By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
You are hankering after happiness. Happiness is your prerogative. You must have. That is your life. You cannot stop happiness. But happiness in the diseased condition is not happiness. That we must understand. So we have to cure this diseased condition and then enjoy happiness – enjoy pleasure that is unlimited – there will be no end. In the diseased condition… suppose whatever pleasure we take, it is for fifteen seconds or few minutes or few hours or few days—it will end. But what is real happiness? Real happiness is that, which is unending.
Brahma-saukhyam anantam [SB 5.5.1]. Anantam means unending. So we are meant for unending happiness. Krishna advises here that śaknotīhaiva yah sodhum prāk śarīra-vimoksanāt (Bg. 5.23): Before quitting this material body, if one practices to tolerate the so-called urges of sense pleasure, then he becomes very happy in the long run. He recommends it. And that is the real purpose of human form of life. We should not try to derive that false happiness in this diseased condition of material life. This is temporary. That is not happiness. We should understand that out of ignorance we are engaged in deriving such kind of happiness, but that is not happiness. Real happiness is in spiritual life.
We have to attain that spiritual life and just as a man tolerates so many things for being cured, similarly we have to practice tolerance. There will be urges, certainly, because we are practiced to these sense urges for so many births in so many evolutionary process. Now in this human form of life we have to consider that “I am not this body; I am spirit soul.” So I have to search out the happiness of the spirit soul, and for that, I have to train myself under superior guidance, as Arjuna has put himself under the guidance of Krishna.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Bhagavad Gita 5.22-29 in New York on August 31, 1966]