Mirrors make us self-conscious; the Gita makes us conscious of the self
Few things make us as self-conscious as a mirror. The sight of a mirror often makes us involuntarily check and adjust our hair, our dress and our overall looks.
However from the Gita perspective, few things make us as self-unconscious as a mirror. Glancing at a mirror usually increases our bodily misidentification, thereby aggravating our forgetfulness of our spiritual identity.
Of course, the path of devotion doesn’t require us to give up mirrors; it just asks us to take care that they don’t steal our spiritual awareness. More importantly, the devotional path doesn’t require us to give up our concern about how we look; it simply urges us to redirect our concern to the real me. The real me refers not just to the soul, but also to the real state of our consciousness beyond our externals.
For this, we need a special mirror: the mirror of Gita wisdom. When we study the Gita, seeking not just information but also introspection, then different Gita verses speak to us at different times, according to the state of our consciousness. This helps us detect and eradicate our hidden material desires, and also arouse and energize our dormant devotional desires.
The more we familiarize ourselves with the Gita’s verses, the more they will act as friendly guides on our journey to Krishna. In fact, over time, we will realize that through these verses it is Krishna who is extending his friendly hand to lead us back to him, as he promises in the Gita (10.11). We will start seeing the Gita as a personalized mirror held in front of us by Krishna to stimulate reflection. Thereafter, Gita study will never again be dry and stale; it will become endlessly exciting and enlightening.
“To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.”