Seek the association that warns us about our urges, not warms us to our urges
Suppose we meet a stranger belonging to a group that is hostile to us. Naturally, we would be reserved while dealing with them. But if someone we trust praised that stranger, that would break the ice and bring some warmth into that meeting. However, if that stranger were still hostile to us, then the warmth would mean we would be in bigger danger.
Suppose, however, that the hostile person is not unfamiliar, but familiar. Then if someone further warmed us to them, we would be in even greater danger.
Similar is our plight when we deal with our urges. Most of our urges are familiar to us, for we have indulged in them repeatedly. Though such indulgence is often unfulfilling and sometimes degrading, we somehow remain favorably inclined toward our urges whenever they arise within us.
Why do we remain favorable to urges which lead to unfavorable results? Because of our association. The Bhagavad-gita (02.62) indicates that our desires are shaped by our association.
In today’s materialistic culture, we are surrounded by worldly association that warms us to our urges. Even if our past negative experience with indulgence creates some reservations within us toward our urges, that reservation is dissipated by the incessant glamorization of those urges by the people around us. Misled by those depictions, we lower our guard and relapse.
To protect ourselves from our urges, we need to conscientiously seek the association that warns us about our urges. We can find such association among those who learn and live the Gita. In the association of such spiritual seers and seekers, we are reminded not just about the folly of sensual indulgence, but also the glory of spiritual realization.
By such reminders, we get the inspiration and conviction to stop pandering to our urges and to start transcending them.
Think it over:
- What’s wrong with indulging in our urges?
- Despite the unfavorable results of pandering to our urges, why do we remain favorable to our urges?
- Whose association can protect us from our urges? How?
02.62 While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
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