parinaame vishamiva tatsukham raajasam smritam || 38 ||
That which comes from the contact of senses with their objects, which is like nectar initially, but like poison in its result, that joy is called raajasic.
vishayeindriyasamyoogaat : from contact of senses with objects
yat : that which
tat : that
agre : initially
amritopamam : like nectar
parinaame : in its result
visham : poison
iva : like
tat : that
sukham : joy
raajasam : raajasic
smritam : is called
When we see a movie, we have the option of watching it in 3D or 3D IMAX. Everyone has a cellphone with a built in music player. Perfumes are available for any budget. Innumerable options make buying clothes a nightmare. International cuisine is available in most major cities. We are truly living in the age of sensory overload. It is hard to imagine a situation, except deep sleep, where we are not exposed to some sensory indulgence.
What is behind all of this? Sensory excitement is mistaken for joy in our world. Shri Krishna says that such sensory indulgence generates some temporary excitement in the beginning, but results in fatigue, or worse still, ill health, in the end. In his commentary, Shri Shankaraachaarya describes the effects of sensory indulgence. It leads to decline in strength, vitality, colour, wisdom, intellect, memory, wealth and most importantly, energy. Whenever there is sense contact beyond what is needed to sustain the body, our energy reserves are depleted.
Therefore, we need to stop giving such a lot of importance to sense objects and sense indulgence. The body will have a biological urge such as thirst, which can easily be quenched by water. But our mind craves for a soft drink instead of water, because it has associated the idea of joy with that soft drink. Such superimposition of joy on inert objects is called shobhana adhyaasa. Whenever such thoughts arise, we should counter them with sattvic thoughts of good health, fitness and wellness.