Why pursue pleasure in a prison of protoplasm?

Our material body is a prison of protoplasm for us souls. Just asprison life inevitably involves sufferings like grueling work and unpleasant living conditions, the Bhagavad-gita (15.07) indicates that material life inevitably involves various sufferings likethe threefold miseries. Just as a prison restricts the prisoners’ freedom to move within its walls, the body restricts our freedom to enjoy within its extremely limited capacity to enjoy.

Despite the affliction and the restriction, we rarely long to get out of the bodily prison. Why? Because of ignorance and obstinance.

1. Ignorance: We don’t know that our real identity lies beyond the mass of flesh that we think is “me.”We don’t know of any pleasure better than that got by inducing sensations in protoplasm that does nothing more than process chemicals. We don’t know that this superior pleasure is easily available through devotional service to Krishna.

2. Obstinance: Even though we experience the shallowness and emptiness of bodily pleasures, we keep pursuing them obstinately without exploring any alternatives. Worse still, even when we experience the alternative devotional happiness to be much higher and richer, still we obstinately crave for the lower bodily pleasures. Worst of all, even when the error of our ways is pointed out to us, we obstinately rationalize it by saying, “This is just the way I am.” Whom can we blame when over time the bodily prison imposes its inevitable sufferings on us with a smug retort, “This is just the way I am”?

Krishna provides Gita wisdom to help end our ignorance. But the responsibility to end our obstinance by using our free will intelligently is ours – and ours alone. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15 Text 07

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”


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