Illusion drives us compulsively; Krishna draws us compassionately
We all like to be free – we resent it when we are forced to do something. In fact, many people often hesitate to practice bhakti-yoga because they fear that following Krishna’s instructions will mean losing their freedom.
However, Krishna’s instructions don’t take away our freedom; rather, they restore our freedom that has been stolen by illusion. Actually, illusion steals our freedom so seductively as to make us think of the loss of freedom as real freedom. Consider the contemporary notion of sexual freedom, wherein people want to indulge in lust in whatever way it dictates. Essentially, they consider abject slavery to it as sexual freedom.
Someone may question, “But sex is enjoyable. Why call it slavery?”
Because the enjoyment is far more glamorized than actualized. The actual pleasure is monumentally anti-climactic, with fantasies fuelled for years going up into smoke in moments. Yet because lust drives us so compulsively and because we don’t know any alternative source of pleasure, we keep pursuing it ad infinitum. And in the process we get attached and bound to matter, suffering the miseries of material existence life after life.
To protect us from such bondage, scripture, the guidebook of Krishna’s instructions, enjoins sexual regulation. More importantly, scripture also outlines bhakti-yoga to help us attain higher spiritual happiness.
When we practice bhakti-yoga and prayerfully seek Krishna’s help, he compassionately raises our consciousness above the material level where it is tormented and enslaved by the merciless attacks of lust. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.58) declares that those who seek Krishna’s shelter rise above all obstacles, whereas those who don’t are lost. When our consciousness rises and we relish Krishna’s fulfilling shelter, we realize that sexual regulation is not deprivation, but is liberation – not deprivation of something desirable, but liberation from something compulsive and into the arms of someone supremely compassionate.
Explanation of article: