We need the eyes to see what our eyes need to see
When we are sick and in pain, a doctor may immediately see some symptoms that indicate the presence of disease. If during the course of treatment the doctor wants to warn us about the possibility of relapse, then we may be informed to watch out for some symptoms, which we might otherwise have not paid heed to. Thus, we get the eyes to see what our eyes need to see, that is, we get the knowledge by which to notice significant symptoms.
We see things not just with our eyes, but with the previously cultivated knowledge that helps us make sense of whatever we are seeing with our eyes. The Bhagavad-gita (15.10) states that we need the eyes of knowledge to see the soul’s predicament in the material world. The Gita helps us recognize our existential predicament – we are eternal souls who are infected with the disease of attachment to temporary worldly things. This infection has sentenced us to mortality, whereby we may succumb to death at any moment.
Without Gita wisdom, even when we see death felling people around us, we will think that we won’t die, at least not for a long time, and will continue our deluded search for worldly pleasures. In contrast, with Gita wisdom, we see the fragility of our present existence and the security of the spiritual level of reality, where we eternally belong and where our eternal Lord, Krishna, beckons us.
By thus getting the eyes to see what the eyes need to see – the vulnerability of the material existence and the security of our spiritual destiny – we can get the inspiration and the conviction to reorient ourselves spiritually towards Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga. Thus, even while living in this vulnerable world, we can relish the security of absorption in Krishna.
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