Dig the grave of materialism, functional and fanatical

Materialism comes in two main brands: fanatical materialism which claims that matter is all that exists; and functional materialism which claims that matter is all that matters.

Fanatical materialists have no empirical or logical proof that nothing exists beyond matter. They reject the time-honored warning that materialism strips life of meaning, purpose and fulfillment. They neglect the sociological findings that materialism inevitably breeds immorality and perversity. For them, matter is their one and only god, unquestionable and non-negotiable, no matter what the cost.

Functional materialists are far more numerous than their fanatical cousins. These milder materialists don’t deny the non-material or spiritual level of reality; they just delay thinking about it because they are too enamored by material pleasures.

Material life’s inbuilt upheavals like bereavements, accidents and diseases expose the hollowness of faith in materialism. Such exposes impel functional materialists to inquire seriously about what lies beyond matter. If they have had some devotionally congenial impressions (sukriti), they seek relief by approaching Krishna, as the Bhagavad-gita (7.16) confirms.

Fanatical materialists rarely wake up even after undergoing life’s upheavals. They need far stronger shock treatments that may span several lifetimes in sub-human bodies and subterranean places.  To save them from such unnecessary suffering, devotees offer them spirituality in an appealing form like sanctified food. If fanatical materialists somehow appreciate Krishna, at least in his easily appreciable form as prasad, then this appreciation tills the ground of their hearts for the sowing of the seeds of pious credits.

Due to these pious credits, both brands of materialists, on being betrayed by materialism, feel inspired to repose faith in Krishna. Over time, they experience that Krishna never lets them down, although they had let him down for so long. Energized by this experience, they dig a grave for their materialism and bury it forever.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 07 Text 16

“O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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