See Krishna not just as an object of entertainment, but as the objective of enlightenment

Many people are introduced to Krishna through his stories narrated by their grandparents or depicted in comics or movies. Such depictions often leave people with the impression that Krishna is an entertaining hero, like other historical or fictional characters whose antics and stunts entertain them.

Connecting with Krishna in any way is beneficial. But the full benefit of connecting with him awaits those who see him the way the Gita reveals him: as the objective of enlightenment.

Enlightenment doesn’t mean seeing some mystical light without or within; it means knowing how to become happy by fulfilling our deepest longing: the longing to love and be loved. When misdirected, this longing becomes the source of immense distress. Enlightenment essentially means knowing where to direct this longing.

Gita wisdom explains that the worthiest object for this longing is Krishna. He is the Absolute Truth, the all-attractive supreme person, the embodiment and fulfillment of all love. He manifests in full the attractiveness that is seen fractionally in attractive worldly things (10.41). Those who understand Krishna thus devote themselves wholeheartedly to him (15.19).

When we see Krishna as an object of entertainment, we connect with him as long as he seems entertaining. As soon as some other character seems more entertaining, we move on.

But when we understand Krishna’s position philosophically, we see our search for pleasure in new light. We appreciate that whatever titillation our mind may enjoy through any entertaining character will be fleeting, whereas the satisfaction our soul can relish through a loving connection with Krishna will be lasting. Thus, we become committed to practicing bhakti-yoga diligently.

Being thus philosophically illumined and devotionally purified, when we approach Krishna’s pastimes, they captivate us permanently. Living absorbed in him lifelong, we attain his eternal abode thereafter (04.09).

Think it over:

  • What is the essence of enlightenment?
  • How is Krishna the objective of enlightenment?
  • How does understanding Krishna’s position change our search for pleasure?

 

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