When we make the sea our ground, how can we avoid being moved around?
When we stand on solid ground, the steadiness underneath us gives a sense of safety. In contrast, when we stand on a rocking boat, we tend to feel nervous.
What applies to our bodies externally also applies to our hearts internally. If we are attached to and rooted in something that is unsteady, we naturally feel uneasy. The Bhagavad-gita (02.16) underscores that seers know the difference between ever-changing matter and unchanging spirit. When we let ourselves become attached to material things, we cannot avoid feeling insecure and restless, because those things are by their very nature temporary and ever-changing.
Trying to induce a state of peacefulness in ourselves by mere mental adjustment is like wishing to be steady while standing on a boat in an ocean – it may help, but only marginally. After all, as long as the sea is our ground, how can we avoid being moved around? And how can we avoid the sense of unease while we are being thus moved around? The more realistic and lasting way to stability is by relocating ourselves to solid ground. Similarly, a sounder way to peace is by redirecting our attachments from matter to spirit, more specifically, the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna.
Bhakti-yoga offers a systematic way to just such a redirection by spiritualizing the power of our emotions. In this yoga of love, we are assisted by the supremely merciful Krishna who makes the supreme spiritual reality, that is, himself, readily accessible through various manifestations in matter such as Deities, scriptures and holy names. These manifestations are no doubt divine, yet they are perceivable even with our material senses. And as we become progressively purified by thus contacting Krishna, these same manifestations become increasingly relishable, thereby making us not just peaceful but also blissful.