Time for Your Soul to Rise

Love Notes from the Song of God:
Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita

I do not long for victory, O Krishna, nor kingdom nor pleasures...
Bhagavad Gita 1.32   The words of Krishna, the divine Self, to the seeking soul, Arjuna.

As we begin to awaken spiritually, the time comes when we recognize that there are limits to what the material world can do for us. We begin to see that no matter how much wealth, pleasure, victory or fame we achieve—it will not bring the lasting fulfillment we seek. Those things cannot provide lasting fulfillment because their nature is finite and changeable.

Arjuna declares that he not looking to attain those things because he knows they will not bring him the happiness and freedom he deeply desires. He says, “Even if I win, I can’t see what will take away this sorrow of mine.” That is the crux of it. He has reached that place in life where he knows that what the world can give him, even if he is highly successful, is not going to satisfy his soul. It is not that these things are not good, or even useful, it is simply that they are incapable of giving him what he truly wants.

Most of us spend decades, and some spend their entire lives, chasing after happiness, inner peace, knowledge and freedom. We look to this thing or that, this relationship or that, to provide us with happiness that will last, only to be disappointed again and again. But instead of questioning our “looking”, we question what we have found. We think the flaw is with the job or with the other person, or with the particular circumstance. So we keep looking “out there” until we come to a crisis, like Arjuna, where we say, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live this way anymore. This doesn’t work. And, often, like Arjuna, we say, I know this doesn’t work, but I don’t yet know what does work.

This realization is the beginning of a prayer, a life-transforming prayer. It is a prayer that invites the soul to regain its rightful place in our lives. When we chase after happiness, self-esteem, security, or well-being in the countless ways we can think to do that instead of questioning our “looking” – instead of questioning the direction of our attention, the soul is ignored. But when we say—“this isn’t working, I can’t keep doing this, I can’t live this way anymore”—then the second part of the prayer follows, which is: Help me. I am ready to listen. I can’t do this on my own.

This prayer for higher guidance is the prayer of discipleship, of becoming a “learner.” It is opening to the higher true Self. It is turning to God, the divine Friend, the Lord of Love that dwells within our own hearts. When Arjuna makes this turn from looking outward to seeking divine guidance within, the transformation begins.  (Gita 2:7)

Krishna, the Divine Friend, provides insight into Arjuna’s true nature as the foundation for his fulfillment.  Imagine the following words as counsel of the divine Self expounding on this instruction, offering the deepest encouragement to live a Self- and God-realized life. You are grieving, and in despair because you are confused about what is true. You are infatuated with your beliefs. You are trying to hold on to this wrong thinking. It is time for you let go. Time to live with faith. It is time for you to stand up and be willing to live your authentic life.

It is time to take your right place. No more letting habits hold you back. No more indulging in moods, or worry, or fear, or grief. No rehashing the past, going over and over old mistakes and wounds to your heart. No more trying to control the future because you can’t let go and trust. No more neglecting your soul with poor self-care and over-extending yourself beyond your limits. No more burdening yourself with feelings of unworthiness.

This message is for every seeking soul, for every one of us who years to know lasting fulfillment. It is time for the soul to rise. It is time to use our wisdom guided will to fight those familiar habits and tendencies, to free ourselves from whatever stands in the way of our full expression.  Stand up and fight!

—Ellen Grace O’Brian