Tried, tired – and retired
All of us want to do something new. Andour craving for newness seems ready to be fulfilled byall the new gadgets, new dresses and other new things glamorized in the materialistic culture.
Actually however, theglamor of new things hyper-activates our imagination and paralyzes our intelligence. As our fantasies carry us of our feet, we rarely ask the critical question: can these new-seeming things offer us anything really new?
Ultimately, all pleasures that the newest-looking material objects can provide boil down to the same old things: the pleasures of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Thus, these pleasures offer nothing essentially new. That’s why, though we may be initially excited by the external hype and the internal imagination, we end up disappointed. Repeatedly. Inevitably.
However, this disappointment doesn’t make us tired of the tried becausethe apparent newness keeps goading our imagination.
Gita wisdom show the way out of this perpetual re-enactment of the tried and the tired. Firstly, it gives us the philosophical vision to see the oldness, the sameness, the emptiness of all material pleasures. Secondly, and more importantly, it gives us the devotional process to experience a truly new happiness: the happiness of love for Krishna. Because Krishna is a reservoir of unlimited, unending happiness, every devotional contact with him bathes us in a new gush of happiness flowing out from that reservoir.
This double empowerment – philosophical grasp of the staleness of material pleasures and devotional experience of the freshness of remembrance of Krishna – gives us the courage to retirefrom the tiresome chase after the tried and tired. The Bhagavad-gita (15.05) assures us that this state of realized retirement (vinivritta-kamah) is the takeoff point for launching into the ultimate happiness of endless love.
“Those who are free from false prestige, illusion and false association, who understand the eternal, who are done with material lust, who are freed from the dualities of happiness and distress, and who, unbewildered, know how to surrender unto the Supreme Person attain to that eternal kingdom.”