While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool. Bhagavad Gita 2.62-63
We get attached to people and things by repeatedly thinking about them. Attachment makes us want them in a way that would please us; satisfy our lust. Attachment leads to intense craving. We become angry when we can’t possess what we contemplated upon so much. And anger smears our perspective about that we couldn’t get. Anger confuses and deludes our memory. As a result, we lose intelligence and get mired in the cycle of karmas.
Krishna has given in these verses the causal chronology of our trap in the transient reality.
Ravana contemplated over the idea of marrying Sita, the pure energy that belongs to Lord Rama. He development attachment to Sita and became lusty for her beauty. His madness led to his fall. His intelligence was unmatched so was his knowledge, but his lust and anger destroyed his intelligence. And he lost everything he had, including himself. Scriptures inform us that everything belongs to the Supreme lord, so everything should be used in His service. Sita is pure energy (Yogamaya), and Her pleasure is in serving the lord. When we try to enjoy lord’s energy to satisfy our senses, She transforms into Mahamaya or illusion. Mahamaya is fatal for us. She keeps us trapped from within and without. From within she works through our mind, and from without she traps us through whatever and whoever we interact with. What we try to separate from the lord separates us from the lord. In separation from the lord nothing has any value. A fallen screw is trivial, but in a machine it serves a purpose.
We see all around how flaming the sparks of desires can destroy families, couples, children, and even nations. Newspapers and TV channels show us thousands of case studies from people’s personal lives that affirm the chronology of contemplation > attachment > lust > anger > delusion > bewilderment > lost intelligence > fall down.
A culture driven by advertising makes society prey to lust. Lust overpowers us in many ways, not just through sex. Economically-driven cultures focus on money and power. People influenced by these cultures come under the sway of envy and greed. Insecurities rise and crime booms. Intellectual lust takes us away from the Truth as our subtle senses enjoy speculating reality to our taste. The highest human goal is to transform lust into love.
We all are trapped in some way or the other. From being fixated on scoring the highest marks to marrying whom we like and from possessing gadgets to owning properties, all varieties of desires have their roots in contemplation. So, it begins with meditating over what attracts us. Everyone is meditating over something or somebody. It’s the mind nature to keep thinking and creating. Stillness of the mind and desirelessness are never and nowhere possible. Otherwise, Arjuna wouldn’t say to Krishna, “I can control the wind but not the mind.” However, when we engage our mind, senses, and intelligence in serving Krishna, our rise to the highest realm is initiated. And the traps begin to loosen. They start weakening.
Our experiences in this world are only perverted reflections of those in the spiritual world. The reality of this world is a distorted reflection of the spiritual world. Reflections are temporary and they are, after all, reflections. Even a slight touch disintegrates a reflection in the water, just as a mirror falls into pieces. Oh, how we invest our lives in reflections and put ourselves at stake to catch them!
No intelligent being would like to remain caught in the vicious circle of dirty pleasures when she or he learns that eternal ecstasy is not a chimera but the highest truth. Back in 1960s, some hippies asked Srila Prabhupada to describe Goloka, the spiritual world. Srila Prabhupada described it as an ocean of LSD. The hippies knew the experience created by LSD to be the highest happiness. That experience was their reference point of happiness, so Srila Prabhupada used it to inform them about the infinite joy, eternal ecstasy.
By consciously developing a loving bond with Krishna and serving Him selflessly under the guidance of a bonafide guru guarantees us the eternal ecstasy we’ve been missing in this world. At present this ecstasy and devotion to Krishna may be just an idea for us. However, the exalted souls have shared case studies from different ages to help us understand how others found this joy or ecstasy. Meditating over the loving bond between us and Krishna is what we should begin with. Sincerity attracts Krishna. He orchestrates events in our lives that bring us in touch with His representatives. In the company of His representatives we begin to develop attraction toward Krishna. From attraction, selfless love sprouts, and from this love, eternal ecstasy.