“Vedanta sutra explains that the nature of the conscious force, the soul, is to seek pleasure.” – Radhanath Swami
According to the influences of nature, according to the guna we are situated in, we are trying to find pleasure in various ways: some people find pleasure in beating and killing others, some people find pleasure in just accumulating more and more and more wealth, power and prestige,some people are seeking pleasure in being very charitable, very kind, very giving to others. Everyone is driven in all circumstances by the desire for pleasure. And what are we trying to avoid, more than anything else? Pain.
If you study our economy, so much money is spent, trying to avoid pain. The medical industry is simply trying to ward off suffering, and billions of dollars are being spent on pharmaceuticals. And then we have the cosmetic industry. It’s painful to see yourself ugly or old. So there are all kinds of cosmetic devices to change and make you look beautiful and young. And how much is spent on military? Why so much money for military, building bombs, armies, navies and air force? To avoid pain—the pain of losing our property, our land, our lives, our freedom.
So everyone is in pursuit of pleasure. This is something that universally every living entity has in common, because the nature of consciousness is pleasure.