Temptation talks and stalks, relentlessly
Suppose a salesperson tries forcefully to sell us their product and relentlessly follows us wherever we go. We may try their product, but if we find it unsatisfactory, we would decide to not buy it again. If they still kept talking and stalking us, we would need to call security.
Temptation is like that relentless salesperson – only it is much more insidious because it talks and stalks from inside. We unthinkingly identify with it and instead of calling security to get rid of it, keep falling for it repeatedly.
Alerting us to the presence of this inner stalker, the Bhagavad-gita states that tempting desire resides inside us: in our senses, mind and intelligence (03.40). From there, it allures us “Do this; you will enjoy so much.” Believing it, we may indulge. But if we are thoughtful, we sense, sooner or later, that its promises of pleasure are scandalously exaggerated, if not utterly fictitious. We resolve to not indulge again, yet temptation keeps pursuing us. It stalks us to our home, workplace, temple, another city, even another country. Worse still, it follows us lifetime after lifetime – it acts like an eternal enemy (03.39).
Just as a stalker pauses if we are with someone powerful, temptation pauses if we are with the all-powerful supreme, Krishna. We can invoke his presence in our consciousness by practicing bhakti-yoga, by serving him externally and remembering him internally. When we thus stay conscious of him, temptation, even if present, can’t torment. If we practicing bhakti diligently, we start relishing the sublime joy of connecting with the one who is the source of all pleasure.
When we thus become increasingly satisfied in Krishna, temptation slowly recognizes that its cause is hopeless. Its voice falls to a whimper till finally, it slinks away, leaving us free to become joyfully absorbed in our Lord.
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