The immaterial is not immaterial

The word “immaterial” can refer to “that which is not made of matter” and “that which doesn’t matter.” The immaterial (the non-material) isimmaterial (unimportant). So believe the ungodly who consider the material to be everything.

The Bhagavad-gita (16.09) outlines the consequences of their unidimensional worldview: it impels them to a live-for-the-moment materialistic lifestyle that not only keeps them spiritually bankrupt but also removes all safety valves from their materialism. Consequently, it is only a matter of time before their materialism assumes unhealthy and even deadly proportions. This disproportionate materialism leads to two major devastating consequences. Firstly, it misfires to harm the very earth that is its indispensable arena.Secondly, it backfires to wreck the very materialists who triggered it.

We see these consequences unfolding on the global scene today as specters like climate change jeopardize our planet and weapons of mass destruction jeopardize humanity.

Gita wisdom explains that even if we consider our material lives to be of primary importance, still we cannot dismiss the immaterial (the non-material or spiritual) as immaterial (unimportant). Only when we nourish ourselves spiritually will we have the inner strength to restrain our material side from going out of control.

No doubt, some materialists may be regulated. But they are the exceptions not the norm. Their regulated living is usually a carry-over from their past regulated habits. It is not due to their materialism but in spite of it. There is very little in materialism to make anyone regulated and a lot to make everyone unregulated.

That’s why most people need spiritual nourishment to become and stay materially regulated, especially amidst today’s wildly materialistic culture. Of course, regulation of materialism is just a side-benefit of spiritual nourishment. Its main benefit is an abiding love for Krishna that ultimately catapults us back to his eternal blissful abode.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Text 09

“Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.”


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Retreat within to treat without
“Seeing is believing” reflects trust in the untrustworthy

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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