07.15 – Are needles determining our needs?
All of us have so many desires to fulfill: desires for better dresses, gadgets, cars, homes, jobs. These may be our authentic needs, but the desires to get them in their trendiest forms usually stem not from those needs, but from outer needles.
The word ‘needle’ normally conjures the image of a handy pointed sewing tool. That image also conveys the pricking way our materialistic culture prods and goads us – needles us – with ads. Just as a needle can prick our skin sharply, the ads can prick our minds sharply.
Each time we see an ad promoting a product – and especially each time we see an acquaintance parading that same product, the acute jab of desire needles our mind. Just as the jab of the goad makes a load-bearing donkey run faster along a road, the jab of these desires makes us run faster along the road of materialism.
The more these needles prick us, the more we feel the need to free ourselves from that prick. Over time, we end mistaking the need for that relief to be our essential need. However, we are souls, spiritual beings, whose essential need is love: pure, undying love in relationship with the ultimate lover, Krishna. Only when we fulfill this innermost need for love can we relish lasting happiness.
Unfortunately, our preoccupation with seeking relief from external needles leaves us with no time for our authentic needs. The Bhagavad-gita (7.15: mudha) regrets our unfortunate predicament.
Of course Gita wisdom goes beyond far beyond mere regretting. It shows the way out of the predicament: give our spiritual needs their due priority, cultivate prayerful remembrance of Krishna and experience devotional fulfillment thereof. That fulfillment insulates us fully from the jab of outer needles.