02.64: Am I free to choose my definition of enjoyment?
The Bhagavad-gita (2.64) indicates that harmonizing our lifestyle with scriptural regulations paves the way to happiness. Some of us may feel that regulating ourselves will take away our freedom to enjoy life. But Gita wisdom gently points out that we have already been stripped away of a more fundamental freedom: the freedom to choose our definition of enjoyment. The stripping away of this freedom by the forces of illusion is so stealthy and insidious that most of us fail to recognize the robbery. The pressure of conforming to prevailing cultural norms is so overwhelming that most of us unthinkingly accept that, the materialistic, often hedonistic, lifestyles glamorized by our culture are the actual way to enjoy life.
But is it really?
Let’s pause to ponder over some glossed-over facts like:
- The champions of such enjoyment are themselves plagued with sufferings that range from depression to suicidal urges.
- Our own experiences of these enjoyments have always been an anti-climax: not even a small fraction of the hype.
By such pondering, we can intuit that our definition of happiness has been imposed on us.
By following the Gita’s regulations, we not only re-claim our freedom to choose our own definition of enjoyment, but also to harmonize our definition with the reality of who we are: spiritual beings who can rejoice best in eternal love with Krishna. Then we become free to enjoy forever with the ever-happy Lord Krishna.