Sense gratification is a fascinating path to frustration
“Eat this; see this; touch this – and you will enjoy.” The world glamorizes sense gratification thus.
In striking contrast, the Bhagavad-gita (05.22) asserts that such sense pleasures are sources of misery?
The Gita later reiterates this theme metaphorically: sensual pleasures taste like nectar in the beginning and poison in the end (18.38).
How can the same things both fascinate by being like nectar and frustrate by being like poison?
By having an appearance that is contrary to their substance.
Sense objects appear to be pleasure-founts that will gush out if we just contact them. They promise to flood our pleasure-starved desert-like heart. No wonder they seem fascinating.
The reality, however, is that their promise of pleasure is largely a hoax.
Yes, they do have some pleasure, and we can sometimes get that pleasure. But the quantity of that pleasure is far lesser than what is promised.
As the capacity of the senses to enjoy has been exhausted and as the charm of the sense objects has been depleted, the irresistible craving becomes unfulfillable – an excruciatingly frustrating combination.
Because firstly the capacity of the senses to enjoy is always limited, no matter what the world’s depiction or the mind’s imagination.
Secondly, the charm of the sense objects fades with familiarity – the same objects that seemed intriguing, especially when they were far or forbidden, turn out to be, after indulgence, boring.
Worse still, indulgence acts as fuel for the fire of desire, causing it to blaze into an irresistible craving.
But, as the capacity of the senses to enjoy has been exhausted and as the charm of the sense objects has been depleted, the irresistible craving becomes unfulfillable – an excruciatingly frustrating combination.
Gita wisdom shows a better way to happiness: through bhakti-yoga. We are souls who are parts of Krishna, the reservoir of unlimited happiness and source of unending and fulfilling fascination. Bhakti-yoga redirects our heart from sense objects to Krishna and thereby fulfils our longing for happiness –permanently and perfectly.