Gita Daily Readings

28th April
Chapter Five: 22
The enjoyments that are born of contacts are only wombs of pain, for they have a beginning and an end. Oh Arjuna, the wise do not rejoice in them.

Commentary

This applies even to our own physical body! When there is a rash on the skin, scratching it feels pleasant, but the result is a worsening of the condition. When there is high fever the tongue likes food and drink which aggravate the misery. As cells in the body of God, this is true of us. These "cells," conditioned perversely by the pleasure-seeking ego, indulge in "contacts" which are harmful.

The soul, which is forever one with the supreme being, is carried away by these momentary sense-pleasures. They are not eternal. When they come they appear to be pleasant, but this is soon followed by their departure, which causes unpleasantness over prolonged periods. This tragedy, however, is the direct result of the mind labeling and liking the momentary experience as "pleasure," thus making it desirable and giving rise to a craving for repetition.

A careful observation will reveal that, in truth, the so-called worldly pleasures are "the mothers of pain." By looking at the offspring, it is possible to know the genes of the parent. We know that in this world every indulgence in worldly "pleasure" is sooner or later followed (as its offspring) by great pain. The pleasure that gave birth to this pain should, logically, have been pain only. It was; but was mistaken for pleasure.

This definition must qualify the wise man whose characteristics we studied in the foregoing verses. He is naturally not interested in worldly pleasures. Mark that Krishna does not ask him to shun them! There is no struggle involved in this. He who is blissful in God is just not interested in worldly pleasures, in perpetuating them by thought.

Even the description of these pleasures as "wombs of pain" and "limited by time" is but a statement of fact and not a preventive threat! We should not forget that the yogi is tranquil, not even frightened by contact with worldly objects.

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