Unless we transcend animalistic forms of enjoyment,
we will remain aloof from the bliss of Krishna consciousness.
In the modern culture it is advertized that sense enjoyment will create happiness. Indeed, sense enjoyment is the only type of happiness the population is educated in.
Let’s analyze what bodily and mental happiness is all about. Sex is regarded by most people to be the highest form of joy available in the world. But this enjoyment is merely an attempt to escape the suffering of being without sex. It’s misery to live in forced celibacy. Anyone who has reached puberty can testify to that. Or eating. To eat is considered one of life’s major enjoyments. But actually to eat is just an attempt to escape the suffering of hunger. In the Western culture few people don’t know what it means to suffer from famine, but it is a great suffering experienced by many people of the world.
And that’s how it is with most of the enjoyment we seek and experience. Eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, are the four activities shared by all living entities. In the modern world it has become the foremost goal to fulfil and satisfy these four base urges. They have been made the standard of happiness and enjoyment in life. The entire civilization revolves around these four principles. That is an animal civilization.
A proper human civilization runs on a whole different set of principles. As a human, one is expected to have higher goals in life than the mere chasing after basic animal urges.
But in the modern culture entire industries have been created to fulfil these four basic needs. Billions of tons of iron are extracted from the earth to make pots, knives, forks, plates, serviettes, cups, and glasses etc. All of it, just to aid us in eating. Then they have more sense in India. In fact, they are more civilized. They eat with their fingers from a banana leaf. In the west this is scoffed at as primitive and back-wards, but actually it shows a higher sense of intelligence. No use for billions of tons of iron to make knives and forks. No dish-washing afterwards. You just throw your banana-leaf on the compost heap and wash your mouth and hands. How easy is that?
And who is to be blamed for the fact that the modern world runs on animalistic principles? Atheism is at fault. Atheism reduces the human being to nothing more than an animal. But the human life-form is a unique opportunity for the soul to realize his real, eternal identity. The human form of life is a waste of time for the soul if it is not used to learn how to love Krishna.
The soul can relate to Krishna as his master, his father, his son, his lover, or he can have a neutral relationship with Him, the point being that Krishna is the only center. He is the beloved of the soul. When we love Krishna, Who is the root of everything, we automatically love all His parts and parcels all other living entities. It’s like watering a tree. One does not benefit the tree by pouring water on every leaf and branch. Water is poured on the root. Then the whole tree is nourished. In the same way all living entities are benefitted, when one loves and serves Krishna, the root of all existence.
Jahnudvipa Dasa is a disciple of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja. He, along with his wife, Braja Sevaki Devi Dasi, published Mayapur Journal and Mayapur Magazine for several years.