We can’t reach new planets without leaving the earth
The prospect of traveling to new planets is both stimulating and unnerving. It’s stimulating because of the excitement ofexploring uncharted territory. And it’s unnerving because of the anxiety of leaving the familiarity and the security of the earth. Only those bold enough to subordinate their anxiety to their excitement can become space explorers.
The same principle applies to our spiritual journey too. It’s stimulating because of the excitement of relishing new inner experiences. And it’s unnerving because of the anxiety of leaving familiar sensual pleasures. Only those bold enough to subordinate their material anxiety to their spiritual excitement can become inner explorers.
The Bhagavad-gita urges us to become such fearless adventurers when it states (05.21) that those who detach themselves from external pleasures and concentrate on inner joys gradually relish unending happiness.
The rewards of spiritual exploration are everlasting, unlike the temporary rewards of all material explorations. That’s an additional incentivefor taking-off spiritually.
If we still feel apprehensive about leaving the security of the material level, Gita wisdom underscores that this security is an illusion – and a treacherous illusion at that. All material pleasures will end with the passage of time and will be replaced by pains as the body succumbs inexorably to disease, old age and finally death. Thus, by staying on at the material level, we are definitely doomed. But by taking off spiritually, we have some probability of success.
Gita wisdom increases our success probability by providing a sturdy and trustworthy spacecraft: the time-tested process of devotional service. As soon as we start practicing devotional servicewholeheartedly, the spacecraft takes off. And once we take-off, spiritual happiness doesn’t remain a distant destination but becomes an ongoing experience that helps us forget what we are leaving and relish what we are getting.
“Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.”