Even if we can’t drive away inner impurities, we can still drive away from inner impurities

Suppose an obscene billboard comes up in our neighborhood. If we want our locality to be family-friendly, we will want that image removed. But if we don’t have the power to drive it away, we can still drive away from it. Without wasting time in physically glaring at it or mentally condemning it, we can carry on with our life. 

We need to be similarly pragmatic when some immoral sensual image pops up inside us. If we are striving to live purely, we may feel annoyed, angered, alarmed – especially when such impurity stays on even when we want it gone.

Faced with impurities that seem to stick inside us, what can we do? Even if we can’t drive them away, we can still drive away from them. To understand how, let’s envision our consciousness as both an inner territory and an inner torchlight that illumines the territory. The inappropriate image may stay in our inner territory, but we don’t have to focus our inner flashlight on it; we can focus it on something else, something important for us. Even if the impurity is present in our consciousness, we don’t have to let it occupy center stage in our consciousness. 

Recommending such strategic redirection, the Bhagavad-gita (05.23) states that the urges of desire and anger arise from our embodied condition; we need to accept their presence without succumbing to their influence. How can we do that? By focusing on spiritual reality (05.24). The highest spiritual reality is Krishna, the all-attractive supreme person. If we connect with him through inner remembrance and outer service, the resulting devotional absorption will enrich us with sublime satisfaction. And that satisfaction will empower us to initially tolerate and eventually transcend inner impurities.

Think it over:

  • In what two ways can we envision our consciousness?
  • How can we drive away from impurities?
  • Which impurity troubles you the most? To drive away from it, what can you most easily absorb yourself in?


05.23 Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world. 

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