Happiness comes not by collecting the material, but by recollecting the spiritual
We live in a materialistic culture that aggressively propagates the notion that we will become happy by gaining more and more material things. Being seduced by such propaganda, we frequently wed ourselves to acquiring material goods, goodies and gadgets.
When we get something new, the promise of pleasure heightens to a feverish peak – we feel as if happiness is about to come in our grasp. New things do sometimes bring convenience and comfort, but that doesn’t amount to meaningful fulfillment. Like the water that disappears from a mirage just as a thirsty animal reaches it, the promise of pleasure in the new thing peters out. The thing loses its newness, and the pleasure it was supposed to provide gets bafflingly transferred to the next new thing dangled by the culture. No matter how many things we collect, happiness seems to constantly transfer itself to the things we don’t have.
The Bhagavad-gita (16.13) outlines this materialistic mentality of accumulating money and the things it can buy. Continuing the delineation over next two verses, the Gita concludes the series (16.15) with a stinging twist in the tail: Such is the mentality of those deluded by ignorance.
The ignorance refers to ignorance of our true identity. Gita wisdom explains that we are at our core souls who are by our very nature sat-cit-ananda (eternal, cognizant and blissful). The more we misidentify with our material body, the more we alienate ourselves from our blissful nature. To access that inner bliss, we need to seek not the material, but the spiritual. We need to recollect our spiritual identity by studying scripture and meditating on the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. By such recollection, we can realize our spiritual identity and relish the supreme fulfillment of immortal love that defines our eternal relationship with Krishna.
Explanation of article: