Scriptural regulation is productive, not restrictive
Suppose a gold-seeker digs at a place where there’s no gold and is told by a geologist to not dig there. Is such a direction restrictive? No, it is meant to make the digging productive, especially if the geologist knows where gold is actually located.
We are all happiness-diggers; we are looking for happiness in various things. Usually, when something catches our fancy, we dig into it in our search of pleasure. But soon its appeal fades and we start looking for some other place to dig. That is, we look for something else to enjoy.
When we come on the path of bhakti, we start digging at the place where unlimited gold exists – we start linking with Krishna, the source of the supreme happiness. We are at our core souls and can fulfill our innate longing for happiness only by connecting in love with an eternal object of love. The best such object is Krishna, for he is all-attractive and all-loving. And the best process for inner digging, for reaching the Lord who resides at the innermost core of our being, is bhakti-yoga.
Unfortunately, because of our past habit of shallow digging, after a little practice of bhakti, we tend to look for something else, thus denying ourselves the opportunity to strike inner gold. Acting like an expert geologist, the Bhagavad-gita (06.20-23) outlines the yogic process for inner excavation and the sublime happiness thereof. Then it urges (6.24) us to pursue this excavation determinedly and to not let our desires drag us elsewhere, that is, to not dig at other places. If we obsess over what scripture forbids – chasing after worldly pleasures – we will see it as restrictive. But instead if we focus on what it enjoins – pursuing lasting joys – we will see it as productive, supremely productive.
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