15.11 – When will the over-estimate be over?
Our culture gives us a highly inflated estimate of material enjoyment. Believing this over-estimate, we make material enjoyment the essence and purpose of our life.
Puzzlingly however, when we get material enjoyment, the actual experience never lives up to its much-touted estimate. The pleasure feels good as long as it lasts, but it doesn’t last for long. And after a few indulgences, it doesn’t feel all that good even while it lasts. Still the culture’s power to indoctrinate is so great that it makes us disbelieve our own experience and continue believing its propaganda. We keep seeking material enjoyment hoping that future experiences will be better.
If we are somehow fortunate enough to encounter Gita wisdom, we gain a systematic philosophical understanding of our actual identity as souls and of our dormant capacity to relish real happiness in loving Krishna. And when we practice devotional service, we get experiences of a joy far deeper, richer and purer than what the best material enjoyment had offered us. Naturally, we seek more such experiences, but they remain irregular and unpredictable.
Gita wisdom explains that we can’t relish spiritual joy steadily as long as we remain enamored by material enjoyment. Why? Because the Bhagavad-gita (15.11) indicates that to the extent our consciousness is materially obsessed, to that extent it can’t perceive spiritual reality.
This point inspires us to seriously contemplate the nature of material enjoyment as analyzed in the scriptures and as exposed in our own experiences. By such contemplation, we become empowered to break free from blind belief in the culture’s over-estimate of material enjoyment. Then choosing the spiritual becomes natural and the resulting joy becomes perpetual.
Thus, when our belief in the over-estimate gets over, we get on with relishing life’s best happiness forever.
The endeavoring transcendentalists who are situated in self-realization can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try.