Thwart the desires that titillate initially but torment eventually

When worldly desires tempt us, they promise us a lot of pleasure. And contemplating attractive worldly objects does titillate. However, no matter how intoxicating this initial titillation, it soon gives way to torment because that desire comes back again, and comes stronger, thus enslaving us.

The Bhagavad-gita (18.38) cautions that sensual pleasures which taste like nectar initially will taste like poison eventually. Initially sense objects allure us with the promise of pleasure, but eventually they goad us with the threat of pain if we don’t indulge – torment becomes our long-lasting predicament. What promised us irresistible pleasure earlier soon causes intolerable agitation. Why? Because the tormenting craving just doesn’t go away unless we indulge – and soon returns even after we indulge.

If we want to avoid being tormented, we need to use the eyes of knowledge coming from scripture to recognize that the initial titillation is just a bait meant to entice and entrap us. Thereafter, whenever worldly desires appear within us, we can tolerate them by redirecting our consciousness towards a higher reality, preferably the highest reality, the all-attractive whole, Krishna, whose parts we are eternally.

Such redirection becomes easier if we cultivate the regular practice of bhakti-yoga, thereby habituating ourselves to Krishna’s steady remembrance. By this divine habit, we can become resourceful and ready to quickly absorb ourselves in him, thus thwarting worldly desires from getting a foothold in our consciousness. Even if they somehow get a foothold, still we can invoke Krishna’s presence in our consciousness, thereby expelling worldly desires and protecting ourselves from treacherous sensual indulgences.

By regularly studying the Gita to remind ourselves that sensual desires which titillate initially will torment eventually, we can choose and cherish devotional desires, thereby paving our way to thorough purification and enduring satisfaction.

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