05.22 – The false currency that keeps us trading in the stock exchange of illusion
Money. That’s what people hope to gain by trading in the stock exchange. The trading is often frantic and frenzied. But suppose the currency being traded on the exchange were false. All the trading, no matter how fierce, would turn out to be futile. On this stock exchange, everyone would end up as losers – not just the losers, but also the winners.
Might this be our fate?
If we compare the material world to a stock exchange, the money that we hope to gain here is pleasure. Most people seek pleasure at the material sensual level. For that pleasure, they are often ready to cry, lie and die.
Tragically however, material pleasure is a false currency. False not because the pleasure doesn’t exist, but because the pleasure doesn’t deliver its promise. False currency exists in the sense that the notes do exist, but the notes do not deliver what they promise: the equivalent financial value.
The same holds true for sensual pleasures. The Bhagavad-gita (05.22) indicates that such pleasures are peripheral to our core self; they are produced by the contact of the senses and the sense objects. Such physical sensations may titillate us, but they never satisfy our heart.
People frantically struggle for such pleasures, but they all end up as losers – not just those who don’t gain such pleasures, but even those who gain and so are considered successes in the world’s eyes. Happiness eludes both of them.
Gita wisdom frees us from this delusive and doomed struggle. When we learn to love and serve Krishna, that devotional service enables us to engage everything material for the well being of everyone and for our own lasting fulfillment. That endless love is life’s real currency, existence’s best happiness, the heart’s innermost longing fulfilled forever.
An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.