Don’t let device aggravate vice

We all have our vices that if given a free run can harm others and harm us too. Keeping such vices under control has been a constant struggle for humanity. In today’s culture, this struggle has become tougher because inner vice is nowadays facilitated and fuelled by outer device.

For example, with smartphones providing easy Internet access, millions of people the world over are becoming addicted to porn. The vice of lust has always tempted and tormented and trapped humanity throughout its history. But when facilitated by device, this vice extends its tentacles even further, capturing people if they just press a few keys. Though using porn appears to be a harmless titillation initially, it turns out eventually to be a ruthless addiction that devours people’s time, energy, money, morality, sensitivity, spirituality, even humanity. The Bhagavad-gita (02.62) outlines how contemplation on sense objects propels them on the path to self-destruction. Such dangerous contemplation becomes, thanks to devices, a constant temptation.

We all have our various vices that can get aggravated by various devices. What makes us especially vulnerable is that frequently we can neither remove vice immediately; nor avoid device entirely, at least not as long as we live in a techno-centric world.

Therefore, to protect ourselves, we need to practice bhakti-yoga that provides inner spiritual satisfaction, thereby enabling us to resist outer material gratification. But even while we practice bhakti, vice may impel us to abuse device. If this happens repeatedly, then we need to regulate our use of device through something like an Internet filter. More importantly, we need to study scripture seriously, and pray and chant intensely so that we can by Krishna’s mercy have the intellectual conviction and spiritual determination to resist vice. By such outer vigilance and inner diligence, we can gradually attain transcendence, going beyond the lure of vice.

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