Addictive desires feed themselves through us and then they starve us

Suppose someone came to our house, ate our food, became strong, took over our house and started starving us. That would be outrageous.

However, that’s what happens to us when we feed our lower desires and unwittingly let them take over our consciousness. For example, we may indulge in some dangerous desire such as say, taking alcohol or drugs. Thereafter, whenever the desire comes and we indulge in it, our indulgence acts like the food that strengthens it. Soon it occupies and dominates our consciousness, goading us to keep feeding it. As the desire becomes addictive, it starts starving us, preventing us from doing activities that nourish us intellectually, emotionally and even physically. Many addicts can’t think clearly, can’t care for others and can’t even take care of themselves. Some drug addicts use whatever money they get, even if dole given by government, to buy drugs instead of food to feed their starving stomachs. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.37) warns that selfish desire is all-devouring.

If we remember how indiscriminate indulgence can destroy us, we can be forewarned. Whenever such a desire starts rising, if we immediately say a firm no by refusing to titillate ourselves by thinking about the promised pleasure, then the desire can’t grow and can’t overpower us.

Of course, we can’t just say no to desire; desire is our intrinsic energy and it needs to be directed somewhere – we need to focus on saying yes to higher desires. When we fill our consciousness with the desires to love and serve Krishna, and direct our time, energy and consciousness in fulfilling those desires, then lower desires automatically get sidelined, starved and eventually exiled. And through such devotional purification, we ultimately become liberated to a life of inner satisfaction and outer contribution in service to Krishna.

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