Devotional spirituality offers breaks that are much more than brakes (Gita Daily)

Published on Mar 30, 2014

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 07, Text 16
By Chaitanya Charan Das

The racehorse-pace of life nowadays impels many people to apply brakes, lest they break down. These break-seekers often explore spirituality for utilitarian purposes. Just as one may dive into a swimming pool to get a refreshing break, they dive into popular forms of spirituality such as yoga, meditation or devotional music.

Anticipating such mindsets, the Bhagavad-gita (07.16) states that the hope of relief from distress is one of the primary impetuses for people to explore the spiritual dimension of life. Today when stress is among the most widespread forms of distress troubling everyone — even successful people, the hope for stress relief impels many towards spirituality.

Such stress-relief seekers often see feel-good experience as the essence of spirituality. So, they frequently downplay or discard philosophy as a needless baggage that will weigh them down during the dive. However, if they study the Gita open-mindedly, they will realize that philosophy is not an unnecessary load, but a necessary compass. This compass helps them understand what the dive is about, why it offers relief and how they can dive deeper to gain greater relief. That is, philosophy provides an intellectual framework for comprehending spiritual experience.

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