Don’t let your assumptions about happiness deprive you of happiness
“I want to go closer to Krishna, but it requires following so many rules that will restrict my happiness. How can I give up happiness?” This fear often checks many of us who are seekers on the devotional path.
Gita wisdom counters our fear by informing us that what we have to give up is not happiness, but our assumption about what constitutes happiness. We often assume that happiness means material happiness. However, Gita wisdom points out that this assumption is unquestioned and questionable. Let’s see how:
Unquestioned: People around us in real life and especially in the media frequently glamorize and pursue material enjoyment. This propaganda is so overwhelmingly convincing that we rarely, if ever, question it.
Questionable: But the materialist propaganda is questionable because it depicts the reality selectively and deceptively. It never depicts that our bodily capacity to enjoy is limited inescapably. Material enjoyment being fleeting can never satisfy our longing for unending happiness, just as a drop of water can’t satisfy a thirst-parched person in a desert.
Gita wisdom empowers us to question our assumptions about happiness in two ways:
- By informing us that we as souls have a original and natural right to spiritual happiness, a happiness that is far superior to material enjoyment
- By facilitating us to experience spiritual happiness through the practice of devotional service.
The Bhagavad-gita (05.21) assures us that if we turn our heart away from external material enjoyment to internal spiritual fulfillment, we will get unlimited happiness. Once we develop a taste for spiritual happiness, we will no longer fear that devotional life requires us to give up happiness. Instead, our only regret will be: why did I let my assumptions about happiness deprive me of real happiness for so long?
“Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.”