Strive for not the good life but God’s life
The good life is a life of material success and happiness accompanied by religious piety. God’s life is the life that God wants us to lead, the life of selfless love that alone grants everlasting fulfillment.
The good life in Vedic parlance connotes the life of the tripartite human aims of dharma (religiosity), artha (material prosperity) and kama (sense gratification). While such a life is better than a godless immoral life, still it can’t fulfill our heart’s longing for eternal fulfillment. We are at our core spiritual beings meant to find everlasting happiness in pure love for the all-attractive Supreme, Krishna. That life of eternal love and everlasting happiness is God’s life for us – the life that Krishna wants to reward us with if we just open our heart to him and allow him to enter and become enthroned there.
Unfortunately however, different worldly things are presently ensconced in our heart – things that we need to replace with Krishna. Such a redirection of the heart from the world to Krishna may seem too daunting for most people who fear that they will lose too much by turning from the here-and-now towards an unknown divine. For such spiritually timid people, the Vedas offers a transitional upward impetus: the good life. This induces them to rise upwards from wherever they are by learning to live piously in pursuit of dharma, artha and kama.
But the same good life that is good at a lower level can become a distractor once they have come to a higher level – or if they have the intelligence to directly aim for the highest level. So the Bhagavad-gita (02.45) urges seekers to rise beyond the Vedic exhortations about the good life and to strive for the life beyond worldly loss and gain, being eternally enriched in Krishna.
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