Our values are our real valuables

Our happiness depends not on our valuables, but on our values. Why? Because our values shapehow we use our valuables, which actually determines our happiness.

If our values are materialistic, then we use our valuables to enjoy materially and to accumulate more material possessions. However, these don’t address the deepest need of our heart: love. We long to love and be loved eternally. Our materialistic values impel us to direct our love at the material level. However, such love can be disrupted, even devastated, at any moment by worldly upheavals. The Bhagavad-gita (02.08) indicates how when our need for love is thwarted, no worldly attainment can relieve us of the resulting agony.

That’s why Gita wisdom urges us to direct our love at the spiritual level towards Krishna. Thus, it urges us to change our values from material to spiritual. Spiritual values center on the diligent practice of devotional service and yield the supreme valuable: love for Krishna. This is the supreme valuable not just because it can give us the highest happiness but also because it cannot be stolen by the worst worldly upheavals.

The different results of material and spiritual values are graphically illustrated in the seventh canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. The demoniac monarch Hiranyakashipu, despite having more material valuables than anyone else in the universe, was perpetually dissatisfied because his materialistic values made him crave endlessly for whatever he didn’t have. In contrast, the devotee-saint Prahlad, despite being stripped of all material valuables, was internally satisfied because his spiritual value of selfless pure devotion empowered him to constantly relish the remembrance of Krishna.

If we realize that our values are our valuables and treasure our spiritual values the way we treasure our material valuables, then we too can become, like Prahlada, supremely enriched with eternal love.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 02, Text 08

“I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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