Our nature is spiritual–different from the material body that we are inhabiting. We can never become happy by attempting to satisfy the body. The soul must be satisfied.
Srila Prabhupada gave an example of the "Bird in the Cage" to illustrate this point. If the owner of the bird only pays attention to the cage, polishing it carefully, and neglects the inhabitant of the cage (the bird), the bird will die. In the same way, if we simply pay attention to the body, neglecting its inhabitant (the soul), spiritually we will be as good as dead. Of course, the soul never dies; but he will certainly be very miserable.
Our practical experience is that even when we obtain some object that we think will satisfy our senses, we soon become frustrated because the happiness is not forthcoming. The material world is arranged in such a way that despite all attempts at enjoyment, the conditioned soul is continuously frustrated. Fulfilling the desires of the senses does not bring peace, because even if the senses are temporarily satisfied, they demand newer and newer experiences. They are insatiable. Rather than becoming satisfied, the senses become inflamed by the process of seeking enjoyment.’ Thus, the living entity alternates between boredom and craving. Because of this frustration we become angry and often end up fighting with others.
Krishna conscious happiness is not like that. It is unlimited, and goes on eternally.
1. Bhagavad-gita 3.39
The Bhagavad-gita describes that there are three gates leading to hell: lust, anger, and greed. These activities cloud the consciousness like a drug and have caused many people to lose their good name, morality, family and health, as well as to grievously harm others. Spiritually, these activities blind a person and make him unable to understand spiritual truth. Falling deeper and deeper into illusion, the soul will have to suffer greatly. One who is sane should give up these three principles. l By following the four regulative principles and chanting the Hare Krishna MahaMantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rams Rama Hare Hare, one becomes gradually freed of these unwanted desires.
When Lord Krishna appeared 500 years ago as Lord Caitanya, He compared the process of chanting Hare Krishna to the cleansing of a mirror. The mirror of our mind or consciousness is clouded by the contaminated association that we have had in this world; not only during this lifetime but throughout past lives. The chanting cleanses the mirror of the mind, puts out the fire of material lust, makes our lives auspicious, situates us on the transcendental platform, awakens us to transcendental knowledge, and gives us the pleasure for which we have been hankering.
The chanting of the Lord’s names is the most important activity for a devotee. This chanting is the most important religious practice of this age (Yuga-dharma) A devotee should chant incessantly. In order to do this one must cultivate humility.
1. Bhagavad-gita 16.21
2. Sri Sri Siksastaka 1
3. Sri Sri Siksastaka 3