Nothing except Krsna exists – so it is impossible not to take shelter of Krsna. Krsna is every box of cookies, every syringe of heroine, every glass of wine, every orgasm, every hug, every bank account, every husband, every wife, every father, mother and child, every king, every invention, every website, every game, every email, every pillow, every pill, every doctor, every leader, every ideal, every dream, every wish, every art, every science, every philosophy, every realization, every religion, every ritual, every demigod, every god. Everything is Krsna – so it is not possible not to take shelter of Krsna. But today I need to focus on taking shelter of Krsna DIRECTLY as the person that he truly is, rather than indirectly through the things he becomes.
Everything Krsna has mentioned in the past three texts (Bhagavad Gita 9.18 and previous) – from grains in the fire, to ancestors, to philosophical components of jnana (in todays text) all these are various sophisticated ways places the soul seeks shelter – seeks “Gati” – a good place to go. These are all aspects of Karma (religion) and Jnana (Science). But Krsna is speaking Gita because he wants to propagate the sanatana dharma – which is:
anyabhilashita shunyam jnana karma anavrittam
Devoid of ulterior motive, and never eclipsed by religion or science.
So he is teaching me in these past 3 or 4 texts not to take shelter in religion or science, but only and always take shelter in DIRECTLY loving him.
I can hear myself having said, “Well I wear tilok and attend mangal aroti… I am taking direct shelter in Krsna.”
I would answer myself, “Great, now if you want to get even better, ask yourself why? Am I decorating myself with tilok with a motive similar to the gopi putting on a necklace whos sparkle might catch Krsna’s eye? Or am I putting it on because then the indians who come to the temple think I are ‘bona-fide,’ or something similar?”
All these question are things I need to rigorously ask myself continuously so I don’t get lazy and complacent. Love is never lazy. Constant and rigorous purification of motive is the key to making the huge evolution from dharma to sanatana dharma, from being in the gray zone to being a person Krsna really thinks of as a “mahatma,” from being good to being transcendent.