What is natural is not always desirable; what is desirable is not always natural

Some people oppose regulation of sensual pleasure: “Material enjoyment is natural. Why should we unnaturally suppress that which is natural?”
The vital question here is: what is natural?
We are eternal spiritual souls encased in temporary material bodies. When we have a constricted view of our existence, that is, when we view ourselves as merely material creatures, then material enjoyment appears natural.
But what seems natural is not desirable, that is, it is unworthy of our desires. To the extent we indulge in material desires, to that extent our bodily misidentification increases, as does our eventual affliction by the inevitable material miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. Moreover, material enjoyment being temporary leaves us with a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction and emptiness. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (05.22) reminds us that the wise don’t delight in sense pleasures.
As souls, delighting in eternal love with Krishna is our spiritual nature. Reviving our relationship with him is eminently desirable because it alone will grant us eternal happiness. Unfortunately, bhakti doesn’t presently seem natural to us because we misidentify excessively with our body. Nonetheless, if we use our intelligence to persevere in bhakti practices, we become purified, relish devotional happiness and realize it to be our natural mode of existing and enjoying.
Bhakti-yoga makes purification easy because it doesn’t ask us to entirely renounce the pleasures that seem natural – it merely asks us to not grant those pleasures monopoly on our desires. By regulating material enjoyment according to scriptural guidelines and by learning to love Krishna, the spiritual happiness that is actually natural for us gradually becomes relishable and feels desirable.
Thus by regulating that which seems circumstantially natural for cultivating that which is centrally natural, we can fulfill our natural longing for happiness.
“An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.”
What is beyond being dated is beyond becoming outdated
Count your blessings – and make your blessings count
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6 Comments

  1. I’ve been subscribed to this feed and spiritual scientist over the past 3 months. It has made huge transformation in my way of living. Articles such as these are very enlightening. Thank you Prabhuji.
    Hare Krishna!

    -A college student who seeks refuge here

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  2. Thanks Prji..

    Just like a coin has two sides similarly material pleasure is always associated with misery…..hence we should do “tapo divyam” then “brahma-saukhyaṁ” will come…. which is “anantam”….

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  3. thank you prabhuji for the nice explanation .
    it is always a question from the nondevotees that austerities are not natural and this will help to understand bhakti in proper perspective.

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  4. Radhey Shyam!
    Srimad Bhagavad Gita Ki Jai
    Radhey Radhey

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  5. Thank you Prabhu for the daily nectar. I enjoy your play with words.

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  6. Hare krishna prabhuji,
    This is very beautiful explanation so why it is necessary to conquer our enemy, namely lust, and engage our senses, mind and intelligence towards spirituality and devotional service of the Lord.
    Thank you very much .

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