Gaudiya Vaishnava resources:
Krsna - Resevoir of all Pleasure:
Nectar of Devotion:
Sense Gratification: An Essay in Pathology
by Ravindra Svarupa Dasa
Krishna reveals that the world works in precisely the opposite of the way we suppose.
In Bhagavad-gita (5.22) Krishna says this about enjoyment of the senses:
ye hi samsparsha-ja bhoga
duhkha-yonaya eva te
“The pleasures that arise from contact between the senses and their objects are in truth the sources of all suffering.”
The Sanskrit word bhoga (with the long "a" of the plural) means "pleasures" or "enjoyments." What kinds? The pleasures born (ja) from samsparsha, "the bringing into contact"—implicitly, the contact of the senses with their appropriate objects.
This is what we mean by “sense gratification”: enjoying the pleasures that arise when the eyes, nose, or tongue, the hands, skin, or genitals, come together with their particular objects.
Krishna says something about those pleasures startlingly counter-intuitive: the enjoyments thus obtained (te) are the birthplaces or origins (yonaya) of suffering (duhkha).
There seems to be an allusion to sexual enjoyment contained in this line. The word yonaya literally means “vaginas” or “wombs” and connects with the word ja, birth, earlier in the line. The allusion would be appropriate, for sexual pleasure is, as Freud pointed out, “the prototype of all pleasure.”
All sensual pleasures, Krishna asserts, are the causes of suffering.
As if anticipating the immediate denial of his hearer, Krishna fortifies his laconic utterance with two words of emphasis: hi (surely, certainly) and eva (truly, really). I’ve tried to convey the force of these with the words “in truth” and with the word “all,” modifying “suffering.”
The word duhkha is often used to indicate the generic suffering of material existence itself. Buddha used the word in this way in the first of his Four Noble Truths:
This is the noble truth of suffering [duhkha]: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering....
The second Truth declares that the origin of this suffering is desire or craving (trishna).
By the way, we can see that these statements of Buddha mirror the Bhagavad-gita’s teaching. It is well known that Buddha rejected the authority of the Vedas, yet we see here that he clearly retained some fundamental principles of Vedic teaching. Interestingly, early in the Gita Krishna rejects those who, bewildered by the “flowery language” of the Vedas, devote themselves exclusively to Vedic rites in order to obtain worldly opulence and enjoyment. In other words, Krishna rejects the same understanding of the Vedas that Buddha does. Yet Krishna, still accepting Vedic authority, expounds what he considers the ultimate Vedic teaching, making open in the Gita what was previously exclusive or hidden knowledge.
But here there is no disagreement: “Those pleasures that arise from the contact of the senses with their objects are in truth the sources of all suffering.”
Krishna reveals that the world actually works in precisely the opposite of the way we suppose. From our very birth we began to enjoy sense pleasure. Finding delight in every such experience, we naturally assume that the path of happiness—obviously—lies in multiplying, perpetuating, and intensifying those pleasures as far as possible.
Yet the world misleads us. And so, our worldly experience as a whole is described as a kind of maya, or illusion.
The illusion is all-pervading and ever-deepening. Krishna’s warning has been issued by many saints and sages of the past, like Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Moses, Plato, and Plotinus, but nowadays we dismiss their teachings.
Full article here:
Ecstasy. Thank you, prabhu.
> Bg 5.22 — An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kuntī, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.
Spirit is described as sat-cit-anada - eternally full of knowledge and bliss. It is the soul's nature to seek pleasure, bliss. Actually blissful is our inherent nature, but it can also be seen that our activities strive toward enjoyment, this is not a bad thing.
The problem is when the eternal soul attempts to find this pleasure in temporary ways. The quicker and more physical a pleasure, the faster it is gone, and the shakier its support. One could simply take heroin everyday and be quite blissful, but the bliss of drugs requires the support of the drug and quickly dissipates without it.
The "higher" and more subtle a material pleasure, the longer the enjoyment lasts. Charities and philanthropic work lead to subtle pleasures of renown and respect, yet there is still a beginning and end.
A wise person, therefore, should ask what can give pleasure without external support, and what can give pleasure that does not end?
> Bg 5.20 — A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God is already situated in transcendence.
>Bg 5.21 — Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.
It is not a matter of "stop doing X because sin," but rather spiritual activity provides an enjoyment greater than any material one, and requires nothing but awareness to achieve. Thus spiritual pleasure - being a higher taste - replaces the desire to try and enjoy through the objects of the senses.
>Bg 3.4 — Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.
>Bg 3.5 — Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
>Bg 3.6 — One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
>Bg 3.7 — On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Kṛṣṇa consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.
> Bg 5.6 — Merely renouncing all activities yet not engaging in the devotional service of the Lord cannot make one happy. But a thoughtful person engaged in devotional service can achieve the Supreme without delay.
Can someone please clarify a few things about Isha Putra and which avatar He is?
Also, I found a SwamiNarayan temple and I went a little while ago but didn't get to speak with a priest, but ultimately I want to ask them about yoga without being weird, and also what they think about "idol worship".. Ultimately I love God and love Jesus, but I also have a devotion for Vishnu because I think He is also God, just another name...
Also descriptions of Brahma and Ganesha in Mahabarata? I read Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, and audio book of Upanishads, but haven't gotten to Rig Veda or Mahabarata...
Lastly, please enlighten me about Shiva, aside from "he is the destruction god and dances as nataraja" sorry for all the questions would be appreciated
Gonna keep bumping the thread to keep it alive hope you guys come back.
I never realized how spiritual I was until I got into Krsna consciousness and that was one of the few things that made me "aware", and I think Krsna Consciousness and Re-rooting in Buddhism are very important things I feel most people miss out on today
Bramha and Ganesh, from our viewpoint, are servants of Krsna who manage material affairs.
Lord Shiva, although being in the mode of darkness, is considered the greatest Vaishnava (worshipping Krsna in his serpent form as Sankarsana).
>spiritual activity provides an enjoyment greater than any material one
But only for people ready to accept that kind of thing. The reason material pleasure ensnares so many souls is because they do feel amazing in their own way, but they have those downsides that leave people weaker and sadder in the end which gradually make them disillusioned with it. One place where i disagree with a lot of teachings is where they just tell people to avoid all worldly pleasures instead of letting them discover for themselves why they should be avoided. I'm sure simply informing people is enough for some but direct experience is really the best teacher.
And great thread, also.
>One place where i disagree with a lot of teachings is where they just tell people to avoid all worldly pleasures instead of letting them discover for themselves why they should be avoided
This is described in many scriptures. Take the story of Druva Maharaja, for example. Although he requested from Vishnu great material opulence (including his own planet) and did get so, he immediately lost i nterest upon seeing the sweetness and beauty of lord Hari.
In other cases, Krsna will actually remove the material opulence of his devotees, and in doing so, cause them to have no shelter other than his lotus feet (and obtaining the bliss thereof).
>But only for people ready to accept that kind of thing.
And that's why this material realm is here. I heard an anecdote once of a devotee asking Prabhupada why the material world existed, since souls sometimes came under illusion by it and thus suffered. Prabhupada pointed at his plate of halava (a dessert of thick grain) and puffed rice, "why is this here?" The devotee hesitated, and Prabhupada poked the dessert, "I am eating eating halava," then poked the rice, "so why is there puffed rice?"
"Sometimes, you want a little puffed rice."
> they just tell people to avoid all worldly pleasures instead of letting them discover for themselves why they should be avoided.
I agree with you, and feel with the understanding of our eternality, more groups would ease up on the converting pressure. I vary widely from ISKCON on this, and Prabhupada would call learning through experience rather than learning through the lessons of the experienced second-class knowledge. The organization's mood is one of "you can be out in this life, so why wait in misery?" I am sadly not so eager as them, but it gives me a better perspective to talk with individualists who are still interested.