Purification reveals the healthier choice to be also the tastier choice
Suppose we have to choose between candies and carrots. Even if we understand that carrots are healthier, we will still crave the candies because they are tastier.
Similar is our predicament when we start practicing bhakti-yoga – sensual pleasures feel like candies and spiritual joys like carrots. Why is this so? Because our impurities delude us.
Gita wisdom explains that we are souls, who are eternal parts of the supreme soul, Krishna. He is the reservoir of all pleasure. And connecting devotionally with him by practicing bhakti-yoga provides us the ultimate pleasure. Spiritual life centered on loving Krishna is the ultimate candy.
Why, then, does it seem like carrots to us? And why do sensual pleasures seem like nectar? Because our consciousness is presently filled with impurities such as lust, anger and greed. These impurities make worldly objects seem irresistibly pleasurable, propelling our consciousness towards them. Even if we understand that sensual pleasures are eventually distressing, they taste initially like nectar (18.38). Even if we abstain from them, our infatuation for them remains (02.59), impelling us to relapse (02.60).
Conversely, even if we understand that spiritual joys are eventually nectarean, still our impurities distract us from Krishna, denying us the nectar of absorption in him. Preventing our consciousness from gravitating towards worldly objects and redirecting it towards Krishna requires huge inner effort, which seems like poison (18.37).
Still, if we determinedly focus our consciousness on all-pure Krishna, we become purified and start relishing our connection with him (02.61). The purer we become, the more we relish his attractiveness. That taste makes turning away from worldly objects easier and deepens our absorption in him, thereby shortening the initial poison and speeding our access to the eventual nectar.
Thus, purification reveals Krishna consciousness to be both the healthier and the tastier option.
Think it over:
- Why do sensual pleasures seem like candies?
- Why do spiritual joys seem like carrots?
- How does purification help us see spiritual joys to be candies?
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