Since the dawn of creation people have been controlled by smaller groups of people thus many have always been controlled by a few. This control can be made possible by direct and indirect ways. Direct ways involve incarceration, torture – brute force. This methodology can not successfully continue for ever. People can live only in cages they do not see thus people, the many, have to be brought to the point of consent. Therefore indirect methodologies are resorted to. One indirect methodology is by fear. First, fear is introduced. Second, the few remove the artificial causes of fear, and therefore step number three, the many cling onto the few, seeking their protection.
The other methodology is by pleasure. First, pleasure is introduced. Second, the many become addicted to pleasure and therefore stupefied. Third, the many are ready to do anything to prevent cessation of pleasure.
TV is a major media through which the few get to control the many. Terror, terrorism, terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, etc. – these are for the most part lies meant to keep the people in a fearful state of mind.
Fashion, shopping, emotionally immature celebrities, entertainment – these are for the most part meant to keep people stupefied, attached, in bondage, and therefore incapable of independent critical thinking.
In this way, through the materialistic fear and the materialistic pleasure people lose their freedom.
Lord Krishna, however, teaches whole of the material creation exercises these two principles, the principle of materialistic fear and the principle of materialistic pleasure, to keep living entities in bondage.
Braking out of this bondage sets the soul free, free to experience real, conscious, spiritual existence. Conscious life, the life of a yogi really begins with the attempts to rise above the dualities of the material world. Krishna, in the Bhagavad-gita (2.14-15) has to say the following on the subject at hand:
The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. The person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.”
To ignore the disturbance of the fear-pleasure dualism is a great accomplishment, but it does not complete the process of yoga. For such a spiritual accomplishment there has to be one more element: determination and practice to advance in spiritual realization. Thus, in his commentary on the above quoted texts from the Bhagavad-gita, Srila Prabhupada writes: “Anyone who is steady in determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly eligible for liberation.“