Remembering Krishna is not a function of the memory – it is an inclination of the heart - ISKCON Kolkata

We usually associate remembrance with memory – those with good memory can remember a lot of things, those with poor memory struggle to remember even basic things. And though we all can increase our memory by practice and training, still we can’t entirely correct nature’s unequal distribution of memory at birth.

When we study Gita wisdom and understand that remembering Krishna is central to our spiritual growth, we may feel apprehensive whether the memory that limited us in our educational success will limit us in our spiritual growth too.

However, the remembrance of Krishna that the Bhagavad-gita recommends is not an intellectual remembrance that centers on brain memory – it is essentially a devotional remembrance that centers on the heart.  The Bhagavad-gita (09.34) places his remembrance as the fulcrum of a reorientation of our whole life, by becoming devoted to him, offering our homage and obeisance to him.

If we can memorize verses and facts about him, that memorization can aid in his devotional remembrance. But devotional remembrance centers on learning to love Krishna. When we love someone, we naturally remember that person. The spontaneity with which our consciousness flows towards our object of love demonstrates that our heart has become inclined towards that person. For steady spiritual growth, we need a heart inclined towards Krishna.

As Krishna is all-pure and all-attractive, even if we remember him conscientiously, not spontaneously, still, that remembrance helps us become purified and increasingly attracted to him.

So, even if we can’t memorize many spiritual facts or verses, if we just determinedly keep directing our thoughts devotionally towards him, our attraction to him will slowly but surely increase. Eventually, we will achieve the purpose and perfection of a good memory and indeed of all human faculties: eternal ecstatic absorption in Krishna.


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