Satisfying our longing for the infinite with finite pleasures ends in addiction
We all long for pleasure. And the world promises us pleasure through its myriad material objects.
But materialist propaganda downplays the fact that even the best of such objects can offer at best finite pleasures. And materialism doesn’t even address the reality that our longing for pleasure comes from our spiritual core, which needs perennial satisfaction.
When our search for pleasure is thus misdirected towards the finite, we find ourselves dissatisfied even after succeeding in the search, just as finding a drop of water in a desert leaves our thirst unquenched. But materialism allures us into seeking another object and another and yet another. Enticed, we indulge more frequently, more intensely and, often, more perversely. Over time, we end up addicted – usually without even realizing it till it is too late.
Nowadays, advertisements use the formidable reach and influence of technology to glamorize worldly objects incessantly. Consequently, we are witness to the historically unprecedented specter of millions upon millions of people being haunted by addictions. Their addictions may range from the mild such as to food or video games to the lethal such as to gambling or drugs. The Bhagavad-gita (03.39) warns that desire directed towards matter is insatiable, burning within us like fire. Tragically, we are misled into believing that this fire can be doused by adding the very fuel of indulgence that inflamed it in the first place.
Addiction may require immediate, practical measures to be checked. But to be cured, the underlying misdirection needs to be rectified. Bhakti-yoga is the most accessible way to such redirection. It connects our consciousness with the infinite – the all-attractive, all-loving supreme person, Krishna. By steady bhakti practice, we find increasing fulfillment in him. Thereby, our craving to seek pleasure self-destructively in finite things is gradually reduced and ultimately removed.
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