Satisfy Your Inner Craving

“The body craves material satisfaction. More, more, more, and more. We’re never satisfied. We never have enough. We always want more. We are trying to satisfy an inner emptiness, an inner craving. We’re trying to satisfy it with endless material consumption. But this is not the answer—this is to accept that we are the body, but it does not lead to happiness.” This simple but sublime truth was put forward by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda, a world-renowned yoga spiritual teacher, during a video based on happiness.

Jagad Guru went on to say that “this drive, this desire for more sense flashes—more and more sense gratification—is a very big problem in third world countries. Everybody’s identifying ‘I am the body. Get more sense flashes. I’ll be happy. Therefore, I have got to go to those places where I’m going to get more sense gratification, where I’m going to get more sense enjoyment. Obviously, I can’t stay where I am. There’s nothing here, nothing’s happening here.’”

This mentality is prevalent throughout rural areas because of the lack of sensual stimulation, which is less available in rural areas solely because of the nature of the peaceful and serene surroundings. When people travel into the larger cities, they are met with high levels of stimulation, many material enjoyments and sense gratifications. They become convinced that they are missing out on satisfaction and happiness by living outside of the city. These places become “heaven,” and they think “that’s where it’s all happening, and that’s where I’ll get even more enjoyment,” he said.

Jagad Guru explained to his audience that “there’s a saying, ‘bhukti-mukti.’ Bhukti means desire for sense enjoyment. Mukti means the desire for liberation from all the pain and hassles and frustration that your hedonistic life brought upon you. So then you try to escape from it, get away from it, forget it, and go into forgetfulness. This is what ultimately happens when people identify themselves as their bodies and chase sense gratification. They struggle to make their bodies happy, and they fail in their quest for happiness. They try to suck in as much as they can, but they’re never happy. They’re never satisfied. The failure and pain lead to inner emptiness.”

“If we’re satisfied how come so many of us are always trying to drown ourselves in alcohol? Why is that? Why is it that a person who has got his big house and his two cars in his two-car garage—he’s got everything he could want—isn’t happy? We’re experiencing so much emptiness, we have to smoke dope all day long or shoot smack?” he asked. “Seeking body satisfaction and happiness leads only to emptiness and misery. In fact, it should make us very seriously consider if the materialist philosophy—the philosophy, in other words, that I am matter, I am material, I am this material body—is correct, if it’s true. And if it’s right, then how come this kid has a heroin needle in his arm?”

The answer is simple, Jagad Guru says. “We are not our body and our satisfaction and happiness is not found through sense gratification. The very fact that sense gratification does not satisfy me is further evidence that I am not my body. I’m distinct from my body. The body’s a vehicle I’m using, but I am not my body. This is the only logical conclusion.”

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