Don’t let the small picture blind you to the big picture
In the spiritual context, the small picture refers to the daily struggles that characterize our inner and outer lives as seekers. And the big picture refers to the subtle but sure elevation of our consciousness brought about by our spiritual practices.
Life’s routine realities may trap us in the small picture. Therein we may become disheartened, thinking, “How is my life different from that of materialists? Like them, I have to undergo life’s many miseries. And I also have to battle with the many worldly desires that continue to tempt and torment me.”
Gita wisdom shifts our focus to the big picture, helping us to see our life and our consciousness from a long-term perspective. Whereas materialists are like foolhardy alcoholics who are delighting in their indulgence, we are like recovering alcoholics who have recognized the danger of the indulgence and found a way to break free from its spell. Though both may be allured by alcohol and though both may be afflicted by its consequences, they are looking in opposite directions.
While materialists look forward to worldly desires as sources of enjoyment – as we ourselves may have earlier – we are now viewing those desires warily as sources of entanglement. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (05.23) indicates that the wise tolerate worldly desires and become happy. The next verse (5.24) indicates that such happiness comes from a redirection of focus from without to within, thereby connecting us with the indwelling supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. This connection can act as a reliable inner buffer when we are afflicted by worldly miseries.
By seeking shelter in the remembrance of Krishna, we can gracefully endure whatever miseries come our way. Further, as we renounce karmically entangling worldly indulgences, our sufferings progressively decrease till we ultimately transcend miserable material existence and attain Krishna’s eternal ecstatic abode.
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