See the pleasure that ends in trouble as trouble, not pleasure
Education enables us to see things as they are, irrespective of how they appear to be. Thus for example a well-informed person, as contrasted with a naïve child, will see a mirage for what it is: a deception. Even though it appears to be just the right thing for relieving thirst, an educated vision sees through its promise for relief. Animals that don’t see thus sentence themselves to the profitless pursuit of non-existent water – a pursuit that leads them to distress and death. Gita wisdom protects us from sentencing ourselves to a similar hopeless hunt. How? By warning us about the true nature of the sensual pleasures that allure us in this world, as do mirages in a desert. The Bhagavad-gita (05.22) informs us that the intelligent see such pleasures as sources of misery.
Sensual pleasures are fleeting and unfulfilling, and the resulting dark desires are lasting and entangling.
When sense objects appear to be source of pleasure, why does the Gita make such a counterintuitive assertion? Firstly because those pleasures are fleeting and unfulfilling. And secondly because such indulgences exacerbate dark desires that are lasting and entangling. Dark desires? The sensual desires that bury our consciousness in the darkness of bodily misidentification and thereby in dark material existence. Significantly, the Gita’s education focuses not on sounding us off about the negative nature of sensual pleasure, but on illumining us about the superlative nature of spiritual pleasure. It informs us that we are souls who are meant to delight in eternal love with the all-attractive Supreme, Krishna. Further, it equips us with the various processes of yoga, culminating in bhakti-yoga, that enable us to access that supreme pleasure. If we let Gita wisdom shift our paradigm, we will see sensual pleasure not as a pleasure but as a trouble that keeps us away from life’s best pleasure: pure love for Krishna.
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