Materialism makes us spoiled children

Materialism makes us spoiled children

When spoiled children get infatuated with a toy, they demand it from their parents. Even if they have been given many other things, they evaluate their parents’ love through just one criterion: “If you love me, you will give me that toy; if you don’t give it, you don’t love me.”

Infatuation with materialism reduces us to the level of spoiled children in our relationship with Krishna. We often crave for things like phones, cars or houses. Such cravings worm their way into our prayers to Krishna, gradually taking center-stage there. If we don’t get that thing, we may start doubting his love. Over time, we may slacken or even abandon our devotional practices, thinking that our time will be better used elsewhere. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (02.44) warns that material attachments steal our spiritual determination.

To appreciate their parents’ love, spoiled children need to outgrow their infatuation with toys. Such children who live responsibly start seeing all the things that their parents have done for them. Similarly, to appreciate Krishna’s love, we need to spiritually outgrow our infatuation with material things.

Gita wisdom stimulates such growth by illumining our identity – we are not just physical bodies, but are spiritual beings encased in physical bodies. Our bodies have basic needs and, just as loving parents provide for their children’s needs, Krishna provides through nature for our bodily needs – heat, light, air, water and food. But satisfying these needs doesn’t provide lasting fulfillment; that can come only through spiritual enrichment – love for Krishna.

We can spiritually enrich ourselves by practicing bhakti-yoga steadily. Such practice helps us realize that Krishna has made himself constantly available to us through his various devotional manifestations that stimulate his enriching remembrance. When we realize how precious his remembrance is, we no longer allow worldly upheavals to disrupt our relationship with him.

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