View the world as an object for reciprocation, not recreation or rejection
Many prospective spiritualists have the question: “To become spiritual, do we have to turn our back to the world?”
Gita wisdom offers an unequivocal answer: “No; we just have to raise our eyes beyond the world to Krishna.”
The Bhagavad-gita (05.29) informs us that the world belongs to Krishna and is meant for his service. To grasp the significance of this information, let’s look at the three broad attitudes that people can have towards the world:
- Recreation: Those with this attitude treat the world as a good place made for their enjoyment. They presume that Krishna exists primarily to provide and protect their worldly enjoyment. Their attitude represents the path of karma.
- Rejection: Those with this attitude see the world as an evil place made to give them suffering. They see its apparent pleasures as baits that entice and entrap. Those with this attitude focus more on going away from the world than on going towards God. Their attitude represents the path of jnana.
- Reciprocation: Those with this attitude view Krishna as the primary, central reality of existence and see the world as a subordinate reality meant for his service. They see the world as an arena for reciprocating love with him, for making loving offerings to him through service and for witnessing enlightening demonstrations of his teachings. To them, worldly pleasures are distorted reflections of the spiritual joys available through loving service to Krishna. Their attitude represents the path of bhakti.
The Gita indicates that the third attitude reflects the most evolved understanding of the world.
When we cultivate this attitude, our eyes become fixed on Krishna, and so the world can no longer lock our eyes with its pleasures. By this devotional vision, we can stay spiritual even while being in the material world.
“A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.”