06.32: Retreat within to treat without

by January 9, 2012

The sixth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita states that the greatest yogis on retreating deep within the innermost recesses of their hearts experience:

  1. The highest happiness that comes by re-establishing their personal devotional connection with Krishna, the supreme reservoir of all happiness (6.28)
  2. The equal spiritual potential of all living beings as integral parts of the supreme (6.32).

These dual dimensions of their experience convince them that everyone has the capacity and deserves the opportunity to relish the sublime joy that they have relished.

But they see that most of us tend to postpone our inner search till we have created a stable situation externally. However, these seers know that external stability is difficult to sustain without internal serenity. That’s why they urge us to retreat within to treat without. When we have stabilized and strengthened ourselves internally by relishing our personal connection with the divine, then we don’t let our minds blow external problems out of proportion. When our sense of perspective is thus restored, we gain the vision and the vigor to minimize external volatility and thereby facilitate realistic external stability. More importantly, this experience of inner rejuvenation helps us see the truth of what they have been telling us: we can improve the external world only when we mine our spiritual potential and mint the sublime enrichment thereof – and help others to do the same.

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