02.42-43: When materialism dons a religious costume

by January 29, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (2.42-43) deems as undiscriminating and short-sighted those people who think that religion has no purpose other than to provide material gains. These people see praying as nothing more than as a method of free or cheap shopping. By holding fast to such a materially utilitarian view of religion, they close upon themselves the doors that could have led to the development of their spiritual potential. These people reduce religion to materialism in a pious garb and neglect the spiritual essence and purpose of religion: love for God.

Gita wisdom prods us to realize that lasting happiness can never come by trying to fulfill material desires, as religious materialism tries to do, because material desires are insatiable and innumerable. Rather, lasting happiness can come only when we repose our love in the eternal and reciprocal object of love, Krishna.

Religious materialism may at times work in terms of satisfying our desires, but it never works in terms of satisfying our heart. Why? Because religious materialism keeps our vision locked within the material gifts that temporarily satisfy our desires and blinds us to Krishna, whose love alone can eternally satisfy our hearts.

No wonder then that the Gita cautions us to not be allured by materialism when it tempts us by donning a religious costume.


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