In the past few articles we realized that performing action with mind in God is desirable over performing actions with mind in world. At this point in the discussion, it is very common for another doubt to arise in the mind: do we not need this world? After all, God has put us here, He has created this world, and He has given us 5 senses with which to enjoy the world – then why is it wrong to become attached in this world? This is a basic misunderstanding which affects all of us. Let’s clear it up here.
In fact, we do need this world – but we need it for the maintenance of our body, not for the attainment of happiness. We know that our true self is the Divine soul. As a soul, we inhabit a material body. That body is not our true self, but is merely a temporary possession, like a house we live in, or a car we use to get around. The soul is eternally related to God, and our body, being a product of maya, is a part of this world. Thus, the soul needs God, and our body needs this world. Our ultimate goal is to experience Divine happiness by attaining God. But to reach this goal, we must live in a material body, in this material world.
God has not created this world as a source of happiness for us – He has created it to support our body. We are meant to use our 5 senses to perceive this world, not to indulge in it. In the words of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, “Yah sansar hamare upyog ke liye hai, hamare upbhog ke liye nahin.” (This world is for our use, not for our indulgence.) If we live in the world with this wisdom, then we are using the world the way it was meant to be.
Conversely, if someone who desires to attain God thinks that they don’t need this world, then they are also mistaken. As long as we are on this earth, we have basic physical requirements which must be met. If we do not care for our body with proper food, exercise and rest, then we will develop health problems. These health problems will disturb our mind and cause difficulty in attaching our mind to God. Then we will not be able to attain our ultimate spiritual goal. In fact, even a God realized Saint must continue to maintain his physical body for as long as he inhabits the earth.
Thus we see that the physical things of this world have an important place in our life, but enjoying them is not the primary goal of our life. They are secondary and supportive to our goal of God realization. We should practice to attach our mind to God alone, who is our true eternal relative.