04.09 – The goal of spiritual life is to make spiritual life the goal
Many people see spiritual life as a pious recreation, as an elective break from the stresses of daily living.
Whatever be our initial impetus for spiritual exploration, bringing our spiritual side out of hibernation is good, because it activates our unique human potential for spirituality. It raises us above the sub-human beings that busy themselves lifelong in eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
However, if we let spirituality remain just as one of the many options on life’s menu-card, then our life’s main course stays filled with little more than the bodily demands that drive the animals. As this course can offer us only fleeting enjoyment, it can never cater to our appetite for unending fulfillment.
To satisfy that appetite, we need to upgrade our understanding of spiritual life. Instead of seeing material life as real life and spiritual life as an optional addendum, we need to see spiritual life – our life as souls in loving service to Krishna – as real life and material life as an intrusion into that real life.
Krishna descends to the world to end this intrusion. When he appears in this world, he restores order, as the oft-quoted Bhagavad-gita (04.08) verse declares. What is not often quoted is his goal in restoring that order mentioned in the next verse (04.09): to help us understand his divine and delightful pastimes, fall in love with him and return to him for a life of everlasting ecstasy.
When we enshrine this goal in the center of our consciousness, we restore order in our inner world. Our eyes and hearts become open to see Krishna’s love in how he tirelessly facilitates our journey through this world and expertly directs it towards him. That vision is life’s best security, existence’s greatest hope, heart’s highest joy.
04.09 – One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.