Stop struggling to turn off the inner darkness, start striving to turn on the inner light

Suppose we are lost in a dark room. We stumble over various things, hurting ourselves. To avoid such trouble, do we try to turn off the darkness? No, we strive to turn on the light, knowing that thereby darkness will automatically be dissipated.  

We need a similar approach to deal with the darkness that pervades our inner world. Because of this darkness, we can’t see which things provide pleasure and which things engender trouble. We mistakenly think of sensual desires that propel us toward sense objects as pathways to pleasure. Actually, however, those desires lead us to attachment, addiction,  and various karmic consequences. 

Gradually, we realize through our experience and intelligence that sensual desires mislead us. Understanding this, we try to resist those desires. But we frequently fail. Why? Because we are, metaphorically speaking, trying to turn off the inner darkness – an impossible task. 

Why is saying no to sensual desires an impossible task? Because saying no makes us feel deprived, for we are still thinking of the thing we are saying no to. And dwelling on sense objects, even for resisting them, eventually drags us down, despite our discernment and determination (Bhagavad-gita 02.60).

What, then, is the solution? We need to focus on turning on the inner light. How? By striving to appreciate the glory of our indwelling Lord, Krishna, who is the source of the supreme light, the ultimate wisdom. Understanding how loving and lovable he is, we become attracted to him or at least seek to become attracted to him. By that divine intention to lovingly connect with him, our heart becomes filled and illumined by spiritual desires. 

When we thus bring our consciousness in Krishna’s illuminating, enriching presence, we relish increasing inner enrichment, thereby transcending sensual desires (02.61). 


Think it over:

  • How is our inner world dark? How does that darkness trouble us?
  • Why do we fail to resist sensual desires?
  • How can we turn on the inner light? How does that light free us from sensual desires? 



02.61 One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.

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