If we are robbed repeatedly by the same suspect, it is our intelligence that is suspect
Suppose we are robbed and the prime suspect is a shady neighbor. We would confront them to recover what had been stolen. Or at least, we would do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves from being robbed again. If they rob us repeatedly and we let ourselves be robbed, it is our intelligence that would be suspect.
Something similar happens in our inner world wherein our desires for sensual gratification rob us of our time, energy, attention, morality, spirituality. Yet we rarely do anything substantial to protect ourselves. We keep exposing ourselves to the same temptations; we keep letting ourselves be beguiled by the same rationalizations before indulging, after indulging or both; we keep making halfhearted resolutions that we abandon when pleasure allures us.
The Bhagavad-gita (03.37) states that sensual desire is our greatest enemy; indeed, it’s the whole world’s enemy because it impels everyone toward self-destructive actions. And such sensuality is our eternal enemy (03.39) — it has robbed us in this and previous lifetimes, leaving us souls with nothing in terms of spiritual growth to carry forward from one life to the next. All it gives us is a large burden of strengthened sensual impressions that impel us to re-indulge, again and again, lifetime after lifetime. And such desires are like our inner neighbors: they reside in our senses, mind and intelligence (03.40).
How can we overcome our insane passivity in the face of sensuality? By the combination of intelligence and transcendence (03.43). We let transcendence in the form of Gita wisdom equip our intelligence, and we use our intelligence to focus on transcendence through bhakti-yoga practices that connect us with the all-attractive supreme. By such reinforcement, we gain the inner satisfaction necessary to resist outer titillation.
Think it over:
- How do our sensual desires rob us repeatedly?
- How are sensual desires an eternal enemy?
- How can we protect ourselves from sensual onslaughts?
03.43 Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Krishna consciousness] and thus – by spiritual strength – conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.
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