Let others’ human failings not deny us our chance to overcome our human failings
As seekers, we get inspiration and guidance from our spiritual mentors. So if those mentors fall prey to temptations, our faith naturally gets jolted.
To see such mishaps in proper perspective, consider an epidemic zone where the victims find relief through a good treatment that is both a cure and a vaccine. Competent doctors may have helped cure thousands with this treatment, yet they themselves may become infected if they neglect taking the vaccine. This is distressing, even devastating. Still the treatment remains potent. Similarly, all of us are in the epidemic zone of material existence, wherein hover the infections caused by the modes of material nature – infections that make temptations for material pleasures seem irresistible. Vulnerability to such infections is a universal human failing. For overcoming these failings, Gita wisdom offers the reliable therapy of bhakti-yoga. Bhakti comprises the best way to relish higher spiritual happiness and thereby resist the lure of lower material pleasure. So it acts as both a cure and a vaccine against material temptations. By a little practice of bhakti, we can experientially verify its potency in decreasing our human failings. But the converse also holds true. Human failings can overcome anyone, even longtime spiritual teachers, because, as the Gita (18.40) cautions, everyone in the entire universe is susceptible to the influence of the modes. Nonetheless, bhakti always remains potent. It is our chance to overcome our human failings – a chance that we have got after many lifetimes of affliction. If we let go of this chance due to doubts caused by others’ failings, then we let others’ failings perpetuate our failings. Even if others self-destruct, we don’t have to. Instead, we can recognize the indispensability of the treatment – and take greater, not lesser, shelter of Krishna.
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