05.11 – Purity transforms the roads to misery into the roads to ecstasy

by September 3, 2013

When we travel along a road, we usually ask ourselves: Where will this road take me?

Just as we travel physically along various roads, we, or more precisely, our consciousness, travels along the roads of our senses. Whatever our senses focus on, we start thinking, feeling and willing in relation with that thing, eventually transferring our whole being into acquiring and enjoying it. Yet we rarely ask ourselves the sober question: “where will this road take me?”

We are lethargic because our culture aggressively advertises the answer: “It will take you to destination enjoyment” and we unquestioningly believe its answer.

Gita wisdom frees us from this blind faith by activating our intellectual faculty. By pondering its message, we understand that as eternal souls we want everlasting happiness, whereas the senses can offer at best fleeting titillation. Moreover, the senses also entangle us in bodily consciousness and karmic consequences. Thus the senses stand exposed as roads to misery.

Thankfully, Gita wisdom doesn’t stop with this gloomy view of the senses. It offers positive engagement for our senses in devotional service of Krishna. We can use our tongue to connect with Krishna’s holy names and sanctified prasad; our eyes, with his gorgeous Deities; our ears, with the sound vibrations glorifying him and so forth. As our devotion to Krishna increases, these sensory engagements yield supreme satisfaction. Thus the roads to misery become transformed into the roads to ecstasy.

We may not relish this devotional joy right now because our impure desires obstruct us from connecting with Krishna and distract us towards sensual pleasures. That’s why at our level, we need to engage our senses in spiritual activities for the purpose of purification, as the Bhagavad-gita (05.11) indicates. When purity arises in our heart, ecstasy will soon follow.


05.11 – The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.

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