Regulation is the foundation for purification
Suppose we had to clean a water tank. We would need to do two things: clean the water already in the tank and regulate the water flowing into it. If dirty water were allowed to flow in unrestrictedly, then despite the best cleaning, the tank would still remain unclean.
Like a water tank that needs cleaning, our consciousness needs purification; we need to purge it of base impressions for selfish, shortsighted indulgence so that we, as eternal spiritual beings, can actualize our potential for lasting fulfillment. To cleanse our consciousness, we need to expose it to pure stimuli. The best such stimulus is the supreme spiritual reality, God, Krishna, who is supremely pure and supremely purifying. Consistent connection with him can purify even the most contaminated consciousness.
Simultaneously, we need to avoid further exposure to impure, agitating stimuli. The Bhagavad-gita, while outlining how to control selfish desires (03.36-43), stresses that we need to begin by regulating our senses (03.41). Such regulation prevents the further contamination of our consciousness. Though we can’t avoid all contact of the senses with the sense objects, we can certainly minimize it to the essential.
Won’t such regulation seem like deprivation? Not if it is the springboard for connecting with a source of higher satisfaction. Pertinently, the Gita reminds us of our spiritual identity (03.42) and urges us to use our intelligence for situating ourselves on the spiritual platform (03.43). The most easy and effective way to become spiritually situated is by practicing bhakti-yoga (08.14). This yoga of love connects us with Krishna, who is the source of unlimited happiness. That connection enables us to gradually and increasingly relish life’s supreme happiness. The Gita (06.27) confirms that steady spiritual discipline enables us to find the ultimate joy.
Thus, regulation sets the ground for purification and ultimately the supreme satisfaction.
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