Don’t pander; ponder
Some people ask, “Isn’t it our nature to be pleasure-seeking? Why then does the Bhagavad-gita ask us to give up pleasure?”
The Gita doesn’t ask us to give up pleasure; it asks us to ponder the actual nature of what we have been taught to believe is pleasure.
The glory of sex pleasure is one of the most sacrosanct beliefs of popular culture.
The culture without and the mind within indoctrinate us into believing that pandering to the desires of the senses will bring pleasure. And sexual pleasure is deemed the summit of such pleasures. Attaining it is touted as life’s most splendid success, indeed the very purpose of existence. This notion is so aggressively propagated externally and so deep-rooted internally that we almost never question it. Indeed, the glory of sex pleasure is one of the most sacrosanct beliefs of popular culture.
Yet does this belief deserve such uncritical devotion? Are glamorized media depictions of unending erotic bliss ever replicable in real life? After all, the body’s capacity for sensual indulgence is limited – unchangeably, non-negotiably limited. And after the few moments of sensual pleasure have passed, they leave in their wake a network of aggravated bodily attachments that sentence us to ever-increasing misery as the body goes inexorably down its doomed slide towards disease, debility and destruction. To protect us from such misery, the Gita (05.22) urges us to ponder the nature of sensual pleasure instead of thoughtless pandering to urges for such pleasures.
Of course, the falsity of sensual pleasure is not the only thing to ponder. Gita wisdom offers us for contemplation a captivating conception of the Absolute Truth as the all-attractive Supreme Person, Krishna, who delights and gives delight in reciprocating spiritual love.
If we ponder his loving nature and direct our heart towards him by rendering devotional service, his glory, beauty and mercy will gradually satisfy our longing for happiness perfectly and perennially.
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