Happiness is found not in collecting and consuming, but in connecting and contributing

Today’s corporate-controlled consumerist culture makes us believe that our success and happiness are defined by how much we collect and how much we consume: how many fancy trinkets, gadgets and lifestyle products we have. 

Yet collecting and consuming doesn’t really touch our heart, leave alone fulfill it. They titillate our mind and senses, and that titillation feels better than the humdrumness of our life’s daily routines. But is gaining such titillation the purpose of our life? Will that count when we are about to die and are wondering what we did with our life? Is having drunk a large number of bottles of fine wine a legacy worth leaving?

Gita wisdom explains that our life is meant for something much better, much bigger: it is meant for connecting and contributing. We are souls who are on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution. We are parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. When we connect with him, we experience a profound non-material enrichment that immunizes us against the many impure pleasures that delude and distract us. Being thus stabilized, we can connect better with others and have fulfilling relationships with them. And being purified by our connection with the all-pure divine, we can better use our God-given talents to make constructive contributions in the world. When our endeavors make a positive difference in even one person’s life, that provides a satisfaction that supersedes the titillation from the greatest collecting and consuming. 

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (05.21) states that when we become detached from worldly pleasures and focus on connecting with our spiritual side, we relish inexhaustible joy. And being thus connected and purified, we contribute to the welfare of everyone (05.25).   

When we learn to focus on connecting and contributing, instead of obsessing over collecting and consuming, we all can create a better life for ourselves. 

Think it over:

  • Why doesn’t collecting and consuming satisfy us?
  • How does connecting satisfy us?
  • How does contributing satisfy us?

***

05.21 Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.

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The more we are aimless, the more we become shameless
The mind is a persecutor who pretends to be the persecuted
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6 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna I love to appreciate your thinking and providing a factual knowledge to me it touches my heart I like to read your books and I am reading daily. Thank u prabhuji to give acceptable data to my brain and heart. When I read your any purport I fill satisfied within heart. your servant govind damodar das iskcon pandharpur.

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    • Thank you for your kind appreciation. It is delightful to know that the Gita’s wisdom is enriching you and that my writings are serving as an instrument.

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  2. Dandavat Pranamas to you Prabhuji, I also thank you for using this gift you have to expand and apply the Bhagavad Gita. This is a great service to devotees and humanity.

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    • Thanks for your kind words; it’s my fortune that Krishna and the Gita are using me to spread their message and assist sincere souls like you in your spiritual journey

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  3. Hare krishna Prabhu ,Pamho Your site is a great source of nutrition for me.I always loved to read hairsplitting on contemporary socio economic issues and seeing those with the prism of articulated timeless Vedic wisdom… I deeply feel since 1936 after The harmonist temporarily stopped, there has not been such wonderful articulation of both micro and macro spiritual principles in balenced manner appealing to contemporary audiences especially the melancholic… Thank you once again Prabhu for your great service to the Gausiya Vaishnava Sampradaya Ys Harshal

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    • Dear Harshal Thanks for your thoughtful appreciation. The Harmonist is a lofty standard to even approach, leave alone emulate. But by the blessings of my many teachers, I am trying to share Gita wisdom as much as I can. And I am happy that intelligent Gita relishers are finding it useful. Best wishes, Chaitanya Charan

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