We are dressed by and for our desires

Our desires determine and define us; we are, Gita wisdom indicates, dressed by and for our desires. Let’s see how:

Dressed by our desires: The Bhagavad-gita (2.22) compares the body to a dress and transmigration to replacing one dress with another. Just as our desires play a key role in determining our cloth dress, so they play a key role in determining our bodily dress. The Bhagavad-gita (8.6) indicates that our desire at the moment of death determines our next bodily dress. Thus, we become dressed by our desires.

Dressed for our desires: Our bodily dress is not only a product of our desires, but is also a vehicle for them. For example, if we have a dominant desire to eat indiscriminately, nature facilitates our desire by giving us the body of a hog that can gorge indiscriminately on stool. Thus the soul in a hog’s body is dressed for its desire to eat indiscriminately. Though all bodies may not seem as unpalatable as a hog’s, still every material body is a bad deal for us. Why? Because it subjects us, eternal blissful souls, to the inevitable miseries of material existence.

Fortunately, we can use the power of our desires to our advantage by judiciously choosing the best desire: the desire to love Krishna. If we subordinate all our other desires to this central desire, then we will be able to think of Krishna in life and death, and thereby return back to him. There we will regain our original form, our eternal dress, our svarupa, which is non-different from ourselves and is best suited for serving him. Thus we will be dressed by and for our desire to serve Krishna – eternally and ecstatically. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 02, Text 22

“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.”


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