15.11: The material pleasure-seeker is non-material

by Chaitanya Charan dasJuly 2, 2012

Our society is characterized by an incurable infatuation with material pleasures. This infatuation stems from the fundamental premise of materialism: matter is the primary, if not the only, reality. Materialists rarely see beyond matter because they are seduced by the hyped promise of material pleasure. Their unidimensional faith in materialism makes them reject as false everything non-material like soul and God. The Bhagavad-gita (15.11) indicates that those who are obsessed with material pleasures just can’t perceive anything beyond matter because their vision is locked in matter.

Yet they rarely recognize that their very hope for pleasure falsifies their faith in materialism. The experience of pleasure requires the existence of a non-material experiencer; matter being dead and unconscious cannot be the experiencer of pleasure.

If only materialists would pause in their frenetic pursuit of material pleasure and think…

They would soon realize that the material pleasure-seeker has to be non-material.

Yet their naïve faith in materialism blinds them to all contrary evidence, even when their own life’s pursuits comprise that irrefutable evidence. Of course, for us as aspiring devotees, analyzing the absurdity of materialism theoretically is much easier than abstaining from its charms practically. Nonetheless, the same Gita verse (15.11) offers invaluable guidance. If we strive to live at the level of the soul by following the scriptural guidelines to that effect, then we soon experience the reality of spiritual peace and devotional bliss. The more we relish the sweetness of Krishna’s love for us, the more we get the emotional stability to penetrate the façade of materialism.

Once we have contacted Krishna beyond the façade of materialism, then we can unmask all the other garbs of materialism, and expose them for what they are: proofs of the non-materiality of our aspirations for pleasure.

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Chaitanya Charan das

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