Wednesday morning, after clamoring aboard a United 747 Jet, I flew over the Pacific Ocean, crossed the international dateline, and landed in Tokyo, Japan at 2:30pm Thursday afternoon.
Ten minutes before our jet landed in Tokyo, our chief purser asked the passengers - who had been without sunlight for nearly eleven hours - to open their window shades.
The instant the passengers opened the shades we were treated to a most magnificent sight: the green earth below with all its majesty and variety.
I was surprised at how jubilant I felt simply by seeing the earth and the light of the sun!
After being deprived for only a few hours, my senses were already starving for sunlight, air and tangible variety.
Living in the material world is like flying in the fuselage of a jet where one gets only indirect light and an intangible taste of variety from a television screen. Since the material world is a mere reflection of reality, the so-called happiness we perceive here is faint, unsatisfying, and frustrating.
Bhakti yoga opens the window shades of our senses, letting in the light and variety from the spiritual world, revealing the unlimited possibilities for enjoyment that come from meeting Krishna, our divine source and reservoir of all pleasure and variety.
One glimpse of the festival of happiness that is the spiritual world turns the bhakti yogi’s mind toward going there.
Author John O'Donohue writes:
“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” (John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
And in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Narada Muni in his teachings to his disciple Vyasadeva, describes the nature of his own awakening:
“O great sage, as soon as I got a taste for the Personality of Godhead, my attention to hear of the Lord was unflinching. And as my taste developed, I could realize that it was only in my ignorance that I had accepted gross and subtle coverings, for both the Lord and I are transcendental.” (SB 1.5.27)
Hear and chant about Krishna daily as doing so opens the window of one’s senses to the light of the spiritual world and awakens the desire in one’s heart to again embrace the ground of the spiritual world.