The Purpose of Sense Pleasures
The true purpose of life is to know God. Worldly temptations were given you to help you develop discrimination: Will you chase after sense pleasures, or will you seek God above everything else?
Pleasures seem alluring at first, but if you choose them over God, sooner or later you will find yourself enmeshed in endless troubles and difficulties.
Loss of health, of peace of mind, and of happiness is the lot of everyone who succumbs to the lure of sense pleasures. Infinite joy, on the other hand, is yours once you know God.
Every human being will have, eventually, to learn this great lesson of life.
The Purpose of Suffering
Suffering is a reminder that this world is not our home. If it were perfect for us, how many people would seek a better one? Even with things as imperfect as they are, see how few people seek God! Out of a thousand, said Krishna, perhaps one.
The law of life is this: The less one lives in harmony with the truth within, the more he suffers; but the more he lives in harmony with that truth, the more he experiences unending happiness. Nothing can touch him, even though his body wastes away with disease and people ridicule him and persecute him.
Through all the vagaries of life, he remains ever blissfully centered in the indwelling Self.
“Get away,” Krishna said, “from My ocean of suffering and misery!” With God, life is a feast of happiness, but without Him it is a nest of troubles, pains, and disappointments.
Where Lies Our Greatest Happiness?
If one loses a diamond and tries to satisfy himself with little pieces of broken glass, shining with sunlight, he is bound to be disillusioned. He cannot find the diamond in the pile of broken glass. He is seeking in the wrong place and can never be happy until he seeks in the right place and finds the diamond.
In the same way, the soul tries to find its happiness in the momentarily glittering sense-pleasures, but when it has enough of sense happiness it becomes disgusted and tries to find peace and joy in the soul.
It is foolish to expect true happiness from material things, for they are powerless to give it. Gold, money, material possessions can never satisfy you infinitely. Yet, millions of people die of broken hearts trying vainly to find the comfort in material things which God alone can impart.
Excerpted from How to Be Happy All the Time by Paramhansa Yogananda.