Why look at a mirage when heading to the oasis?
It’s bad to be lost in a desert. It’s worse to be chasing a mirage. But it’s worst of all to be nearing an oasis and to then be allured away from it by a mirage.
Material existence is like a desert wherein we are lost, not knowing how to quench our thirst for happiness. Worse still, we are allured by sense objects, which are like mirages. They promise immediate and immense happiness, but deliver very little pleasure that is preceded and succeeded by a lot of misery. Despite beguiling us thus, they brazenly promise that the next round of indulgence will fulfill our dreams. Thus, we end up chasing mirage after mirage after mirage – futilely. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (05.22) cautions that sensory pleasures are the wombs of misery.
Gita wisdom doesn’t just warn us about mirages – it also guides us to the oasis. It reveals our spiritual essence and the oceanic spiritual happiness accessible through a devotional connection with Krishna. When we approach him by practicing bhakti-yoga, we close in on the oasis that can quench fully and forever our thirst for happiness.
But unfortunately, despite being so close to destination happiness, our deep-rooted material conditionings divert our vision from the Krishna oasis to the sensual mirages. If we get thus sidetracked, then we end up subjecting ourselves to the worst misfortune – turning away from happiness towards misery. Protecting us from such misfortune, the Gita (05.21) assures that those who detach themselves from sensual pleasures and strive for spiritual progress will relish inexhaustible happiness.
By regularly studying the Gita, we can get the intellectual conviction necessary to pull our eyes away from sensual mirages and fix them on the Krishna oasis. When we thus absorb ourselves in Krishna, we progress swiftly towards satisfying perennially our long-unquenched thirst for happiness.
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