See the reality of our material situation – and see that reality is bigger than our material situation

Our present situation in material existence is precarious: a quake under our feet or a quake in our heart can kill us at any moment. Even if death doesn’t befall us, still, any moment something can disrupt our plans, even destroy everything that we have lived for.

This reality is so unnerving that we viscerally deny it. However, such denial doesn’t change the reality – it only worsens our real predicament. Our denial sentences us to vainly searching for pleasure here in the material world, where pleasure frequently eludes us; where pleasure, even if found, is too fleeting to be fulfilling; where our search for pleasure increases out entanglement.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (13.09) states that spiritual knowledge is characterized by contemplation on material existence’s inescapable distresses – old age, disease, death and rebirth.

Is such contemplation pessimistic?

No, because the Gita doesn’t recommend obsessing on the distressfulness of material reality; it reveals, for our constant and buoyant contemplation, a beautiful, blissful higher reality. That reality centers on our indestructible spiritual core and our eternal relationship with the invincible, all-attractive supreme being, Krishna.

When we understand that reality is two-dimensional – material and spiritual – then contemplating material reality’s perilousness powerfully prods us towards focusing on spiritual reality. Such focus inspires us to embrace the Gita’s recommendation to practice bhakti-yoga for spiritualizing our consciousness. With a devotionally-permeated consciousness, we become increasingly aware of the proximity and the potency of Krishna, guiding us through this danger-filled world towards safety, purity and spirituality.

Thus, accepting the grim reality of our material situation increases our openness for learning about the totality of reality by turning to the Gita. And the Gita inspires us to become whole-heartedly devoted to Krishna, thus equipping us to become absorbed in him – absorbed lovingly, joyfully, perennially.

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