What is the medium through which we experience the world?

In our culture, we mostly experience the real world second-hand: not by directly interacting with it using our senses, but by receiving it as depicted by the media, especially television.

When television reports events from the real world, as in the daily news, it reports not transparently but selectively, focusing on those real life events that are entertaining. Even its reports of non-entertaining tragic events like natural calamities are conveyed in an atmosphere that says: “don’t take this seriously.” This is evident in the concluding call of the daily news: “do join us tomorrow.” Why join again after having heard enough news of death and deceit and destruction to cause several sleepless nights? Only a miniscule fraction of the news affects us directly, and an even lesser fraction of those events can be affected by us. Then why join again? To be entertained. The unspoken message is: “All this is meant to entertain. Join us tomorrow for another session of entertainment.”

The point is not that we stay ignorant of worldly events but that we rise beyond being merely entertained by them to becoming illumined through them about the true nature of the world. For such illumination, we need to make scriptural knowledge the medium for our experience of the world. The Bhagavad-gita (13.35) recommends that we use jnana-chakshu (eyes of knowledge) to analyze our experience of the world. Such a vision will enable us to see philosophical truths demonstrated through worldly events. The more we see the Gita’s message vindicated in real life, the more we will feel inspired to apply it in our own lives. Only then will our experience of the world become meaningful and fruitful by preparing us to seek eternal blissful life beyond this world of mortality and misery.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Text 35

“Those who see with eyes of knowledge the difference between the body and the knower of the body, and can also understand the process of liberation from bondage in material nature, attain to the supreme goal.”

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Materialism centers on gaining; spirituality centers on regaining
The Gita calls not for blind obedience, but for visionary obedience

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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