Verse 2.66: One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Kṛṣṇa consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
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With so many disturbing events taking place all over the world, the topic of peace keeps coming up in conversations. Whether it be peace between nations, individual and country, or between individuals themselves, the streets and internet are overflowing with questions like: "What's going on? Why isn't it possible for everyone to just live in peace?" My personal opinion is that if everyone could experience peace in their own lives, society as a whole wouldn't be as dysfunctional as it is.
The Gita will present the ultimate peace formula in it's entirety in Chapter 5, but today I'd like to explore the question of why, as individuals, it's so difficult for many of us to experience peace.
This verse very clearly presents why many of us aren't peaceful - we are not connected to the Supreme. My favorite definition of yoga is a phrase that the great bhakti master, Srila Prabhupada, coined: "Yoga means to keep in touch with the Supreme." How beautiful is that? It gets to the heart of what yoga is about - relationships and connection.
Relationships require one to put time and energy into them. It requires one to "keep in touch". As has been repeatedly mentioned, the Gita teaches that we are the soul, an eternal spiritual spark. A spark is very tiny and limited in it's capacity to ignite anything if it is not connected to the flame from where it came from. But, the moment that spark is reunited with the flame it originated from - WOAH! There's some serious power.
Similarly, on our own we are minute and lonely when we are not connected with the Supreme. Very practically speaking, if we were under the shelter of the one who is most powerful, rich, famous, knowledgeable, beautiful and renounced, wouldn't we feel protected and loved? Right now, as souls wearing different bodies, we are under the illusion that we are the controller. The thing is, it's hard to fill a role that we're not qualified for. As we continue to operate under the illusion that "we can take care of everything on our own", many of us only experience greater loneliness and a sense of dissatisfaction.
Bhakti yoga is about teaching us how to "get back in touch" with both ourselves and the Supreme. Through the process of acting in a spirit of gratitude and becoming unattached to the fruits of our results, we're re-investing in a relationship that we've been taking for granted for so long. Gratitude is a beautiful platform to build a relationship. As we start to live our lives acknowledging and marveling at the gifts and talents we've been given, we start to realize that our happiness doesn't depend on material objects.
Naturally, our senses become controlled and the mind becomes peaceful. It takes a lot of energy to constantly live a "what's in it for me" kind of life. Instead, when we realize we are connected to the Divine, who provides everything we need anyways, that burden is lifted from our shoulders. At that stage, guess what we experience? Peace.