Blind people can be cured – people proud of their blindness can’t be

Suppose a blind person considered their blindness as a matter of pride to be paraded. We would wonder: would anyone do such a thing? Yes, those blinded by materialism often do so.

The Bhagavad-gita (16. 15) outlines the mentality of materialist extremists: Being proud of their wealth and power, which they often obtain unethically, they imagine themselves incomparably successful. They are blind to the reality that inexorable time will soon take away everything that they hold dear; that they will have to bear the karmic consequences of whatever they have done; and that their materialism is depriving them of the oceanic spiritual happiness that can be theirs if they realize their eternal identity as souls, who are beloved parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. This Gita verse concludes its characterization by stating that such people’s ignorance leaves them deluded, or in other words, blinded.

Of course, we all are materially attached, to smaller or greater degrees. Still, we can have hope of overcoming our attachments if we humbly recognize our bound state. However, those who rationalize, arguing that this material world is all that exists and that material enjoyment alone is the sole purpose of existence – such self-righteous materialists are like people proud of their blindness. They have very little hope of being elevated. Not because Krishna doesn’t want to help them, but because they don’t want to be helped – they have declared such help and helper to be figments of imagination.

Though such fanatical materialism is being aggressively propagated nowadays, we can protect ourselves from its blinding effects by internalizing Gita wisdom. Its philosophical insights coupled with the process of bhakti can show all open-minded seekers not just the futility of material gratification but also the glory of spiritual realization wherein eternal happiness awaits us.

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