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Do your pleasures really please you?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner (Q): Pranam Acharya Ji, please help me understand deeply the futility of chasing bodily pleasures. Looking back, my love for pleasures has always been above everything. There is the very strong feeling of pull, of missing out when I don’t act on my urges, which makes me act eventually. Gratitude.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Futility does not lie in chasing pleasures. Futility lies in chasing futile pleasures. Do your pleasures really succeed in pleasing you? It doesn’t look that way from your face. Have you ever been really pleased by anything? What kind of pleasures then you are talking of? Why call them pleasures, call them illusions. Being a pleasure seeker is your natural state. Man, for substantial reason has been called as a manifestation of joy. Have you seen all these Sanyasis from various orders, how they keep calling themselves as ‘Turiyānanda’, Ātmānanda, Brahmānanda, Kevalānanda? That is one thing common in their names. What? Ānanda. Have you ever wondered, why all of them, monks, necessarily have ‘Ānaṃda’ in their names? What they are saying is, “After everything, Ānaṃda”. It doesn’t matter what comes before. After everything, there remains ‘Ānaṃda’. So, it is ok, if you love pleasure. ‘Ānaṃda’ is something that you must love. It is the holiest thing to love.

It is an act of piousness being a pleasure seeker, but we are not pious people, why? Not because we seek pleasure, but because we hate pleasure. What is it to be a pleasure hater? It is to be a chaser of incomplete pleasure. Do not say that you are satisfied by momentary pleasures, say that you hate eternal pleasure and that is why you coolly settled down by momentary pleasures. Had you really been a lover of pleasure why would you make peace with these trivial things that you call as pleasurable? Some psychedelics, some drugs, some excitement, some women, some booze that is what your pleasure is? Right? High-speed driving, somehow managing a room in a posh hotel, walking into it with a girl, that is what your pleasure is. How does the bedsheet look after the night? How is the morning after the rampage? How does the bottle look? What does it give you the next day but the hangover? You call that pleasure? After five minutes of sex, you turn your back to her and start snoring and she starts farting, pleasure? Seriously? And after all the orgasmic heights you rush to the washroom and she hears the flutter of water in the commode. What pleasures are the two of you getting? And you come back and crash like a log and the next morning your mouth is stinking as hell. After all you have done with your mouth, pleasure? Broken beer bottles, pleasure? Merry made on somebody else’s money, pleasure?

I am not denigrating it on moral grounds; I am disparaging it on the basis of its sheer incompleteness, it doesn’t give you pleasure. It is not your pleasures that I am against. It is your hollow pleasure. Why don’t you chase the high and the highest pleasures? Why don’t you? Yes, life has to be pleasurable, why not go for a high pleasure? Why must you seek the lowest kind of pleasures? And that too when you know that they don’t succeed in fulfilling you?

Remember who you are. Once the consciousness is out of you, you are nobody. They will not even keep your ashes. Dogs will dig at your bones if any remain. So, remember who you are. Had you just been the body, why would have they buried you in the ground, burned away the body? Who are you then? Let the funeral ground clearly tell you who you are. Are you the body? If you are the body, why is the body burned away after a particular date? Tell me? Who are you? You are somebody else, who is in the body, who uses the body, who speaks through the body but, who is certainly not the body. If you are somebody else, then will the pleasure of the body satisfy you?

You are X and X has the body. So, should X give pleasure to the body or to himself? If you want to be happy, which you want to achieve by being drunk, as you do, do you put beer in your car’s radiator? But you have the car why don’t you feed it with beer? When you want to have a good time, as you do, you fill in yourself with beer, not your car, right? Because you are not the car, you have the car. So, the car’s pleasure is not your pleasure, or is it? You have the car, correct? You are not the car. So, when you want to have pleasure, it is not the car you go out and please, do you? Do you? So when you want to have pleasure why do you want to give pleasure to your body? Why don’t you give it to yourself? Instead of giving pleasure to yourself, you keep giving pleasure to your body and your bodily tendencies. How will that satisfy you? The body, after all the pleasures that it has had, will finally turn into ashes. Give pleasure to yourself, not to the body.

What is meant by pleasing oneself really? For that, you have to know who you are. You are the one who sits in the body, seeks through the body, you are one who wants to know, who wants to understand, who wants to love, who wants to really seek and reach. That is what you want. So, if you want to please yourself, kindly fulfill your deepest desires, not the flimsy ones. You want to love and you want to love the highest. That is the real pleasure that you want. So, first of all, become capable of loving the highest and then fall irrevocably in love. That is the pleasure that you really want. You want to know and understand because that is the nature of your consciousness. So, go ahead, figure out, find out, know and understand. And the pleasure of understanding is beyond comparison. All the fun and merrymaking will never give you what you really want. So have some real fun like a man, not like a baby, not like a sissy. A man must have manly pleasures. Booze and girls are for kids. Getting it?

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