The Most Confidential Knowledge
Yoga of Love Series #3
If we are thinking that by mechanically doing our sadhana, and rubber-stamping our practical activities as devotional service, one day we will be blessed with love of God, love for Krishna, this is a mistake.
In Krishna consciousness the means and the goal are one and the same. The goal is love for Krishna; and the means is loving Krishna. A devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, “How do we love Krishna?” Srila Prabhupada answered, “By loving Him.” Every now and then, we hear on Srila Prabhupada’s recorded talks wherein he urges us, coaxes us, to chant, “with love”.
The title of chapter 9 of Bhagavad-gita is: The Most Confidential Knowledge. The whole Bhagavad-gita is filled with knowledge. We are not this body. We are eternal spirit soul. Our existence is conditioned by the laws of material nature. Under the jurisdiction of the wheel of karma, we have been revolving in the cycle of birth and death. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the proprietor of everything and the supreme controller. We are seated as though on a machine made of material energy and Krishna, as the Supersoul in our hearts is the actual “doer” of our activities. The modes of material nature are explained in detail.
But in chapter 9, Krishna explains the most confidential knowledge. Krishna says to Arjuna, “Because you are never envious of My position as the Supreme Lord, I will share this most secret wisdom with you. What I am going to tell you is the supreme secret of all secrets. This knowledge is the king of education, raja vidya. There is no knowledge purer than this, because it is not about anything material. It is about our eternal relationship. And anyone who takes this knowledge to heart, will experience direct perception of their eternal spiritual nature and be eternally engaged in the joyful activities of the soul in My abode.”
Why is this knowledge so secret, so confidential? It is because Krishna is a person. He is the Supreme Person. But He also has feelings; and His message is very intimate. This conversation is only for lovers. Krishna is feelingly explaining to Arjuna that all of his bewilderment, anxiety and distress can be instantly dispelled if he will simply open his heart to Krishna, with love.
“Always think of Me with love in your heart. Bow down to Me and worship Me. And I promise you that you will come to Me.” Bg 9/34. Krishna is approaching us in this same way, inviting us to love Him. In return He will take away all of our sinful reactions and situate us under the shelter of His divine internal devotional energy.
We have to understand that we hold the key to eternal blissful life in our own hands. No amount of material wealth can purchase our eternal freedom from the relentless grip of samsaric existence. And yet we hold the key. Therefore this key is the greatest wealth. But we have to agree to spend it in order to purchase this freedom.
A man who has a great fortune, but refuses to spend any of it is known as a miser. The word for miser in Sanskrit is kripana. Arjuna uses this word. It is interesting to note that Arjuna, although appearing to be in maya, diagnoses his problem with an understanding of the solution: karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah Bg 2/7
“I am confused about my duty and have lost all equilibrium because I am afflicted by the characteristic of miserly weakness.”
What is this miserly weakness? What is this wealth that we have that we are refusing to spend? We have this great fortune within our hearts. It is the ability to love and to give our love to Krishna. But we are refusing to spend it. We are refusing to purchase our eternal freedom. Like Arjuna, we are afflicted by this miserly weakness.
In his purport to the second verse of the ninth chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Srila Prabhupada writes: “God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.” And Krishna Himself declares that He cannot be known by any other means: bhaktya mam abhijanati Bg 18/55
Krishna consciousness is not a mechanical process. We cannot know Krishna through jnana or through karma. But we can purchase Krishna with our love. It is only love that gives life to our sadhana. Love of God is given to us by grace. But that grace is purchased by love. Therefore Krishna says: “To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” Bg 10/10.
In the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada writes: “The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krishna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krishna, and that work should be with love.” In Krishna consciousness the means and that the goal are one and the same. The goal is love of Krishna; and the means is love of Krishna.
Therefore we have to overcome this miserly weakness of heart and come to the point of love. We have to cultivate the ability to live in love, and to direct our love to Krishna. This is the meaning of Krishna consciousness. First we have to become convinced that love is our ticket for advancement in devotional life. Then we have to effort with all our strength to bring this faculty into focus. If we try with all sincerity to feel love for Krishna, Krishna will help us. If we really try to summon up feelings of love for Krishna within our hearts, on a daily basis, we can make more advancement in a week or a month than we can through decades of mechanical sadhana. This is the most confidential knowledge. This is Krishna’s loving invitation to us as aspiring devotees: “Worship Me with love, and I will give you the understanding by which you can come to Me.”
By Ishan das