Awareness: that’s what distinguishes the living from the non-living. Though all living beings are aware, most are aware only of material reality.
The capacity to be aware of spiritual reality: that’s what distinguishes human beings among other living beings. Though all human beings have this capacity, few utilize it.
The awareness of spiritual reality: that’s what distinguishes spiritualists among other human beings. Not all spiritualists, though, ascend to awareness of the pinnacle of spiritual reality: Krishna.
The active awareness of Krishna as the ultimate spiritual reality: that’s what distinguishes devotees among other spiritualists.
The Bhagavad-gita points to this progressive enrichment of awareness when it states
kashcid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kashcin mam vetti tattvatah
– Bhagavad-gita 7.3
Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
What does knowing Krishna in truth mean?
It doesn’t meant not theoretical informational knowledge of Krishna as a historical personality. Millions already have that and millions more can acquire that just by reading a relevant book.
It means practical, experiential awareness of Krishna as the acme of truth, the paragon of beauty, the ocean of happiness. To be aware of Krishna is to relish an unending flood of wisdom, beauty and joy.
When we become aware of Krishna, we don’t become unaware of other features and levels of reality; we see them from a higher perspective, just as we see the traffic on an expressway from the top of a skyscraper.
Awareness of Krishna not only heightens but also unifies our perspective We see all of reality not as discrete and discordant sets of perspectives, but as coherent and concordant subsets of reality within the superset of Krishna.
This unifying awareness is thrilling and fulfilling. It is vintage Krishna consciousness.