Material Love and The Modes of Nature
What do we call material love in our world? What we call “love” in this world is simply the self-centered desire to enjoy the “beloved” object. So our love for something or someone is dependent upon whether or not our senses are being pleased.
For example, people generally love animals such as cats because of the sensual attraction to soft fur, or dogs because of the dog’s desire to please the master. But, very few people are interested in embracing a cockroach, because a cockroach is displeasing to our senses. However, a cockroach is a living entity with feelings like any other due to its essential spiritual nature.
When we think that we are experiencing a loving mood with some other creature, we are illusioned because we are unaware of their consciousness which is not “at one” with ours. It is thinking of its own gratification.
When one loves Krishna, one will love all living entities equally and truly, because of the spiritual family relationship that is there. Krishna tells us that we are all His “parts and parcels”, His sons and daughters. A devotee of Krishna has no hatred for any living entity, just pure, unselfish love.
A Krishna conscious person is able to properly express this unselfish love and benefit all living entities, because he is aware of their real self-interest. However others, even if they are well-intentioned, can never give any real help to the self–the soul in the body. Material help is temporary. Spiritual help is eternal.
The real self-interest of all living entities is Krishna consciousness.
The Modes of Nature by Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita informs us that all conditioned souls are forced to act helplessly by , the impulses born of the modes of material nature. The soul is thinking that he is acting by his own volition but in actuality the modes are shaping the soul’s desires and actions.
There are three modes of nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. According to the specific combination of the three modes that a soul is affected by, he acts accordingly. The three modes combine to provide the impulses for every conceivable type of activity in this world, just as the three primary colors can be combined to yield all the colors of the spectrum.
According to the combination of modes, one is attracted to certain types of eatables. For example, the pig is very enthusiastic to partake of stool (which human beings consider abominable), because the pig loves food in the mode of ignorance. Food in the mode of goodness is sweet, juicy, fattening, and palatable. Food in the mode of passion is too bitter, too sour, too salty, pungent, dry, and hot. Food in the mode of ignorance is decomposed, tasteless, stale, putrid, and unclean (such as meat).
A devotee is only interested in eating food that has been offered to Krishna which purifies his consciousness, and helps him in his spiritual progress.
1. Bhagavad-gita 3.5
2. Bhagavad-gita 17.8
3. Bhagavad-gita 17.9
4. Bhagavad-gita 17.10
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