Catch the eye, catch the I
Our eyes are often like voracious heat-seekers scanning the horizon for sensually hot objects.
Our materialistic culture fully exploits our visual hunger. By planting seductive billboards often at every conceivable (and sometimes even inconceivable) corner, it corners us into ceaseless visual stimulation and thoughtless mental agitation. Once our mind is agitated by material desires, we almost instantaneously forget – or neglect – our spiritual identity and our devotional destiny. We become possessed by an illusory sense of I-ness.We think of ourselves as males or females, as our bodies, as capable of enjoyment independent of Krishna. Due to this misconception, we become disconnected from Krishna. Our pleasure-seeking propensity loses its spiritual avenue. Soon it gravitates down a materialistic free fall toward the object that invaded us through the eyes. Thus, once temptations catch the eye, they soon catch the I, the bewildered soul overcome by materialistic misconceptions
The Bhagavad-gitaempowers us to fight off such visual captivity when it:
1. Cautions us that mental distraction by even one of the roaming senses is lethal enough to blow away our intelligence (02.67) and
2. Urges us to zealously guard each one of our senses from misdirection (02.68).
We can police our eyes more easily when we let them drink sumptuously the beauty of Krishna as manifested in his Deities, because then our visual hunger is not repressed but redirected and satisfied. As we steadily habituate our eyes to feasting on Krishna’s beauty, he catches our eye and snatches our real “I” – the soul – out of the clutches of illusion back into his eternal embrace.
“As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.”