Why crave for any pleasure that makes us a slave?
If someone is enslaved, they would try to break free. If instead someone who is free tried to become enslaved, we would consider them insane.
Unfortunately, such insanity possesses us when we start craving for worldly pleasures. The Bhagavad-gita (16.12) cautions that our desires can be like shackles that enslave us. Each indulgence thickens and tightens the shackle, thus increasing our enslavement.
Consider alcoholics, for example. They could have been as free as sober people, but each time they indulged in drinking, they unwittingly strengthened the craving that became their shackle. Till they ended up addicts, being enslaved by their own choices that were initially free but eventually became increasingly constrained and compelled. While we may not be addicts, we all have our attachments that may push us off the precipice of addiction.
We all need to realize that sensual cravings end in enslavement, not enjoyment. To realize this truth, we need to study scripture, observe the world around us through the eyes of scripture and especially contemplate the plight of the world’s many addicts. By such realization, we will become determined to resist worldly cravings whenever they arise.
Of course, we can’t give up all craving because by our very nature we are pleasure-seeking. But we can use our God-given intelligence to direct our power of desiring constructively, not destructively.
Gita wisdom explains that we are souls, eternal parts of Krishna, meant for a life of immortal spiritual love with him. The practice of bhakti-yoga directs our power of desiring towards Krishna, thus spiritualizing that power. When we long for him, mundane cravings get purged from our consciousness, and we become increasingly attracted to him.
Devotional attraction to Krishna and the satisfaction thereof lead us to liberation not just from mundane cravings but from mundane craving-filled material existence itself.
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