To savor what is most sweet, we often need to shed the most sweat

If we want to eat food, we need to earn it. If we want to eat sweet food, we need to pay more, that is, shed more sweat to earn that money. To get what is sweet, we need to shed sweat.

As the saying goes, there are no free lunches. To get something, we need to give something. More specifically, to relish higher happiness, we need to give up our current conceptions of happiness, most of which center on lower pleasures.

Why are some pleasures considered lower and some higher? Because of their results. If they lower our consciousness, making us more fixated on small things and more self-centered, then those pleasures are lower. They are lower also because they last for a lesser time; they are fleeting.

Higher pleasures are those that last much longer. Also, they bring out our higher side; they expand our consciousness and align our actions with higher realities, infusing our life with meaning and purpose.

Gita wisdom explains that our higher side is our spiritual side: we are at our core spiritual beings. We are presently encased in bodies and minds that are currently conduits for our consciousness to manifest and function in the world. Higher pleasures are those which elevate our consciousness to the spiritual level. The highest spiritual happiness is found when we as souls link with the supreme soul, the all-attractive person, Krishna in a bond of spiritual love. As the soul, the Supersoul and spiritual love all are eternal, the happiness found therein is also eternal.

However, raising our consciousness to the spiritual level requires effort because our consciousness is presently caught and bound at the material level.  That’s why the Bhagavad-gita (18.37) states that uplifting joys taste like poison initially but like nectar eventually.


Think it over:

  • Why are some pleasures considered higher and some lower?
  • Why do higher pleasures cost more?
  • How are higher pleasures worth the higher cost?



18.37 That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.

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