Animals function at the level of satisfying their instinctive impulses of eating, drinking, sleeping, and mating.   Human beings, in divinizing these urges, rise to the level of intellectual knowledge, moral elevation, and spiritual perfection. One person, motivated by the animal in him, looks only for pleasure, comfort, and security. Another person, motivated now by the thought of the Soul, looks for Truth even though he has to court loss, discomfort, and insecurity.  This second person knows that 

  1. Pleasure that does not lead to the Soul tire and sickens the senses and produces disease,
  2. Pleasure-filled entertainment and excitement are always followed by frustration
  3. Instead of expanding and becoming fulfilled, Life-filled-with-pleasure contracts, and become ineffective and unproductive.

[Compare this teaching with a lamentation from the Royal Saint King Bhartrihari:

Bhogaa na bhuktaa – vayam eva bhuktaas

I have not enjoyed pleasures – Pleasures have enjoyed me.

Tapo na tamptam – vayam eva taptaah

My inadequacies have not been burnt – I have been burnt.

Kaalo na yaato – vayam eva yaataas

Time hasn’t elapsed – I have elapsed.

Trishnaa na jeernaa – vayam eva jeernaah

Craving hasn’t declined – I have declined.  Ah! What a tragedy!]

 

Dr. Satish Prakash