Be not eager for the meager
Suppose someone invited us for a feast and then delivered food so meager that it wouldn’t satisfy even a squirrel. If they invited and under-delivered repeatedly, we would resolve to never again accept their deceptive invitations.
We need to make a similar resolve in our quest for pleasure. Our materialistic culture externally and our materialistic mind internally invite us for a feast of sensual indulgence, promising immediate and immense pleasure. But the actual pleasure is pathetically meager – it ends in a few moments. We want more, but it’s no longer available. Or even if it’s available, our body doesn’t allow us to have more. Thus, sensual indulgence leaves us not satisfied, but dissatisfied. The Bhagavad-gita (05.22) cautions that sense pleasures, being temporary, beget misery.
Sense pleasure’s insubstantiality, we all experience – and experience repeatedly. Still, we keep craving and slaving for it. Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.19.10) states that we have immense craving (uru-trushna) for insignificant pleasure (kshudra-sukha). Why are we so eager for the meager? As we are innately pleasure-seeking, our materialistic worldview makes us believe that pleasure means material pleasure. Driven by this belief, we let our fantasy trump our memory. Hoping desperately that sense pleasure will deliver on its promise this time, we subconsciously block out memories of that pleasure’s past perfidies – only to have the sorry history repeat itself, again and again.
To rectify our misdirected eagerness, we need to change our worldview from material to spiritual. For such re-education, Gita wisdom stands ready. It explains that we are essentially spiritual and our longing for happiness can be fulfilled in loving and serving Krishna, the reservoir of all pleasure.
We can access this higher fulfillment by practicing bhakti-yoga diligently. The more we realize, relish and cherish this happiness, the more our eagerness shifts from sensual pleasure that never satisfies to Krishna who eternally satisfies.
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