16.15 – Weary, dreary, scary – Isn’t there a better life?
Weary, dreary, scary: these three words convey the rough reality of modern materialistic life for most people. Let’s see how:
Weary: The huge workloads, the overbearing deadlines, the breakneck pace – all these typical characteristics of our working lives drain us physically and especially mentally. Perhaps the most poignant evidence of our weariness is our intense eagerness for the weekend break – and the overwhelming dismay and resentment that sweeps over us when our work encroaches on our weekend.
Dreary: To get relief from our weariness, we usually bury ourselves in entertainment. But most entertainment today is centered on extravagant displays of lust, anger and greed that become the stuff of our dreams. However, most of these reel-life displays are unrealizable in real-life. Over time, our inability to actualize these fantasies makes our heart dejected and dreary.
Scary: The economic, familial, medical uncertainties that dog us are scary enough. All the more scary is the thought of the inevitable doom that awaits us at the time of death. We may try to avoid thinking about death, but we can’t get rid of death and its scariness.
Thus, the reality of materialistic life is not just unpalatable but even brutal. However, we don’t realize it because the glitz and glamor of our culture expertly masks it. The Bhagavad-gita in its sixteenth chapter unmasks crass materialism and helps us see its folly and futility (16.15: ity ajnana vimohitah).
Gita wisdom also informs us that we can have a better life. As spiritual beings, we have a right to delight eternally in a loving relationship with Krishna, the all-attractive Lord of our hearts. If we just stop being taken in by material allurements, we can reclaim our lost right to spiritual happiness.