I was reminded of that article recently when I read something about how our brains work. Neuroscience, or brain science, is one of the hot topics of the day, and by now most of us are aware of the discovery that the two hemispheres of the brain serve different functions. The terms left-brained and right-brained are becoming part of everyday language. To call someone leftbrained is to say that the person lacks such qualities as creativity, imagination, and the ability to see things holistically.
The right-brain, left-brain concept struck me as an apt, though admittedly limited, metaphor for the Vedic concepts of jnana and bhakti, where the left brain would represent jnana, and the right, bhakti. Jnana is the attempt to understand everything solely through the intellect, while bhakti, or devotional service to God, is a nurturing of the heart that leads to full knowledge as a byproduct of the soul’s loving connection with God. Bhakti takes one to heights of realization far beyond the reach of jnana.
From the perspective of the Bhagavad-gita, we might say that it’s hard to dance with Krishna, figuratively or literally, if you have two left brains.
Bhakti includes jnana. But that jnana is different from the jnana of persons who rely exclusively on their own intellects to attain knowledge, whether aided by traditional Vedic methods or by scientific research. The jnana associated with bhakti comes directly from Krishna, through the scriptures and His pure devotees, and includes knowledge of our relationship with Him, intimate knowledge that the process of jnana can never uncover.
Just as traditional jnanis hoped to get complete knowledge through their speculative intellectual endeavors, the greatest minds in science today are pursuing a Theory of Everything (note: they’re not even close). But for those willing to listen, Krishna has already revealed everything. By taking advantage of His revelations, we can dance happily in this world, in a life of service to Him, and ultimately return to dance with Him in His abode. There, every step is a dance, the music never stops, and our spiritual brains function perfectly in the natural state of loving Krishna.