To think that the illusions tempting us are new is an old illusion
The world we live in is a place of illusion. The primary illusion is that sense objects can make us happy. But the illusion runs deeper, making us believe that if we don’t enjoy the object presently alluring us, we will miss out on a pleasure that we haven’t experienced ever before.
This illusion is remarkable considering that sense pleasure is something everyone is experiencing, something we ourselves have experienced many times. How is this patently false illusion brought about? Through the appearance of newness. Sense objects appear bedecked in new forms, shapes, colors, inducing within us the notion, “I have never seen this, tasted this, touched this.”
Indeed, this appearance of newness is material existence’s essential illusion. And this illusion is an old illusion, as old as material existence itself. Since time immemorial, we souls over our many births during our worldly entanglement have been chasing after material pleasures. And throughout all these lives we have been incited by the sheen of newness that cloaks all sense objects which are actually nothing but combinations of the inert material elements such as earth, water, fire and air.
We need to unsentimentally contemplate and assimilate the reality that there’s nothing new in the material world, no matter how new it appears. Though such intellectual conviction is not enough, it’s an important beginning. Thereafter, we need to redirect our longing for the new to the place where it can be genuinely fulfilled. That place, Gita wisdom explains, is the all-attractive Supreme Person, Krishna. He, being unlimited, is unlimitedly attractive. When we connect with him by practicing bhakti-yoga, he mercifully enriches our heart with ever-fresh revelations of his greatness and sweetness.
No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (07.14) declares that only by surrendering to Krishna can we cross over the world’s illusion.
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