Fighting urges is like a timed arm wrestling match – if we just survive the present round, we will resume on neutral ground
Suppose we are playing an arm wrestling match with someone. If our opponent is much stronger than us, they will force our arm down till it almost becomes horizontal. We may give up, thinking, “I will have to give up eventually. Why undergo the pain of resisting till then?”
Such thinking would be misleading if the match featured timed 3-minute rounds. Timed rounds would mean the pain of resisting wouldn’t go on forever and resisting wouldn’t be pointless; by holding on for a few moments more, we can survive and resume the next round with our arm vertical, not nearly horizontal.
A similar principle applies to our inner struggle with our sensual urges. When we strive to resist them, they sometimes grow stronger. Thinking that they will keep growing forever, we give up. However, they are temporary, like everything else in the world – we need to resist them only for a finite time.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (02.56) urges us to stay equipoised among life’s dualities. Such dualities can include the arrival and departure of our urges. Whenever an urge arrives, we needn’t get delighted or dismayed: delighted thinking that they pave the pathways to our enjoyment or dismayed thinking that they are bullies who will force us to succumb. Instead, if we see the arrival of the urge as the beginning of a timed arm wrestling match, then we can remind ourselves that the round will end with the urge’s departure.
Though we don’t know how long the round will last, just knowing that it won’t last forever can give us the strength to keep resisting. And if we simultaneously persist in focusing on higher spiritual reality, ultimately on Krishna, then outlasting those urges will become easier.
Think it over:
- Whenever our urges hit us, what misconception makes us succumb to them?
- How can we treat urges as a part of the world’s dualities?
- How can outlasting the urges become easier?
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