Living the way our senses dictate is not living at all
Suppose a person is driving a car, but the car doesn’t move at all. Then whether what they are doing is driving is open to question.
The same principle applies to living too. We live to experience joy, in fact, to increase our joy so that we can enjoy forever. If we live in a way that gives no joy, then are we really living?
If someone lives comatose for a long time, we may ponder whether that vegetable-like existence is life. We aren’t physically comatose, yet we unwittingly make ourselves spiritually comatose when we live for our senses.
How? Aren’t sensual pleasures enjoyable? Yes, they appear that way, but only initially. Soon, the pleasure decreases, but the craving increases. Till we are dragged to indulgence not so much to get pleasure as to avoid the pain of intolerable craving. For example, when people become alcoholics, they feel so tormented that they drink not to get high, but just to feel normal.
When we live for the senses, our whole life gets reduced to sensual experience; we can’t experience most of life’s multi-faceted richness even materially, leave alone spiritually. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.16) declares that those who live for sensual pleasures live in vain.
Gita wisdom explains that we all are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution. We are parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna, meant for a life of eternal love with him. The more we connect with him by practicing bhakti-yoga, the more we relish his sweetness. When we glimpse spiritual happiness, we start realizing that living sensually cuts us off life’s best pleasures.
By sustained bhakti practice, when we start relishing devotional happiness steadily, we become convinced that living for Krishna is real living, for it alone fulfills the purpose of living: everlasting joy.