The mental avatar of AIDS
AIDS is an extremely dangerous disease, largely because of its sinister method of attack. Normally when a disease attacks the body, the immune system springs forward to the defense. But when AIDS attacks the body, it paralyzes the immune system itself. That’s why the body does little, if anything, to counter the infection. AIDS gradually pulverizes the immune system and makes the body nearly defenseless against other diseases. Only when these secondary infections make the victims sick do they realize that something is wrong. Perceptive doctors know that the problem is not just this malfunctioning caused by the secondary infections but the original infection.
Lust is like the mental avatar of AIDS. The Bhagavad-gita (03.41) indicates that lust is jnana-vijnana nashanam, the destroyer of knowledge and realization. Our knowledge and realization are the basis of our intelligence, which is akin to our inner defense mechanism, our psychological immune system. Normally when a harmful emotion attacks us mentally, our intelligence springs forward to the defense. But when lust attacks us mentally, it deceives us with intoxicating feelings of pleasure that paralyze our intelligence. That’s why we do little, if anything, to counter the infection of lust – especially in today’s permissive culture. Lust gradually pulverizes our intelligence and makes us malfunction in various ways: in our capacity to concentrate and work efficiently, in our ability to spend money and time rationally, and in our resolve to be faithful in our relationships. Only due to such malfunctioning do we recognize that something is wrong. Perceptive spiritual guides know that the problem is not just this malfunctioning but the infection by lust and the resulting breakdown of our intelligence.
By assimilating Gita wisdom, we can recognize lust’s initial titillation to be mentally toxic and thereby protect ourselves from the infection right in the beginning.
“Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.”