Are we mistaking the cause of torture to be the source of shelter?
Suppose we are stranded in an ocean on a sharp jagged rock. The rock seems to be our shelter, but it is actually the cause of torture. It pierces us constantly, yet we dare not let it go, for we fear that without it we would be doomed.
Our fear is valid only as long as we don’t have any other shelter. If we were offered a lifeline from a ship that would take us to the safety of land, we would give up the rock and hold fast to the lifeline. Gladly.
Sadly we don’t when we are stranded in the ocean of material existence.
We are all souls who seek shelter in our material attachments. They offer some relief in the inevitable miseries of worldly existence. But these attachments are like sharp jagged rocks, for they pierce us with the pains of hankering and lamentation. We get pleasures occasionally but every such experience is throttled by our body’s limited capacity to enjoy. It only ends up increasing our torture, for it makes us lament when it ends and hanker for more The Bhagavad-gita (05.22) rightly warns that sensual pleasures are simply sources of misery.
Even though we undergo the torture, we hold on to our attachments because we fear that without them we would have no other happiness.
That’s true only as long as we don’t have access to the lifeline of devotional service. This lifeline coming from the ship of the association of devotees provides us spiritual happiness and takes us to the shores of immortality, where we can rejoice eternally in loving Krishna.
When this precious lifeline beckons us, will we let our fear prevent us from letting go of the jagged rock of our material attachments?
“An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.”