To give up the ocean for a drop is a rank bad bargain
“I would like to make spiritual advancement, but giving up worldly pleasures is too much of a price to pay for it.” Such thoughts may dissuade us from following the regulative principles that urge us to eschew the anti-scriptural worldly pleasures of meat-eating, gambling, intoxication and illicit sex.
However, Gita wisdom overturns our paradigms about what costs too much; it states that giving up spiritual happiness for the sake of these worldly pleasures is too much of a price to pay. The Bhagavad-gita (05.21) emphasizes that by becoming indifferent to external allurements we can concentrate better on the divine within, thereby relishing unlimited happiness.
With Gita wisdom, we become freed from illusion, and see reality as it is. Material enjoyment, being inescapably limited by our body’s tiny capacity for enjoyment, can never be more than a drop. And as Krishna is an unlimited ocean of happiness, spiritual fulfillment coming from connection with him is oceanic – it is capable of filling and flooding us with happiness forever and ever.
Without Gita wisdom, we come under the spell of illusion – we mistake the drop-like material enjoyment to be oceanic, and the oceanic spiritual fulfillment to be drop-like. Just as giving up the vast ocean for a tiny drop of water is a rank bad bargain for a fish, giving up lasting spiritual fulfillment for fleeting material enjoyment is a rank bad bargain for us as spiritual beings.
When we understand Gita wisdom, we can no longer be deceived by such a bad bargain. And when we apply Gita wisdom, we start relishing regularly, if not constantly, the fruits of a far better bargain: giving up the drop and gaining the ocean.
“Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.”