Devotion encompasses both reconnection of the world and its renunciation by (Gita Daily)

Published on Oct 04, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 03, Text 20

Some people fear that devotion to Krishna will require them to renounce the world.

However, devotion requires not renunciation of the world, but its reconnection with Krishna. Arjuna, the Gita’s original student, didn’t renounce the world; he became a world ruler.
Why did Arjuna get so involved?

Because devotion is meant to include the world, not exclude it. That’s because the enlightened vision sees the world as it actually is, as the property of Krishna meant to be used by devotees in his service.

Of course, we can’t acquire this vision overnight; it requires sustained practice of devotional service. That practice fosters intellectual illumination and emotional reorientation: illumination to understand ourselves as souls whose real fulfillment comes by loving Krishna, and reorientation to direct our heart towards Krishna, not the world.

As we don’t yet have this enlightened vision, we need to be cautious. That’s why we stay away from some activities that are especially entangling and we make time regularly to keep our devotional connection strong. But beyond that we do our worldly duties responsibly to set an example for others and to thereby attract them to Krishna and to the path of devotion. The Gita (03.20) declares such example-setting a vital social responsibility that does loka-sangraha, a word that literally means maintenance of the world order.

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