Sensual hope deludes, spiritual hope delivers
We all need hope. Without hope, life becomes unbearable, even unlivable. But we need to choose carefully where we pin our hope, lest we be misled.
Suppose we are lost in a desert and see mirages around us. If we hope to find water in a mirage, that hope will delude and destroy us. But suppose a reliable guide appears and promises to lead us to an oasis. Putting our hope in that guide will keep us moving and will save our life.
The world we live in is like a vast desert. Here, we crave for pleasure and are captivated by myriad sense objects. However, these objects are like mirages – they promise us immense pleasure, but deliver at best just a few drops of pleasure. And we have ourselves experienced this anti-climax, repeatedly. Yet we hope that the next sensual indulgence will make us happy. Such a hope entraps us in worldly consciousness, increasingly alienated from our spiritual identity. This sensual hope deludes and destroys us.
Thankfully, we have a reliable guide: Krishna, our indwelling Lord. He is not just a guide to the oasis; he is himself the oasis, for he is the reservoir of all pleasure. When we connect lovingly with him, we start accessing and relishing his attractiveness. Bhakti-yoga is the process that establishes and enriches our loving connection with Krishna – it is the path from the desert to the oasis.
While treading this path, whenever we feel discouraged in our bhakti practice, we can take hope from Krishna’s assurance that he swiftly delivers the devoted (Bhagavad-gita 12.07).
This hope in Krishna’s benevolence will energize us to practice bhakti determinedly till we become lovingly absorbed in him. On thus reaching that divine oasis, we can drink fully and forever from the ocean of his unlimited glories.
Think it over:
• Why are sense objects like a mirage?
• How is Krishna like the oasis?
• How does hope in Krishna deliver us?