05.21: Why give up the ocean for a drop?
The Bhagavad-gita (5.21) states that a serious spiritual aspirant, by becoming indifferent to external allurements, is able to concentrate on the divine within and relish unlimited happiness thereof.
Many people feel that giving up worldly pleasures is too much of a price to pay for spiritual advancement. However, Gita wisdom overturns our paradigms about what costs too much.
With Gita wisdom, we become freed from illusion and see reality for what it is: material enjoyment, being inescapably limited by our body’s tiny capacity for enjoyment, can never be more than a drop; and spiritual fulfillment, being derived from connection with Krishna, who is an unlimited ocean of happiness, is truly oceanic, capable of filling and flooding us with happiness forever and ever.
Without Gita wisdom, we come under the spell of illusion and 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 enhance our intelligence with Gita wisdom, we can no longer be deceived by such a bad bargain, for we relish regularly, if not constantly, the fruits of a far better bargain: that of giving up the drop and gaining the ocean.