To be a spiritual freedom fighter, be a sensual fire fighter
The world over, freedom fighters are lauded as national heroes. We all have the opportunity to do something heroic: become freedom fighters who strive for the freedom to pursue lasting spiritual happiness.
The Bhagavad-gita explains that we are souls who are by constitution sat-cit-ananda, eternal-cognizant-blissful. Though bliss is integral to our spiritual nature, it is presently inaccessible. Why? Because our consciousness is captivated by the desire to enjoy temporary material things. This desire which manifests most commonly as lust deadens our higher awareness and numbs us to the stimuli that provide spiritual happiness.
Lust also fills us with fantasies that sense objects offer immediate and immense pleasures. But such fantasies never materialize because whatever pleasure is available in sensual indulgence is at best temporary. Preceding and succeeding that brief pleasure is the tormenting craving for sense objects. This craving burns like fire, whose temporary cessation we mistake to be pleasure. The Bhagavad-gita (03.39) indicates that the fire of lust is insatiable – the more we indulge in it, the more it blazes, akin to a fire in which fuel has been added. Thus, those who fight against lust in today’s hyper-sexualized culture are like fire-fighters who courageously douse gigantic fires that would otherwise cause untold devastation.
Significantly, the process of bhakti-yoga enables us to become, metaphorically speaking, both freedom fighters and fire-fighters. It connects us with Krishna, the supreme source of all happiness, whose all-pure nature counters lust and awakens our spiritual sensibility.
But lust insidiously makes us believe that regulating sensory indulgence deprives us of the freedom to enjoy. When such a sense of deprivation subverts our fighting spirit., we can use the heroic imagery associated with freedom fighters and fire-fighters to inspire ourselves for fighting wholeheartedly against our lower desires in our service to Krishna.
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