Happiness is not a product of gratification, it is a byproduct of dedication
We all long for happiness. Today’s culture declares that we can become happy by gratifying our senses. The more gratification we have, the happier we will be. Or so we are told.
Whatever pleasure sensual gratification gives, it is short-lived. Moreover, it is superficial – it satisfies our flesh, not our heart.
Let’s consider the times when we had immense gratification such as eating a lot or watching a lot of movies. Would we count those moments as our life’s most fulfilling moments? Unlikely. Even if we got pleasure in those moments, we want something more than mere pleasure – we want meaningful pleasure. We want to do something that counts.
Introspection will show that most fulfilling are those moments when we were absorbed in doing something creative or in working for some cause bigger than ourselves. And at those moments, we were not really concerned about getting pleasure; we were absorbed in giving our best to what we were doing. In such moments of dedication deep fulfillment came as a byproduct.
Gita wisdom reveals the biggest cause we can dedicate ourselves to: Krishna and his service. He is the all-attractive reservoir of all happiness. He is everyone’s well-wisher (05.29) and wants everyone to relish the highest happiness. When we connect with him internally by practicing yoga, putting aside consideration of sensual gratification, we access imperishable satisfaction (05.21). And bhakti-yoga is so inclusive as to utilize even our externals. Our possessions and positions, our talents and interests – they all can be used to serve Krishna.
Therefore, let’s dedicate ourselves to serving Krishna: to making room for him in our own hearts by disciplined bhakti-yoga practice and to bringing him into others’ hearts, thereby making a positive change in the world. In that dedication, we will find the highest satisfaction.
Think it over:
- Why does sensual gratification not fulfill our longing for happiness?
- Dedication provides the deepest satisfaction – recollect any instances when you realized this.
- How can we dedicate ourselves to serving Krishna?
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