There is an oasis in the middle of a desert, and in this oasis, there are many people living. It is an oasis of sense gratification in the middle of the desert of material existence. In this oasis, there are a lot of things to enjoy. There is camel milk and there are dates, and with these two, the people can make camel milk dates shake. The people can make camel milk dates barfi and all other kinds of camel milk dates preparations. There is a huge variety of preparations that are possible. But after a while, everyone is thinking, “Do we want a camel milk shake? Hmm, but with what? Oh, with dates? Nah, that is okay. We had that last week already…” So at some point, the people start to realise that it is always the same thing in the oasis of sense gratification; the same thing again and again. The other people ask if you want to come join them in the oasis, “Do you want to come? Come on! It will be fun!” But then you say that, “No, I just want to stay home.” The other people go, “What?! What is wrong with you?” And you tell them how you feel, “I don’t know. I am just bored of it.” So, that is the situation in this material world.
But one day, a stranger comes in the desert, enters the oasis, and he brings fruits. He brings mangoes of the best quality! The people go, “Wooo! This is good! We have never had this before! Where did you get this?” The stranger replies that it comes from a place far away, from a green land where everything is lush and beautiful, unlike this desert. He describes this place of how there are rivers there and waterfalls and other beautiful things. The people of the oasis do not believe the stranger. They go, “Oh come on now! There is no land like that. I mean, you are just making up stories now.” So most of the people do not believe the stranger. But some of the people have faith. These people are ready to join the stranger to go to the green land.
So eventually, these people start on a journey. They leave the oasis of sense gratification and go back into the desert. There, they experience the hot sun burning on their head and for some it got too much. Some of these people went crazy, some went back to the oasis of sense gratification and some just ran off into the desert never to be seen again. But for the ones who survive, they see a horizon of water. The see the oasis of goodness. They made it! So in this way, we must take to spiritual life, however we must cross the desert of austerity first. In the beginning in the oasis of sense gratification, we are enjoying material life, but now we are enjoying spiritual life.
We are enjoying this spiritual life very much, “Oh it is a very nice spiritual life. I enjoy it so much! Everything is so nice that we even give maha water to the plants. Even our cat is a vegetarian. Everything is nice in our happy little Krsna house. It is so sweet. We will just stay in this house forever because life is goody good! Now we are enjoying the mode of goodness. We can just stay here in this oasis forever!” But then the stranger says to the people that they cannot stay here forever, “We must go back out into the desert; to save all those people who got lost in the desert. We must go back for them! There will be more austerity, more hot sun, no water and what not. But this time, we must go back to not enjoy ourselves but to deliver the conditioned souls.” So in this way, we can see how our spiritual life evolves.
Therefore, the mode of goodness is not good enough because there is still that enjoying spirit. We must therefore strive to be completely on the transcendental platform, where we see ourselves as eternal spirit souls in an eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord; that is all we must care about! We must only want the transcendental opportunities because all other opportunities are really for sense gratification.