Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 05, Text 24
All of us have the drive to achieve, which we can direct either materially or spiritually. To aid us in choosing correctly, the Bhagavad-gita contrasts material enjoyment and spiritual fulfillment in its fifth chapter and exhorts us (05.24) to direct our drive to achieve spiritually. Let’s understand why.
Materialism centers on gaining something that is external to us, something that has no intrinsic connection with our essence as souls. We do need basic material resources for survival. However, when we seek material achievements, we often pursue things that are not necessities but are desirables. Material things seem desirable not because they are innately related with us, but because they are culturally glamorized, thereby making us crave for them. The hollowness of this glamorization is exposed when we achieve the glamorized objects and find that they don’t offer any lasting satisfaction. They offer just a bit of fleeting titillation that is not worth the prolonged labor needed to attain them. Moreover, because all material things are external to us, they are taken away, sooner or later, by external upheavals.