Let temptation activate the warrior within, not the philanderer within
Suppose enemy forces sneak in to attack a country. If the border is guarded by their own spy instead of a faithful warrior, the spy will open doors that need to be closed, thus subjecting the country to an avoidable defeat. If both the faithful soldier and the spy are at the border, the faithful soldier needs to spring into action before the spy.
When we start practicing spiritual life, we enter into a war against illusion. Illusion attacks primarily through temptations that promise pleasure but deliver misery. Unfortunately, the border of our consciousness is often not well-guarded.
Within us is a philanderer who wants to simply enjoy without considering any higher principles or purposes. And within us is also a warrior who recognizes that temptations can be deceptive, dangerous and degrading, and is alert to determinedly resist them. Our mind, predominated as it often is by shortsighted desires such as lust, is like the philanderer – it acts like illusion’s spy within our consciousness. Our intelligence, when illumined by spiritual wisdom, is like the warrior. The Bhagavad-gita (03.36-43) illumines us about the nature of lust and concludes (03.43) by exhorting us to use our intelligence to fight and overcome illusion’s formidable attacks.
When we are lax in our spiritual practices such as scriptural study, our inner warrior gets lulled into a deep slumber, whereas our inner philanderer becomes active and energetic. In contrast, diligent bhakti practice keeps our inner warrior alert and fighting fit. Thereafter, when temptation beckons, we see it not as an opportunity to enjoy or even a burden to resist, but as a danger to be avoided. In fact, bhakti wisdom offers a spiritually energizing vision of temptation as a devotional opportunity – an opportunity to show our devotion to Krishna by choosing him instead of illusion.
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