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The Bhagavad Gita verse which enhances my faith & conviction in Krishna Consciousness

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The Bhagavad Gita verse which enhances my faith & conviction in Krishna Consciousness

All the verses of Bhagavad Gita enhance my faith and conviction in Krishna. But one verse which stand out is the verse from Bhagavad Gita 18.37.  In this verse Krishna says, “That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.”

I can relate with this verse and can say with full conviction that each word of this verse is true.  Especially this one from the verse “which appears poisonous in the beginning but becomes nectar in the end.” I have applied it in my life. And have always got the same result which is Krishna is saying.  In fact, I apply this verse almost daily in my life.

Because of past conditioning and ignorance, spiritual activities appear troublesome to me. In fact, as mentioned in this verse, poisonous, viṣam iva.

Spiritual activities appear poisonous in the beginning but becomes nectar in the end

For example, getting up early in the morning and doing mangal arati appears very difficult. Chanting sixteen rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra appears tedious. And I do not find much interest in reading literatures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and other books of Srila Prabhupada. All these important spiritual activities are poisonous to me. Every day I have to struggle to complete these important spiritual activities.

So, every morning I remind myself of this verse. I contemplate on its meaning. I tell myself that these activities are now looking poisonous but if I exert myself, give up laziness and complete these spiritual duties I will experience “happiness in the end.” This is what Krishna is promising in this verse. So, I keep faith in the words of Krishna and I complete all these activities like mangala arati, chanting the names of Krishna, reading spiritual books. And almost every day, at the end of the day, I find that once I complete these spiritual activities, I feel so satisfied and happy from within. 

Sense gratification appears nectar in the beginning but becomes poisonous in the end

But if I indulge in sense gratification like browsing internet, reading political news, doing prajalpa (mundane talks) then while doing these activities I feel some sort of so-called happiness. But after spending time in these non-Krishna Conscious activities, almost all the time I fret. I curse myself saying that what was the need for me to waste my time in this way. Sense gratification is a waste of time, and it takes us away from Krishna. So, Krishna has warned us in Bhagavad Gita 18.38 that sense gratification may appear like nectar in the beginning, but it becomes poison in the end.

“That happiness which is derived from contact of the senses with their objects and which appears like nectar at first but poison at the end is said to be of the nature of passion.” Bhagavad Gita 18.38.

Once we begin doing, we begin enjoying

One of the great things about spiritual activity is that before we start doing it, it appears troublesome. But as soon as we start doing it, we start experiencing pleasure. For example, getting up early in the morning, taking bath, making preparation for mangal arati appears unpleasant. But as soon as we start making preparation for mangal arati and start worshipping the deity, we start enjoying from within.

Similarly, once we begin chanting, we feel nice. And once we complete chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra, we feel so happy and so lucky. It gives us a sense of accomplishment. And also, once we have read few sentences from Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam then slowly we find ourselves getting absorbed in reading.

How Bhagavad Gita 18.37 verse helps me on the day of fasting?

On the day of fasting especially on the day of nirjala ekadasi this verse helps me a lot to successfully complete nirjala ekadasi. Nirjala ekadasi means fasting for 24 hours without water. On that day I keep on reciting this verse in my mind throughout the day and contemplate on its meaning. I keep on telling myself, “One day of trouble and sacrifice and the next day I will be on cloud nine, I will get lots of spiritual happiness.” And by remembering this verse I have been able to complete nirjala ekadasi for last many years.

Similarly on other days when I have to fast like during Janmashtami, Gaur Purnima, Narasimha Chaturdasi and other ekadasi days I keep on remembering this verse.

Spiritual life is full of nectar

Upon contemplation I come to the conclusion that we all have developed a wrong understanding that spiritual activities are troublesome. Because if spiritual activities would have been troublesome then I would have felt miserable after completing it. I have never seen any devotee in my entire life who felt miserable after chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra or after attending managal arati.

When we go to Mayapur we get up in the morning to attend 4:30 am Managal arati. We feel so blissful and happy seeing the deities of Radha Madhav and asta sakshis, of Panchatattva and of Lord Narasimhadeva. It’s a divine experience. And when we look around, we find everyone – men, women, children, old people – happy. Even those who come for the first time to the temple are also blissful.

When we do Govardhan Parikrama on foot in Vrindavan, we feel so exhausted. The parikrama marg is around 21 km and it takes 6-7 hours to complete the parikrama. During the parikrama, we get completely exhausted. Legs become stiff. We have to exert a lot to move ahead. But devotees do not give up. With full faith in Krishna they continue the parikrama. And once we are able to successfully circumambulate Giriraj Govardhan we feel so satisfied and happy. I have never met any person in my life who regretted the decision of doing Govardhan Parikrama.

Conclusion

This is the reason that I strongly believe what Krishna says in this verse “that spiritual life appears like poison in the beginning but becomes nectar in the end.” It has increased my faith and conviction in Krishna’s words. Because I have personally experienced it.  

In this verse Krishna also says that activities in the mode of goodness such as spiritual practices lead to “self-realization.” I cannot say much about self-realization because I have not attained it. But one thing I have realized that no matter how hard we try, we can never be happy by satisfying the unholy demands of our mind and senses.  But if we engage our mind and senses in Krishna Consciousness then we will be happy.

To conclude, “Krishna Consciousness appears difficult initially, but if we practice it with determination and faith then the end result is extraordinary.”


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