Head and Heart

Krishna’s statements in the Bhagavad-gita give you an interesting insight into his character and approach. At the conclusion of the text, He plainly states to Arjuna “Now I have imparted this knowledge to you, deliberate on it fully, and then do as you wish to do”. That really stood out. Far from being the fanatical God that many envisage in their mind, Krishna encourages everyone to make their own informed choice about life. He presents a philosophy and lifestyle that can bring one to another level of consciousness… but He also knows that it can’t be forced upon anyone. You won’t find Krishna using any fear or intimidation tactics here.

The Bhagavad-gita is rich in philosophy, and presents the Vedic worldview in an extremely logical and rational way. As one deliberates on this presentation one may well feel intellectually convinced and satisfied. However, spirituality is also an affair of the heart. It’s about developing a deep connection with the Supreme Person so that one actually experiences what they read about. Thus, in the Vedic literatures there is also a strong call to action. Krishna implores Arjuna “do as you wish to do”. ‘Do’ being the imperative word – apply and practice the great wisdom in day-to-day life.

The head and the heart are both important factors in spiritual life. Mental gymnastics and theoretical philosophizing devoid of spiritual practice cannot not nourish and enliven us. On the other hand, ritual and practice without proper understanding and rationale can descend into sentimentalism or mechanical religion. For ultimate success, the aspiring spiritualist requires a cool head and a soft heart.

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