Indiscriminate indulgence makes the impulsive compulsive
No one ever desires to become an addict whenever they indulge in any pleasure which has a tendency to become addictive. For example when people start drinking alcohol, they just want to have a good time, experience a high and feel that they are mixing with the crowd and doing the cool thing. However, over time, each time they drink alcohol, the desire to drink alcohol again becomes stronger and stronger till it becomes a compulsion and then an addiction.
Most of us may not be addicted to anything as potentially destructive as alcohol. But the underlying psychological dynamics by which we get attached to things are universal. We all get impulses, be they to eat something, to watch something, to touch something or to buy something. If we indiscriminately give into the impulses, thinking that one indulgence doesn’t make any big difference, then that very indiscriminate indulgence makes a big difference, a disastrous difference.
The Bhagavad-Gita (16.11) indicates that desires are like nooses or like shackles; each time we indulge in a particular object, an invisible rope is formed between us, our consciousness, and that object. And with each successive indulgence, that the rope thickens and tightens, making it more and more difficult for us to resist the desire, nay the craving, for that object. As the desire becomes irresistible, impulsive transmogrifies into the compulsive. And thus we end up hooked, attached, addicted.
If we had been just a little discriminating before giving in to the impulse, then we could have protected ourselves from becoming addicted. We can enhance our capacity to discriminate by regularly studying the Gita and understanding the way in which our mind works and traps us.
More importantly, the Gita guides us to fulfill our innate longing for pleasure by introducing us to the source of all pleasure, the all attractive supreme, Krishna. When we connect with him by practicing bhakti yoga diligently, we find a sublime fulfillment filling our heart, thus increasing our immunity to impulsive indulgences.
Thus, Gita wisdom empowers us with both discrimination and satisfaction: discrimination to perceive the grave consequences of impulsive indulgences, and satisfaction to transcend the allurements of such indulgences.