There are two types of intoxication in this world. The first type is induced through alcohol and drugs. The second is induced through spiritual practice which eventually turns into pure devotion often referred to in Sanskrit as Prema Bhakti (intoxicated pure love for God). Below is an analysis of the difference between the two states.
Imagine this: A man is at a bar, a cold Tusker in his hand, buddies all around. A girlfriend or wife is also in close proximity. He’s in a good place, lots of people, music is good, everything is cool – it will be an enjoyable Friday night. Through the corner of his ever-searching eye, he notices a beauty. She also notices him, but he can’t do anything…..at least not immediately. He can just look. Funnily enough….her boyfriend doesn’t mind her wearing scanty clothes but strangely expects nobody to look, lest he punches their eye blue and black.
After a while, He notices a few more chic awash people of the opposite gender. As the night progresses, the tusker count increases and the eyes wander more. Another fellow Mr. Tipsy decides to pick a fight for looking at the exposed legs of his girlfriend. Words are exchanged, “Do you know who I am! I’ll **** beat the **** out of you.” The other guy, not wanting to look like a wimp, echoes the same line. Clearly none of them are as famous or important as they think!!!! More words are exchanged. Bouncers and friends intervene and all the big talk fizzles out. As the night goes on, all the secrets of his nature which he tries so hard to conceal during the day when sober, come galloping out tonight for an embarrassing display.
Now, he’s beyond tipsy but he probably won’t vomit just yet. He dances, drinks more, laughs more, flirts more, searches more for anyone that can entice him. Many do….but he can’t have them all or even one of them for that matter. Unfortunately, he’s committed. He goes home and crashes at 5 am. As he drools (literally) in his bed, completed intoxicated and fatigued, heavy impressions of the music, dancing, women, and just the whole scene reverberate in his sleep. He wakes up at 1 pm, obviously pining for another tusker to assist his hangover. He calls a friend, and says, “Dude, I had a really good time last night.” But deep inside him, he knows that he is simply a victim! He went to enjoy the night and came back with a Faluda of unfulfilled desires and emotions. Still, he will still go again next Friday to have his emotions tortured by ego, beauty, and intoxicants.
Almost everyone who drinks has been though this at one time or another. Intoxication is something everyone desires, but it never comes with any positive effects. The stupid side of us comes out for all to see and it’s always destructive in some way or another. Everything goes out of control, the ego, testosterone levels, soberness, intelligence, self-respect…….EVERYTHING!
To want intoxication is not wrong. It’s the nature of the soul to want to be on a high, but it has to be guided properly. So below we will present the nature of a certain intoxication without the above side effects.
This state can best be described as similar to when a girl and boy fall in love with each other. The whole world appears to be glittering with bliss as there are constant and charming thoughts of one’s sweetheart. Sleep reduces naturally and food is not important. Having said this, there are also some remarkable differences between these two.
With a couple, the charm starts off on a high and then fades quite quickly, settling down at a much lower level. In many cases, it might even dwindle into arguments and dissatisfaction. Koro gas on Wednesday nights suddenly become a necessity for happiness.
Spiritual love is literally the opposite in the sense that it starts off on a high and then just keeps getting
higher. There is no hangover! The reason is because while humans are very limited and selfish, God is limitless and selfless. The affection between couples is always based on many selfish motives whereas such characteristics are entirely banished from a pure worshipper’s mentality. Thus there is no possibility of even a tinge of dissatisfaction in a spiritual relationship with God.
If anyone read a recent article written beautifully by Kamal Tolia on Mirabai, then they will realize that she is emblematic of someone who had Spiritual Intoxication. This is what we are referring to. Though it is rare, many saints of the past and present have experienced this state. It is available to anyone who will bother to try for it.
How to do it!
Everyone wants to know God (bar atheists). Everyone wants to know who He is! What does He do? What does He look like? Who are His associates? Where does He live! Scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam answers all these questions very well. By reading such books, one develops a natural and organic attraction to the Lord and His unique attributes and activities. Gradually, curiosity turns into admiration. Admiration turns into attraction. Attraction turns into love and love goes onto becoming intoxicating love of God. With each progressive stage, one loses attraction towards material things….simply because a higher taste has developed!
Please note that we cannot experience spiritual intoxication until material intoxicants are completely given up. We cannot sit in first class and economy at the same. It’s impossible! We have to choose one of them. To get a higher taste, we have to be prepared to give up the lower taste. The price of this excellence is discipline. Admittedly, spiritual intoxication is not easy to get. But once you get it………you’ll be laughing (literally) all the way to Godhead.
Spiritual intoxication can only happen when we accept that God is eternally a Person, and not just a light or energy. Love means two people, not one. How can we love something that’s formless? Who in this world has ever been attracted to anyone or anything that has no form or qualities? God does have a form and qualities just like humans do, but His form and qualities are spiritual and eternal i.e. they are without limits. That’s the difference!
Everyone in this world must get intoxicated………otherwise life is boring and pointless!!!! But we can either go to Mr. Smirnoff or we can go to Mr. Eternal Intoxication – God. The choice is ours!
We’ll catch up in a fortnight.
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