On Seeing Krishna part 3–Seeing Krishna in Nature, and in our Life

Redwoods

As a nineteen year old living in the redwood forests near San Francisco, California, I became tuned in to myself and my spiritual feelings, and the forces of Nature, which we often become forgetful of in today’s world of gadgets and things. I now appreciate how the juxtaposition of my simple life (I had given up my education, relationship, and employment) with my past life’s unfinished spiritual practice, naturally fostered a spiritual awakening. This was fueled by my existential crisis, without which I couldn’t have turned toward a spiritual path. When we are not distracted and in a receptive mood we can notice many things we formally missed.

Redwoods

As a nineteen year old living in the redwood forests near San Francisco, California, I became tuned in to myself and my spiritual feelings, and the forces of Nature, which we often become forgetful of in today’s world of gadgets and things. I now appreciate how the juxtaposition of my simple life (I had given up my education, relationship, and employment) with my past life’s unfinished spiritual practice, naturally fostered a spiritual awakening. This was fueled by my existential crisis, without which I couldn’t have turned toward a spiritual path. When we are not distracted and in a receptive mood we can notice many things we formally missed.

For example, at that time, I rose with the sunrise amidst the sounds of the birds, and spent my day reading spiritual books, and walking in the woods while simply observing, then pondering the meaning. I saw the decomposing tree bodies on the ground with young saplings growing up through the fertile soil they helped create. The various cycles of Nature were all around me—the simple rising and setting of the sun, the appearance of the moon and stars, and the changing seasons—all had meaning to me, helped by the spiritual books I read. It was like I never noticed it before—like a child excited by things grownup are too familiar with. This is a perfect example of not “seeing the forest for the trees!” My mom once proclaimed after a trip to Colorado, “If you seen one tree, you’ve seen ‘em all.” A shocking statement to me now, since so much is there even in one leaf, and what to speak of a tree, or a whole forest!

Although you may not be able to spend extended periods of time living as a hermit, you can still practice seeing Krishna in his energy right where you are, and at least spend time in peaceful, natural environments. There are many Vedic verses that can help facilitate this. For example, in Bhagavad Gita, chapter seven, verses four to eleven, we learn that Krishna is the origin of all material and spiritual things, the supreme truth, the taste of water, light of the sun and moon, sound, our ability, intelligence, strength, the original pure fragrance of anything, the heat of the fire, our penances and very life. One can learn those verses, and apply them in daily life.

When we taste water we can see it as Krishna, and thank him for supplying it to quench our thirst, or when we see light or hear a sound of any kind, we can know that Krishna is the Source of that, and is kindly giving us that facility. These physical manifestations represent Krishna, yet we don’t worship them independently, as does the pantheist. As aspiring devotees of Krishna, we have to connect them with Krishna, seeing him as their source. The painter (Krishna) is much more valuable than the painting (his creation), though we see him in his work. There is so much more, but we are out of time. Do check out other verses in the Gita’s tenth and eleventh chapter, as well as in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Second Canto, First and Sixth Chapter, which also explains Krishna’s Universal Form. I will end with two verses from the Bhagavatam:

“O King, the rivers are the veins of the gigantic body, the trees are the hairs of His body, and the omnipotent air is His breath. The passing ages are His movements, and His activities are the reactions of the three modes of material nature. O best amongst the Kurus, the clouds which carry water are the hairs on His head, the terminations of days or nights are His dress, and the supreme cause of material creation is His intelligence. His mind is the moon, the reservoir of all changes.” [Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.1.33-34]

Krishna's Universal Form