had gone little bit offtrack, instead of going this way, I have gone the other way then we can always do course correction and bring ourselves back on track. So that can also be done through introspection. The most important thing is that we find out the forms of sense gratification that are most dangerous for us and try to minimize if not eliminate them and try to find out the forms of devotional service which are most absorbing for us and try to maximize them and in that way we will move from Maya toward Krishna progressively. Thank you. Hare Krishna