13.22: Might we be human silkworms?

by August 10, 2012

Nature is rich with demonstrations of spiritual truths. One central truth is that our misery is often self-inflicted, as nature demonstrates through the silkworm. It makes a cocoon around itself for the sake of protection, but that very cocoon usually ends becoming the cause of its destruction.

Gita wisdom indicates that we are, in a way, human silkworms. We are essentially spiritual beings, but are currently encaged by material desires that propel us to seek protection and pleasure in material objects.

However, everything material is by its very nature temporary. That’s why, as time takes its toll, the same material things that promise to be sources of protection become the causes of devastation. Whatever gives us pleasure when we possess it gives us pain when time dispossesses us. The Bhagavad-gita (13.22) indicates that our own desire to enjoy the material (bhunkte prakrti jaan gunaan) creates a cocoon of material attachments that end in misery. Thus do we become human silkworms.

The silkworm, by its death, provides valuable silk to humans. In pitiful contrast, we, by our death, don’t provide anything valuable to anyone. This dissimilarity indicates that we are no good at imitating silkworms; it’s best that we start acting as humans.

Gita wisdom underscores that humans have the potential to ascend to a spiritual arena that is beyond destruction. Unleashing that potential involves redirecting our need for protection and pleasure towards Krishna. When we make Krishna the center of our hearts and lives, then everything we do, far from increasing our entanglement, accelerates our journey towards the spiritual level of consciousness. There, our longing for protection and pleasure is never frustrated, but ever fulfilled – and fulfilled beyond the greatest promises at the material level.


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