Are we silencing our watchdog?
Suppose we have a watchdog guarding our house. If a suspicious-looking stranger appears, that dog would bark to alert us. But if we neglect and silence that watchdog and allow the stranger in — and if this happens repeatedly — the dog would eventually stop barking.
Our conscience is like our inner watchdog. It barks whenever we start doing something wrong or more precisely when some unhealthy desire starts rising in our consciousness. Such desires may come from outer tempting stimulations or inner sensual recollections.
Suppose someone has grown up in a cultured family, but are exposed in residential college to other students who are into substance abuse. When allured or pressured, they initially say no — their conscience barks loudly to alert them. But suppose they let the temptation in, thinking they will indulge just once. However, by such indulgence, their conscience will weaken; their conscience will stop barking, thinking that the temptation is no longer strange or threatening. Then they will start indulging nonchalantly, dangerously, excessively.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (15.15) states that Krishna is present as the Supersoul in our hearts. From there he gives us guidance about right and wrong — he acts as the voice of our conscience. He gives us remembrance of what is right if that’s what we desire and he gives us forgetfulness of what is wrong if that’s what we desire.
Knowing that the strength of our conscience depends on our actions, we need to avoid doing actions that weaken and silence it. And we need to start doing actions that strengthen it — actions that reinforce our connection with Krishna such as scriptural study and devotional meditation. By such strengthening, we can better detect and reject temptations.
Conscience is our inner watchdog that stops barking when indulgence no longer seems to be a stranger.
Think it over:
- How is our conscience like our watchdog?
- How does our conscience become weakened?
- Which actions weaken your conscience? Which actions strengthen it?
15.15: I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image