Worldly enjoyment is the bait to worldly entanglement
When a fish that is swimming freely in the ocean gets allured by a bait, it soon gets trapped.
We all are like that fish, and worldly enjoyment is like the bait. We are spiritual beings who are meant to swim freely in the ocean of devotional bliss by living according to our core identity as eternal loving parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. But when we get captivated by worldly objects, we soon become bound by them. Our thoughts get dragged, repeatedly and relentlessly, towards those objects. We become like alcoholics who may externally seem as free as non-alcoholics, but are internally dragged towards alcohol.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.38) cautions that passionate pleasures that taste like nectar initially turn out to be like poison eventually. For the fish, the bait tastes like nectar, but as soon as it is pulled out of the water, it suffers terribly, as if it had ingested poison. Similarly, worldly objects may seem relishable initially, but binds us to poisonous worldly existence with its multiple miseries and the repetition of birth and death.
The fish’s seeking food is not the problem – that is its natural need; the problem is its choosing to seek food in the bait instead of elsewhere in the ocean. Similarly, our seeking pleasure is not the problem – that is our natural need as we are innately pleasure-seeking; the problem is our choosing to seek pleasure in worldly objects instead of in Krishna. When we focus on connecting with Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga, the resulting spiritualization of our consciousness helps us relish the fulfillment that we were craving for in vain in worldly objects.
When we strive to connect with Krishna and determinedly eschew worldly enjoyment, seeing it as a bait, our longing for happiness is slowly but supremely fulfilled in our Lord.
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