Sensual pleasure is too fleeting to be fulfilling

Suppose we are tormented by thirst in a desert. If someone gives us water, they would appear to be doing us a great favor. But if they gave just one drop of water, that would be agonizingly disappointing. Worse still, if in seeking that drop, we neglected the way to an oasis, we would end up doubly deprived.

Similar is our predicament in our search for pleasure. Materialistic culture promises us pleasure in myriad ways through the innumerable sense objects it displays, often in technologically-enhanced forms. A permissive culture that offers free access to such pleasure seems to be doing us a great favor. But is it really?

The cultural hype can’t hide the reality that sense pleasure is agonizingly disappointing. Why? Because sense objects don’t stay available or attractive for long. And even while they are enjoyable, our own body’s capacity to enjoy sense pleasure is inescapably limited.

Even if we have the opportunity to eat unlimitedly at a five-star hotel that offered the world’s best cuisines, our stomach will limit our enjoyment. Once it is filled, the satisfaction will soon fade and the craving will return, leaving us tormented and frustrated.

Sensual pleasure is inherently fleeting – too fleeting to be fulfilling. The Bhagavad-gita (05.22) cautions that sensual pleasure ends soon, and ends in misery. We end up doubly deprived, not getting the much-glamorized material pleasure and not even considering the possibility of lasting spiritual pleasure.

By understanding how we are being deprived, we can stop craving for sensual pleasures and start connecting with the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna, who is the source of all pleasure.

We as souls are eternal, Krishna is eternal, our connection with him, when realized by practicing bhakti-yoga, is also eternal. When we become devotionally absorbed in him, the resulting pleasure is everlasting and everlastingly fulfilling.


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