XIX - Page 184 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Sense Enjoyment is an Illusory Joy

It is for these reasons that you will find many people criticizing the doctrine of detachment and control of the senses which is taught in the Gita. They say it is not really useful and applicable for ordinary people in their daily lives. But this criticism arises because they are ignorant of the real process that is taking place. All the momentary pleasures which they enjoy are just reflections of the true joy that always exists in the heart. By thinking again and again of a particular person or object, the mind departs from its own resting place and goes out to that person or object and takes on its form. Then it deludes itself into thinking that it is enjoying that object. But this can never be real joy. It is only a limited kind of joy which is imagined in the mind, a reflection of the true inner joy which is the source of all joys. To make this clearer consider an example.

A small baby may be sucking its thumb and drinking its saliva. It gets delight from this because it thinks that it is getting milk out of its thumb. But, the fact is that the saliva, which the baby thinks is milk, is coming from its own mouth, not from its thumb. It deludes itself into thinking that the source of its joy originated from outside its mouth. Consider another example.

A dog has found a hard bone. Once he has this bone it becomes very dear to him and he does not want to share it with any other dog. So, he takes it to some solitary place. There, he looks at it, admires it and starts gnawing on it. Since it is an old bone it is very hard. With all his enthusiasm and strength he goes on biting until he dislodges a tooth from his gums. Some blood spills out and oozes onto the bone. The dog is convinced that the blood has come out of that bone, and he immensely enjoys the taste of it. But the blood has not come out of the bone; it has come out of his own mouth. The dog does not realize the truth. Just as in the case of the baby, he has become deluded by following the imaginations of his own mind.