Focus not on what we have to renounce for spirituality; focus on what serious spiritualists get that enables them to renounce
Prospective spiritualists sometimes fear, “If I practice spirituality, I will have to give up so many enjoyable activities. How can I live without them?”
Such fear stems from an understandable misunderstanding of spirituality. Serious spiritualists do abstain from a number of worldly activities that seem enjoyable such as intoxication and unrestricted sexuality. If, however, we wish to penetrate beyond appearances, we need to ask a different question: not “How can I give up those things?” but “What are these spiritualists getting due to which they can give up those things? Might there be something wonderful that I am missing – something that I will continue to miss unless I muster the courage to explore spirituality?”
After all, material pleasures comprise a familiar territory that we have traversed and can traverse again if required. But spiritual happiness is something we haven’t experienced and will never experience unless we venture out. For daring spiritual explorers, Gita wisdom offers a time-honored roadmap. It explains that we as souls are meant to delight eternally in a life of love with the all-attractive Supreme Being, Krishna. Indeed, this oceanic happiness is what successful spiritualists relish, as the Bhagavad-gita (02.70) indicates.
The pleasure we enjoy at the material level is little more than a fragmented and distorted drop of that ocean of happiness. Even a little sober reflection on our experiences with material indulgence can help us realize that, as all material things are temporary, none of them can provide us lasting satisfaction.
If we hesitate to explore spirituality due to the fear of losing material pleasure, we end up losing the ocean for a drop. If we are bold enough to explore spirituality, we will gradually but surely relish the ocean – eternally.
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