The illusion of enjoyment
Bhakti Charu Swami: “How is our existence in the material nature? Very beautiful, very wonderful. [laughter] Full of promises and full of excitement, full of opportunities. But that is the influence of the Lord’s illusory potency. We are suffering, but we consider this suffering condition to be joyful. The reality is this material existence is full of suffering. And the thing is, the more we try to enjoy, the more we end up suffering. Therefore, saintly people in the past, they used to voluntarily accept austerities, difficulties. Enjoyment leads to suffering, so now you reverse the process: voluntary acceptance of suffering will lead to enjoyment. But that is not actually the cure for the suffering condition. The suffering condition is threefold. What are the threefold miseries? Adhyatmika, adhidaivika and adhibhautika. The sufferings caused by body and mind, they are known as adhyatmika. The suffering caused by other living entities is called adhibhautika and the suffering caused by the demigods or sufferings due to natural calamities [adhidaivika]. Now can anybody avoid these threefold miseries? [audience: no] Life itself is full of suffering. It is all designed for suffering. Janma-mrityu jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarshanam, this is duhkha, duhkha means suffering, sorrows. [Bg 13.9] So this is the materialistic way of life. We are suffering but we are actually thinking we’re enjoying. The little bit of enjoyment that comes is only a transient thing. We get some so-called enjoyment that comes out of sense gratification. When our senses are gratified, when our mind’s desires are fulfilled, we call it enjoyment. But the actual condition is a miserable suffering condition. Don’t you also sing every morning, samsara-davanala-lidha-loka? This material nature is like a forest fire. We are burning in a forest fire, samsara davanala. Generally we don’t really understand this suffering condition. We don’t understand what the reality is, until and unless we come across a saintly person, a person who is situated in knowledge, he actually gives us the real understanding. You see, simple considerations: a saintly person makes us aware how we are designed to suffer here, how we are meant to suffer here. Therefore, we must try to get out of this situation.