Stop the snowball before it snowballs you

When a snowball is on top of a hill and is about to start rolling down, it can be checked and cracked with just a simple flick of our foot. But once it starts rolling down, it gains mass and momentum. If allowed to roll down, it can well become so huge that by the time it reaches the bottom of a hill, it can knock over a grown up person.

The Bhagavad-gita (02.62-63) states that when we contemplate on sense objects, the desire generated in our consciousness starts growing like a snowball through a succession of infatuation, obsession, infuriation, delusion, oblivion, stupefaction and self-destruction. If we let the desire-snowball grow unchecked, it makes us do things that we may have resolved to not do. Thus, we become snowballed by our desires.

If we were living in a territory endangered by snowballs, we would be vigilant. Spiritual wisdom alerts us that our consciousness is a danger zone wherein the snowball of infatuating desire can form and grow at any moment. Our own pet attachments determine the particular kind of snowballs we are prone to. Inner vigilance begins with taking stock of our own consciousness to understand our particular attachments and plan how to deal with them.

Of course, mere vigilance is not enough to protect ourselves; we need to absorb ourselves in Krishna through consistent bhakti-yoga practice. Such practice kindles our desire for Krishna (Gita 12.09), thus filling our consciousness with his enriching remembrance and preventing the snowball of sensual desires from growing.

As our heart becomes increasingly warmed by Krishna’s comforting, fulfilling presence, that warmth dissipates the coldness of dissatisfaction that makes us vulnerable to worldly temptations. Thereafter, the snowball of sensual desires is less likely to form in our consciousness, and we can march confidently and joyfully towards Krishna.

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