How to deal with our inability to resist temptation


Suppose a person is so sick as to not have the strength to lift even small objects. We won’t condemn them for being weak; we will insist that they urgently take a proper treatment. 

We need a similar non-condemnatory approach when we find that we have become internally weak. Inner weakness refers to our inability to resist temptations. When we succumb to wrongdoing repeatedly, despite resolving not to, we may start condemning ourselves for being morally corrupt. By such a discouraging self-diagnosis, we may succumb further, stop trying to resist temptation, believe we are irredeemable and just cave in whenever tempted. 

Protecting us from such self-defeating self-assessment, Gita wisdom explains that no matter how morally corrupt our actions may be, we ourselves aren’t morally corrupt. At our core, we are spiritual beings, who are parts of the all-pure supreme, Krishna (Bhagavad-gita 15.07). However, our consciousness is presently misdirected away from Krishna toward worldly things through our mind and senses. The further we are from Krishna, who is the source of all pleasure, the more we become lurable by worldly pleasures. Disconnection from Krishna is the essence of our spiritual sickness and the cause of our inner weakness. 

To cure ourselves, we need to cultivate positive self-conception and persistent self-direction. Positive self-conception means that we focus not on how impure we presently are, but on how pure we essentially are. Persistent self-redirection means that even if we succumb to temptation, we focus on reconnecting with Krishna and infusing our entire life with a prayerful service attitude. 

When we thus steady our Krishna-connection, we progress toward spiritual health. We start relishing spiritual satisfaction which gradually makes us strong enough to resist worldly temptation. 

One-sentence summary:

Inner weakness arises from spiritual sickness, not moral corruptness — focus on curing, not on condemning. 

Think it over:

  • How do we misdiagnose our inner weakness?
  • How can we cure ourselves of our spiritual sickness?
  • When you succumb to temptation, how do you see yourself? How can you make your self-conception more spiritually informed? 

***

15.07: The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness – I met you a few months ago in NJ and we spoke for a while, but you will not remember me (I’m an older woman),
    At that time I had told you what a difference you have made in my life – along with thousands of others,

    After reading this post, I am humbled again by your generosity of thought.

    Thank you very much, Prabhuji – you are indeed a special messenger of Krsna,

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you, Mataji, for your kind comment and good wishes. It’s a pleasure to hear from you after our meeting in NJ. Grateful to know that you are finding my contributions helpful.

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