The spiritual vision of all living beings is both saddening and gladdening

A foundational philosophical insight is that the material vision and the spiritual vision do not see alike. When we strive to gain spiritual vision through yoga practice, we may wonder: How do advanced spiritualists see things?

The Bhagavad-gita (06.29-32) outlines the vision of the saintly: they see everyone situated in the Supreme and the Supreme situated in everyone (06.29). Thereby, they regard everyone equally, beholding the one Supreme situated in the hearts of all (06.31). Appreciating the spiritual similarity of all living beings, they perceive that we all share the same essential joys and sorrows (06.32). This unifying spiritual vision is both saddening and gladdening.

Why saddening? Because they see that all living beings, though spiritual at their core, are presently lost in the vain pursuit of worldly pleasures. Why lost? Because we are spiritual and can find fulfillment only in love for the all-attractive supreme spiritual reality, Krishna whose parts we are eternally. Material enjoyment is a mirage that takes us away from the oasis of spiritual fulfillment. Seeing most living beings alienating themselves from this oasis, they feel profoundly saddened.

How, then, is the spiritual vision gladdening? Because they see that no matter how spiritually lost any living being may be, no one is ever lost to Krishna – he always accompanies everyone in their hearts as their greatest well-wisher. Due to their personal devotional realization, they have experienced the joy of loving absorption in Krishna. Knowing that the same Lord who has guided them to spiritual safety and joy is guiding all living beings, they feel gladdened.

The simultaneous feelings of sadness and gladness infuse them with deep compassion. They strive to become Krishna’s agents for stimulating everyone’s dormant spiritual awareness, desiring that no one stay deprived of the joy of connecting with their indwelling Lord.

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