Gita 07.19 – Krishna is not a dispensable filler; he is an indispensable shelter
“I don’t have time.” That’s how we often respond whenever we are urged to give devotion to Krishna its due place in our lives.
This response stems from the mistaken assumption that Krishna is a dispensable filler in our life. However, he is an indispensable shelter. Let’s understand with an example.
If we get a serious disease, we will make time for the treatment by reminding ourselves: “The treatment is not optional; it’s essential. It’s not a filler to be added on as per my convenience; it’s a shelter around which I need to restructure my whole life.”
What holds true for the medical treatment of our physical disease also holds true for the devotional treatment of our spiritual disease. We are all souls afflicted by bhavaroga, the disease of material existence. This disease subjects us to the four intermittent miseries of birth, old age, disease and death as well as the three recurrent miseries of environmental, social and psychophysical disruptions.
Krishna is the cure for these miseries. How?
Through the process of devotional service, he provides us the means to redirect our attachment from material things towards himself. This redirection helps us to decrease, tolerate and transcend material miseries. Decrease because Krishna minimizes the karmic reactions that are the cause of such problems. Tolerate because he gives us inner stability to face life’s unavoidable hardships. And transcend because he eventually takes us to his eternal abode that is forever beyond the reach of all material distresses.
Krishna is so eager to heal us that he appreciates as pious souls (udarah – Gita 07.18) even those who accommodate him as a dispensable filler in their lives. But he lauds as truly wise (jnanavan – Gita 07.19) those who wholeheartedly surrender to him, making him their indispensable shelter (vasudevah sarvam iti).
07.19 – After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.