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God does not wish to be Praised by Anyone

Arjuna frequently addressed Krishna using an affectionate phrase that referred to Krishna as his closest and dearest relative, the light of his heart. Krishna once told Arjuna when they were sitting on the banks of a sacred river, "Arjuna, I do not like to be revered by you as your dearest relative, without reason."

In the world many people will freely praise God, using terms of great respect or familiarity, but God will not accept such adulation. Praises will be very common for people to utter in order to gain favor. It is as if they were going to some government officer to get into his good graces. But, praise which has no real basis, is like perfumed water. It can be smelled but it cannot be taken as nourishment. You will hear all manner of flattery but it will not touch your heart. God accepts only true feelings that come sincerely from the depths of your heart.

Krishna said to Arjuna, "I don't want to ask you to give up calling me your closest relative, and yet you are saying it out of praise rather than because it is really true. Therefore, I want to become your relative so that you can say it sincerely, knowing in your heart that it is true." Shortly afterwards, Krishna offered his sister in marriage to Arjuna and became Arjuna's brother-in-law.

Krishna's brother Balarama did not approve of this marriage, and would not even come to the wedding. Instead, he went off to a forest. From that time on, Balarama did not feel much love for Krishna. But, for the sake of harmonizing thought, word and deed, Krishna was willing to risk his relation to his own closest kin, his older brother, who as a divine being had taken birth for the express purpose of assisting Krishna in his mission.

This trait that we see here in Krishna, of putting principles before considerations of kinship, is truly extraordinary. His actions were always commensurate with his words. Unity of thought, word and deed is the very nature of divinity. It is also the true nature of man. Whatever you think must be in harmony with what you say, and whatever you say, that you must do. This harmony of thought, word and deed is the deeper meaning of Swami's often repeated statement, 'The proper study of mankind is man.'

Krishna told Arjuna, "I want to make an example of you to the whole world, that is why I am teaching you here on the battlefield the qualities of an enlightened being. First, I will turn you into a wise man and then, through your example, I will teach others. To begin with, you must understand this most important principle, which is that you are not the body; you are the indweller. When you understand that, you will no longer be bothered by body-consciousness.

The body is temporary. God is eternal and permanent. You are not the cloth but the one who wears the cloth. The body is the temple of God, but the indweller is God himself. This world is impermanent and full of sorrow. There is no use taking refuge in it. All the people you know will change. God is the only fixed entity. He is the one lamp which does not get extinguished. Take shelter in him. He is the supreme light. He is the light of the soul. He is the undiminishable light of pure consciousness. He is the one light, without a second."

Through such inspiring words, Krishna transformed Arjuna's heart which had been filled with impurities. By explaining all these noble principles to him, Krishna made Arjuna's heart bright and pure. Krishna turned Arjuna into a true wise man, one who manifested all the divine qualities.