Materialism in a religious costume is still materialism
The Bhagavad-gita (02.42-43) deems as undiscriminating (avipashcitah) and shortsighted those people who think that religion has no purpose other than to provide material gains. These people see praying as nothing more than as a method of free or cheap shopping. By holding fast to such a materialistic and utilitarian view of religion, they close the doors that could have led to the development of their spiritual potential. They are largely materialists in a pious garb who neglect the spiritual essence and purpose of religion: reviving love for God.
Gita wisdom prods us to realize that lasting happiness can never come by trying to fulfill specific material desires, as religious materialism tries to do. Why? Because such desires are insatiable and innumerable. Rather, lasting happiness can come only when we repose our love in the eternal and reciprocal object of love, Krishna.
Religious materialism may at times work in terms of satisfying some of our desires, but it never works in terms of satisfying our heart. Why? Because such materialism keeps our vision locked within the material gifts that temporarily satisfy our desires, blinding us to Krishna, whose love alone can satisfy our heart completely and eternally.
That’s why the Gita cautions us to not be allured by materialism when it tempts us by donning a religious costume.
“Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the ﬂowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratiﬁcation and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.”