To think we are beyond danger is the greatest danger
When a boat is at sea, the danger of a storm exists constantly. If the boater becomes lulled into complacency by, say, the calm waters around, the next storm may turn out to be disastrous.
The Bhagavad-gita (02.67) warns that desire can sweep away our intelligence just as a wind can sweep away a boat. Significantly, whereas the boat doesn’t invite a stormy wind, we often invite a stormy desire. How? By contemplating carelessly on tempting sense objects, thereby letting our imagination expand a passing attraction into a consuming obsession (02.62-63).
When we successfully resist temptation a few times and when the water of our consciousness stays calm for some time, we may start thinking that we have become so advanced as to be beyond temptation.
To avoid such contemplation, we need to be alert to where our senses are wandering and check them when they go in unwholesome directions. We will cultivate alertness when we know that we are always in danger. But when we successfully resist temptation a few times and when the water of our consciousness stays calm for some time, we may start thinking that we have become so advanced as to be beyond temptation. Due to such complacency, we won’t stay alert and will unwittingly let our mind contemplate some alluring sense object that comes in our perception. That contemplation generates a forceful craving which sweeps away our intelligence and impels us to self-destruction.
To prevent danger from thus degenerating into disaster, we should never think that we are beyond danger. Won’t thinking constantly of possible danger make us paranoid? Not if we practice bhakti-yoga with its positive focus on remembering and serving Krishna. In bhakti-yoga, we focus on Krishna, not danger. But when lethargy or apathy or anything else makes us lax, we can use our awareness of danger for steeling our resolve to stay devotionally focused. Such absorption will guarantee not only our present safety but also our progress towards the supremely safe shore of Krishna’s eternal abode.
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