As long as the mind is impure, no place is secure
If we move to a new place, we look for a safe locality. Similarly, we need for our consciousness a safe place, a place free from immoral temptations.
Which places are safe? Natural settings with serene atmospheres? Possibly. But even in such places, temptations may assault us. How? Through sensual memories.
Tempting desires arise not just from the place where our body is, but primarily from the place where our mind is. And our mind goes wherever its foremost impressions pull it. If our foremost impressions are of impure indulgences, we will feel tempted, no matter where we are physically. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita cautions that self-destructive desire is our eternal enemy (03.39) – it hounds us at all places. Indeed, self-destructive desires don’t reside outside, in sense objects; they reside inside, in our own senses, mind, and intelligence (03.40).
Does that mean external places don’t matter? They do. Though desires arise from inner impressions, they are often triggered by outer perceptions. So, hedonistic places where explicit sensual perceptions invade our consciousness are unsafe and are best avoided.
However, if we focus only on such avoidance, we often run into two major problems. First, we may feel constantly persecuted because in today’s materialistic culture, tempting stimuli are almost ubiquitous. Second, in the absence of sensual stimuli, we may be lulled into a false sense of security and may lower our guard. And wham! Our mind may ambush us by forcefully filling us internally with sensual recollections.
How, then, can we stay safe? By striving to place our consciousness at the supremely safe place: at Krishna’s lotus feet. Krishna is all-pure, all-powerful, all-pleasurable. When we remember and serve him by practicing bhakti-yoga, we access a higher happiness. And that happiness empowers us to neglect impure impressions persistently till they get purged from our consciousness permanently.
Think it over:
- Why do we sometimes feel tempted even in serene natural settings?
- If we focus only on avoiding tempting places, what are the problems?
- How does placing our consciousness with Krishna protect us?
03.39 Thus the wise living entity’s pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisﬁed and which burns like ﬁre.
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