13.28 – We see not by staring but by hearing
When our computer breaks down, we can’t see the problem merely by staring at the specific parts of the computer. We need to hear from computer experts who understand the principles that unify its various individual parts into a functioning whole. These experts have in turn learnt from computer manuals.
The computer is an electronic device; the world, a cosmic device. When the world stymies us with perplexities, we can’t find the way ahead merely by staring at the perplexities. We need to hear from experts, spiritual teachers who understand the principles of living. By these principles, they can see how various worldly incidents contribute to the world’s ultimate function: to inspire and impel us to redirect our love from matter to Krishna.
The best source for learning these unifying principles is the Bhagavad-gita because it most efficaciously harmonizes our perception with reality. The Gita underscores enlightened perception by using phrases like yah pashyati sa pashyati “One who sees this actually sees,” (Gita 13.28).
Such hearing is far more essential for dealing with worldly perplexities than for dealing with computer breakdowns. Why? Because the world not only doesn’t show the right solution, but also shows many pseudo-solutions. It allures our eyes with myriad sense objects that promise relief and pleasure. Once we get caught in these objects, we completely lose sight of the world’s underlying principles.
By thus understanding that staring is not only unenlightening but is also deluding, we get a double impetus to replace staring with learning. By regularly studying Gita wisdom and purifying ourselves through the committed practice of devotional service, we learn to see beyond what our eyes see. The invisible becomes visible not necessarily by esoteric mystical experiences, but usually by the harmonious integration of submissive hearing and attentive seeing.