Conditioned souls, who are dedicated to sense gratification, falsely accept the objects of sense pleasure as truth; thus, their endeavors are destined to failure.
Commentary: Here the process of becoming desireless is described. All material sense objects, including those perceived by their form, taste, flavor, touch, or sound, are temporary. We now, for example, see our family and nation, but ultimately they will disappear. Even our own body, by which we perceive them, will disappear. Thus, the inevitable result of material enjoyment is distress. Those who are pure can see the frustration of material life and thus they become free from material desire.
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.3: One who is sleeping may see many objects of sense gratification in a dream, but such pleasurable things are merely creations of the mind and are thus ultimately useless. Similarly, the living entity who is asleep to his spiritual identity also sees many sense objects, but these innumerable objects of temporary gratification are creations of the illusory potency and have no permanent existence. One who meditates upon them, impelled by the senses, pointlessly engages his intelligence.
Commentary: Because the fruits of material work are temporary, it ultimately does not matter whether or not one obtains them; the final result is the same. Materialistic activities can not award the highest perfection of life, Krishna (spiritual) consciousness. The material intelligence, impelled by the senses, strongly desires sense gratification. Such intelligence separates one from one’s real self-interest. Thus the intelligence, absorbed in that which is materially favorable and unfavorable, becomes divided in pursuit of innumerable categories of material advancement. Such divided intelligence is spiritually impotent and cannot understand the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, Krishna. The devotees (transcendentalists or yogis in divine devotion), however, have their intelligence fixed on one point – Krishna. They meditate upon the Supreme’s form, qualities, activities, and devotees, and thus their intelligence is never separated from the Absolute Truth. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (2.41), “Those who are on the spiritual path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. On the other hand, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many branched.”
If one is not Krishna (spiritually) conscious, he is uselessly dreaming without understanding his eternal situation. The material intelligence will always devise novel means for attempting to achieve happiness, and therefore one bounces from one fruitless program of sense gratification to another, ignoring the simple fact that all material things are temporary and will disappear. In this way one’s intelligence becomes infected with material lust and greed, and such infected intelligence cannot bring one to the true goal of life. One should hear from an authentic spiritual teacher whose intelligence is pure, and then one will come to the highest perfection of life.
Thank you, Srila Prabhupada! Obeisances to you.
Your knowledge and bhakti transform millions of lives every day.