(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 08 March 2015, Stockholm, Sweden, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.1.4)
After years of chanting, we may stop and say, “Why am I doing this? I don’t feel like it anymore. I don’t know. I cannot get myself to chant anymore.” What happened? What happened to your knowledge? Is it all gone? Don’t you know that there is no alternative? Don’t you know that the material world is like hell? Don’t you know that you are caught here? Have you forgotten about all this? Don’t you know that this world is all glossed over by the illusory energy with an appealing packing? Nice beautiful packing with ribbons and beautiful colours, but what is inside? It is poison, it is suffering inside. This beautiful gift, packaged with glitter, beautiful ribbon and everything. And you want it but, oh God, it turns out it is Pandora’s Box.
In Greek Mythology, Pandora’s Box was given as a punishment to mankind. I will not get into the whole description of it, but basically, in Pandora’s Box all the suffering of the material world was kept with this beautiful box. Such an amazing box, that it was a gift from Zeus himself, “Whoa, a gift from the Gods! Oh, we are so lucky! Oh, what will be inside? I wonder! Oh, let’s look, open it up!” And then, all the suffering came out.
So this principle of the beautiful packaging of the material energy is there. It looks good and you may want to open it, but we must always remember that there is suffering inside. We must always look for the sign on this Pandora’s box that reads, “Do not open it. Watch out, do not do it!” So when we have knowledge in this way, we will not go for the material temptation as we remember that it is not worth it.