How can we become immune to temptation?

Suppose someone is living in a pandemic area. If they have developed immunity to that disease, they may think they are safe. However, if they are exposed excessively to that germ, they may still become infected. 

Spiritual traditions often compare the entire material world to a pandemic-affected area, wherein tempting desires are like germs that infect us. We can resist  temptation by learning to connect with the all-pure supreme, Krishna, and thereby purging impurities out of our consciousness . The Bhagavad-gita stresses this protective potency of absorption in Krishna (02.61). When we engage in devotional practices, we get an immunisation — we get the insight and taste to better resist temptation. 

By connecting with Krishna, we sometimes get such a sublime spiritual experience that we feel we will never turn to sensuality. We may think we have become forever immune to temptation. 

Unfortunately, we haven’t. 

Our underlying impurities still remain and may resurface, sooner or later. Such relapse is  all the more probable if we are exposed to too much temptation, as can easily happen in today’s aggressively materialistic culture. No wonder the Gita cautions that if we indulge in sensual contemplation, we can be dragged down to sensuality and even depravity (02.62-63).  

To become sustainably immune, an occasional spiritual experience isn’t enough; we need to cultivate the consistent habit of spiritually connecting with Krishna so that we gradually become absorbed in him. We need to develop a steady, strong taste for his sweetness and his service. 

Thankfully, becoming absorbed in Krishna isn’t too difficult. If we try earnestly to turn our heart from the world to Krishna, we can slowly relish such satisfaction that connecting with him remains not a burdensome chore, but becomes a relishable choice. And by choosing Krishna regularly, we become immune to temptation. 

One-sentence summary: 

Immunity to temptation comes not by a one-time spiritual experience but by an all-time spiritual absorption.

Think it over:

  • How is the material world like a pandemic-affected area?
  • How does spirituality make us immune to temptation?
  • What can and can’t make us steadily immune to temptation?

***

02.61: One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.

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1 Comment

  1. Japa offers you the immunity from temptation

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