The night after a quake, the stars still shine in the sky – don’t let the misery of your life blind you to the beauty of life

Suppose a deadly quake has hit a place, leaving it in ruins. If we gaze at all the debris, the sight can be depressing, even devastatingly depressing. While our heart is thus sinking, suppose we happen to look up at the sky and see it filled with beautiful stars. The sight of that celestial beauty can get our thoughts out of the terrestrial misery around us and help us regain perspective: even if our world has come crashing down, the world at large endures.  

During our lives, we sometimes face reversals that seem like quakes which bring our whole world crashing down. How can we cope? By raising our vision to the spiritual sky, filled with stars of timeless truths. 

Gita wisdom raises our vision to that star-filled sky. It reminds us that our core identity is spiritual: beyond our perishable bodies, we are indestructible souls. Beyond the distress that afflicts us at the bodily level, hope springs eternal at the spiritual level. And the spiritual level is the springboard of not just hope but also opportunity: we all have the potential to realize our indestructibility. 

To perceive the spiritual level, we need to free our vision from being locked in our problems. What locks our vision in our problems? Ignorance. The Bhagavad-gita (18.35) states that obsessing over life’s negativities by worrying, lamenting, moping, blaming, resenting characterizes a mind afflicted by ignorance. 

Amid adversity, we can choose to look at the stars of spiritual truths: we are indestructible souls; our benevolent Lord still reigns supreme, orchestrating things for our ultimate good; we still have the opportunity to evolve spiritually. By looking up at these stars, we can get the necessary positivity to manifest good out of the bad.

 

Think it over:

  • How does the Gita raise our vision to the spiritual level? 
  • What are the stars that illumine the spiritual sky?
  • What practices help you to get your thoughts out of your immediate problems?

 

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18.35 And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Prutha, is in the mode of darkness.

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