02.68: Catch the eye, catch the I
There are few senses that are as powerful conduits for our innate pleasure-seeking propensity as our eyes. For most of us, our eyes are often like voracious heat-seekers scanning the horizon for objects with sensual heat.
The economic lords who run our society exploit thoroughly our visual vulnerability. By planting seductive billboards often at every conceivable (and sometimes even inconceivable) corner, they corner us into a state of ceaseless visual stimulation and thoughtless mental agitation. Once our mind is agitated by material desires, we almost instantaneously forget – or neglect – our spiritual identity and our devotional destiny. We become possessed by an illusory sense of I-ness that makes us think of ourselves as fragmented centers of enjoyment separate from Krishna. As we become disconnected from Krishna, our pleasure-seeking propensity loses its spiritual avenue. on it gravitates down a materialistic free fall toward the object that invaded us through the eyes. Thus, once temptations catch the eye, they soon catch the I, the bewildered soul overcome by materialistic misconceptions
The Bhagavad-gita empowers us to fight off such visual captivity when it:
1. Cautions us that mental distraction by even one of the roaming senses is lethal enough to blow away our intelligence (2.67) and
2. Urges us to zealously guard each one of our senses from misdirection (2. 68).
This policing of our eyes becomes easier when we let them drink sumptuously the beauty of Krishna as manifested in his Deities, because then our visual craving is not repressed but redirected. As we steadily habituate our eyes to feasting on Krishna’s beauty, he catches our eye and snatches our real “I” – the soul – out of the clutches of illusion back into his eternal embrace.