We all try to become better devotees everyday, hopefully. We all try to become shastra-chakshu – see the world through the eyes of shastra. We all try to uproot our anarthas, we try to avoid offenses, we try to avoid bad association, we make conscious efforts to remember Krishna, we make conscious efforts to always be of some service. We know when we’ve been naughty, we know when we’ve been unfaithful, and we sure know when others are wrong, too. Sometimes we just can’t help but tell others about their mistakes. We practically feel the itch to improve the world.
What if I told you we are already perfect in every respect?
While we are busy improving our lives, paramahamsas see no need for any improvements. Their vision is actual, they are free from the influence of maya, they see the world as it is, and they see it as absolutely perfect.
Why don’t we accept it as a fundamental, underlying reality? Well, we don’t see it that way, that’s one reason, but we also don’t see Krishna yet we accept Him being God, so what’s the problem with accepting that His creation is flawless, too?
It won’t stop us from seeing duality of the creation and it won’t stop us from acting on that duality but at least we’d know that it’s just an illusion, a tribute to our imperfection, and that seeing perfection in everything is our goal. Well, not THE goal, but when we finally become devotees and engage in actual service this is how we will see the world.
All paramahamsas do, we won’t be any different.
The better devotees we become the less imperfections we should see in the world around us.
First we’ll stop noticing the suffering inflicted on us by material nature. Right now we see our bodies in terms of healthy and unhealthy, healthy being obviously better because sickness means pain and we don’t like pain. Liberation will take that perception away. All of it will become equally irrelevant, pleasure or pain, hot or cold, happiness or distress.
Absorbed in Krishna consciousness we’ll stop seeing some karmic reactions as better than others, we’ll see all of them as equally facilitating our appreciation for Krishna. Queen Kunti welcomed pain, for example, for it made her into a better devotee. It’s not a very rare kind of realization, if you listen to senior devotees they will all have stories to tell how stressful years of their lives were actually beneficial to their progress in the end. Most of us look back and don’t regret living through unpleasant times, too, if we took correct lessons from them, of course.
After transcending duality in our own lives we’ll see others as being perfect, too. We’ll see how they live through their tribulations so that they become better devotees. We’ll see that nothing happens without a reason, and for devotees that reason is their purification. Bad seeds in our hearts need to fructify so that we see how damaging they are. If we hold onto our anarthas we need to see that they have no value and for that we need to see what they are leading to. If they just stay there dormant we’ll never know we have to get rid of them. We need to see mistakes to learn from them. We’ll see how others go through exactly the same process, how all their mistakes ultimately lead to their purification.
Then we’ll learn to see the same principle applied to non-devotees. That’s a real paramahamsa stuff – the disappearance of non-devotees as a category. A paramahamsa see everyone as a perfect servant of Krishna already, incomparably better servant than himself. How’s that?
When I become a paramahamsa I’ll let you know.
For now we can only speculate. I guess they see that people interacting with the illusion are on the path to becoming devotees. They see how Maya devi takes care of slowly guiding them to perfection. They see how the Lord manifests Vedas for them, they see how the Lord manifests various dharmas suitable for their situation and how following these dharmas purifies them of their material consciousness, however slowly.
Or we can speculate that paramahamsas see how Lord relates to these people in the way suitable for their consciousness. They see how people interact with God according to their desires. When they surrender to maya they surrender to Lord’s energy, after all. We don’t see maya that way, we see her as separate, but paramahamsas don’t. They only see how everyone is put under a different kind of illusion. Yoga maya for liberated souls and Maha maya for conditioned, either way, it’s essentially the same energy that enables jivas to communicate with the Absolute Truth.
There’s no point in trying to predict what it would look like, we are like kids who have only a vague idea what sex is and absolutely no idea what it feels like.
Another possible way to see the world as perfect is to realize that time is external to the soul. If the purpose of creation is to gradually elevate us to Krishna consciousness then the only thing that separates the current state of affairs and the perfection is time. We might not be perfect now but we will be perfect in the future, except that for a liberated soul there’s no now and there’s no future because time has no influence over his soul, so he doesn’t see the progress we are so concerned about ATM.
We can approximate how it feels if we scale back time and look at manageable examples. Like if a baby is hungry but milk is being warmed up we don’t see it as neglect or child abuse. Just wait a couple of minutes, you’ll be fed and happy again. This short period of uncertainty visibly discomforts the baby but we are older, we know better, on our time scale it’s nothing.
Paramahamsas could see our current struggles in the same way – just wait a couple of lives, nothing really, you’ll attain Krishna’s lotus feet in no time.
What’s the point of all this however? Why should we try to speculate how the world looks to paramahamsas when we are clearly not on that level? One answer – to accept that the world is already perfect and so we don’t waste as much time and energy on temporary things as we do now.
We can’t stop worrying but we should distance ourselves from it because this worrying about the world is not a function of the soul, it’s external, we should tolerate its urges just like we tolerate arrival of a winter. We can’t stop it but it also shouldn’t stop us from our service.