Bhakti makes expanded awareness our enduring awareness

During the course of our life, we may get a glamorized lifestyle product, but find the pleasure thereof pathetically short-lived. Or we may lose something dear to us. Such disorienting events often prompt us to ask: Isn’t there anything more to life – something more enduring and fulfilling?

These questions impel us to expand our awareness spiritually beyond life’s mundane concerns. We become spiritual explorers, trying out various things that feel good. But unfortunately, our urge for expanded awareness doesn’t always last for long. Life goes on, and something new comes up, promising relief or pleasure. Though recently experienced, the inanity of worldly pleasures or the ephemerality of worldly things becomes a distant memory. And we let our awareness shrink back to the mundane.

To expand our awareness sustainably, we need an intellectual framework and a self-transformational process, akin to a map and a vehicle for a journey. The Bhagavad-gita can serve as the map and bhakti-yoga, the vehicle.

The Gita introduces us to the pinnacle of expanded awareness – the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. He is the source of everything attractive, including the things we find attractive at our present constricted awareness (10.41).

When we thus appreciate Krishna’s all-attractiveness, our impetus for expanding our consciousness becomes positive, not negative. We are inspired not by the limitations of constricted awareness, but by the joys of expanded awareness. And this positive impetus can be not just lasting but also increasing. The more we expand our awareness by bhakti practice, the more we connect with Krishna and relish his sweetness – and the more we feel inspired to further expand our awareness. Pertinently, the Gita (06.30) assures that when our consciousness expands so much that we see Krishna in everything and everything in Krishna, he is never lost to us.

Thus, bhakti makes expanded awareness our enduring awareness.

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