No barrier is foolproof, that is not proof no barrier is useful
Suppose a particular coastal area is prone to getting flooded because of high tides or sea-storms or tsunamis. Suppose the government constructs a barricade, but it is breached during a flooding. Even if the government builds a higher or stronger barricade, it too may be breached in a subsequent flooding. Would the government thereafter decide that no barricade is useful? Certainly not. Even if no protection works against huge floods, the barricades would protect at least from smaller floods.
Similarly, we all need some kind of protection from the many sensual temptations that surround us. For example, if someone is trying to recover from alcoholism, they need to keep some safe distance from bars and places with ready access to alcohol.
Of course, temptations can flood our consciousness with varying forces – and some may breach through whatever barrier we may erect around us. Sometimes, even if alcohol is nowhere in the vicinity of an alcoholic, they may still go as far as is needed to get alcohol. But just because the barriers around them may sometimes be breached whenever very strong urges to drink arise, doesn’t mean that the barriers are of no use. When urges that are not so strong arise, the barriers may act as sufficient delayers of indulgence till the urge passes and the intelligence is restored. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.41) urges us to protect ourselves from self-destructive desires by first regulating our senses. Such sensory regulation is affected by creating barriers against the temptations that we are most vulnerable to.
Of course, the best barriers are not those that block flow but those that direct flow. If we can facilitate the flow of our consciousness toward more satisfying objects, ultimately the supremely satisfying object, Krishna, then we will be best protected from temptation.
Think it over:
- How are barriers useful in fighting against temptation?
- What do the best barriers do?
- Has a barrier protected you recently? How can you fortify that barrier?
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