The enemy that is not recognized can’t be resisted
During a war, a spy who penetrates into a defending army can wreak havoc from within, for the defenders won’t even know whom to fight against.
Practicing spiritual life is like embarking on a war against the forces of illusion. In this war, selfish desire within our consciousness is like a spy that sabotages our spiritual resolutions. The Bhagavad-gita (03.37) cautions that such desire is like a vicious and voracious enemy. By making us do horrible things, it can devour our morality, our spirituality, even our humanity. Its destructiveness is evident among addicts who ruin their lives for their addiction. And its deceptiveness is evident in recovering addicts, who despite their intention to become sober, find themselves relapsing – their traitor-like lower desires allure and ambush them even before they can recognize that they are under attack, leave alone identify the attacker.
To be alert to our inner dynamics, we need to study the Bhagavad-gita carefully and regularly. Thereafter, whenever we feel impelled from within to do something unworthy, our scripturally-sharpened intelligence will help us identify that impeller as our inner enemy.
Gita wisdom helps us to not just recognize but also resist that inner enemy. The Gita stresses that the most effective resistance is mounted not by intelligence alone but by intelligence directed towards transcendence (03.43). We need to use our intelligence to situate ourselves in our transcendental identity as souls, who are eternal parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna.
We can best situate ourselves spiritually by practicing bhakti-yoga. Such practice connects us with Krishna, the reservoir of all purity and pleasure. When this connection increases our satisfaction and purification, we become increasingly inclined to seek pleasure in Krishna instead of in worldly things. Ultimately, we go beyond the reach of our inner enemy into the embrace of our indwelling Lord.
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