Sensuality erodes both our tendency and our capacity for spirituality

If we are to travel from place A to place B, we need the tendency and the capacity to make the journey. Tendency refers to the inclination to travel, which may arise by knowing place B’s attractiveness. And capacity refers to the energy to travel, which may arise by eating food or fueling our car.

Similarly, in our inner journey from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness, we need the necessary tendency and capacity.

How do we get spiritual tendency? Through spiritual knowledge. Gita wisdom explains that we are souls, parts of the supreme soul, Krishna. Whatever pleasure sensual indulgence can provide, we can get far more pleasure by becoming lovingly absorbed in him. Understanding this kindles within us the desire to move towards Krishna.

How do we get spiritual capacity? Through spiritual realization. If we apply the Gita’s knowledge and connect with Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga, we experience higher happiness, which energizes us to keep endeavoring in our journey towards him.

However, while practicing bhakti, if we keep indulging in sensual pleasures, such indulgence erodes both our knowledge and our realization (03.41). Sensual indulgence fills our consciousness with tempting sense objects, relegating spiritual knowledge to the distant background. Moreover, such indulgence inflames within us dreams and schemes for similar indulgence, thereby deadening our spiritual receptivity and negating our spiritual realizations.

When we feel spiritually apathetic, how can we recover? Gita wisdom helps us see that apathy positively – apathy is a natural consequence of sensual indulgence; it is not evidence of our spiritual hopelessness. Why not? Because Krishna still loves us, notwithstanding our sensuality and spiritual apathy. And he still remains accessible to us through bhakti practice.

With spiritual optimism, when we practice bhakti-yoga to connect with all-pure Krishna, we will gradually become purified, progressing towards eternal joyful absorption in him.

Think it over:

  1. How do we get the tendency and the capacity for spirituality?
  2. How does sensuality erode our tendency and capacity for spirituality?
  3. How can we see our post-indulgence spiritual apathy optimistically?

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