Careless contemplation turns tempting thoughts into time bombs

When a time bomb is placed somewhere, it may not even be noticed by anyone; it might seem just like any other innocuous object lying in that area. But once it starts ticking, it becomes capable of terrible destruction, towards which it moves with every passing moment. 

Something similar happens in our own consciousness. When tempting thoughts arise therein, either by outer perception or inner recollection, they often initially seem as innocuous as any other thought occurring in our consciousness. Yet such thoughts can be enormously destructive – they can impel us to act in ways that destroy our rationality, sensitivity, morality, humanity, spirituality. The Bhagavad-gita (02.62) outlines how this spiral to self-destruction is triggered by careless contemplation. 

Just as a time bomb needs to be activated to begin its ticking towards explosion, similarly, tempting thoughts need to be activated to propel our consciousness towards degrading self-destruction. Whereas time bombs are often mechanically activated, either by physical knobs or by remote controls, thoughts are activated when we give them our attention. Curiously however, we are often not conscious that we are giving them our attention; we are so captivated by the images arising from those thoughts that we get carried away. 

Just as time bombs can be defused by trained experts, similarly, tempting thoughts can be defused if we get the necessary spiritual training and become experts in monitoring our consciousness. The spiritual training is to habitually direct our consciousness towards the all-attractive spiritual reality, Krishna. And the inner expertise is in knowing when our consciousness is being sensually misdirected and then redirecting it towards Krishna’s service. We can gain such training and expertise by practicing bhakti-yoga. 

By understanding unsentimentally that careless contemplation can be disastrous, we can apply ourselves to practicing bhakti-yoga diligently and vigilantly. 

 

Think it over:

  • How are tempting thoughts like time bombs?
  • How do our time bomb-like thoughts get activated?
  • How can we defuse our time bomb-like thoughts? 

 

***

02.62 While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

 

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