The consequence of indulgence is not the only problem – the indulgence itself is
Some smokers hope, “We can smoke unlimitedly if medicine could find some way to prevent the harmful effects of smoking.” Fueled by such hopes, they try out things like e-cigarettes, even though such surrogates still have harmful consequences.
Materialists who delight in worldly indulgence believe that the consequence of indulgence is the only problem; if that consequence can be avoided, they can indulge unrestrictedly. They think that the more they can indulge while avoiding its consequence, the cleverer they are.
Actually however, the consequence of indulgence can’t be avoided. The divinely-ordained law of karma that orchestrates the action-consequence chain is far cleverer than the cleverest human brain. Even if somehow, some consequences could be apparently, temporarily avoided, still indulgence has intrinsic, unavoidable consequences such as sensual addiction and spiritual desensitization.
When smokers smoke, their desire for smoking becomes stronger till it becomes addictive. In general, materialists are helplessly bound by their desires (Bhagavad-gita 16.11).
Additionally, sensuality deadens us to our spirituality (02.44). When our consciousness becomes captivated by fantasies of worldly pleasures, it can’t be calm enough to perceive spiritual reality, leave alone the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna, who is the all-attractive source of all pleasure.
By calmly contemplating these consequences, we become convinced that indulgence itself is problematic, not just its consequence. Then, we stop looking for ways to avoid the consequence of indulgence and start looking for ways to avoid indulgence itself, or, better still, to transcend indulgence by absorbing ourselves in something higher. Why transcend? Because merely avoiding indulgence makes us feel deprived, whereas transcending indulgence makes us feel fulfilled, especially when we absorb ourselves in Krishna, by practicing bhakti-yoga.
Thus, we can best deal with indulgence not by seeking to evade its consequence, but by seeking to elevate our consciousness to transcendence.
Think it over:
- Why can’t the consequence of indulgence actually be avoided?
- What consequences are intrinsic to indulgence?
- What is the best way to deal with indulgence? Why?
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