More damaging than the lies we tell others are the lies we tell ourselves
Suppose someone has diabetes and they secretly eat desserts. If they lie to their caregivers about what they are doing, that’s bad; they will worsen their health. But suppose they lie to themselves, believing that all the medical guidance about sweet food being damaging to diabetics is just misleading propaganda. They will hurt themselves far more.
Similar is the predicament of those who live sensually and deny even to themselves the harmful effects of sensuality. In today’s world where sensuality is rampant in its visibility, availability and appeal, it’s so easy to succumb to sensual temptation. Nonetheless, even in today’s world, some moral restraints do exist – certain forms of sensuality are still considered immoral. Those who indulge in such sensuality do so secretly, thereby continuing the façade of morality. But suppose they themselves start believing that nothing is intrinsically wrong with sensuality and they can still be spiritually advanced, no matter how long and how much they have been engaged in gross sensuality. Then, they are taking their consciousness far, far away from the spiritual level where lasting peace and joy exist.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.05) states that those who delight in sensual contemplation while pretending to be spiritually advanced mislead others — and mislead themselves too. How do they mislead themselves? Because though they may put on a façade of spiritual advancement, they deprive themselves of the genuine happiness that comes from authentic spiritual advancement.
Thankfully, we always have access to the supreme truth of the Gita. If we learn from the Gita, it stands ready to empower us to free ourselves from all lies: the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.
Think it over:
- Why do we lie to others?
- Why do we lie to ourselves?
- How can we free ourselves from all lies?
03.06 One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image
Explanation of article: