Victory comes not just by courageously fighting our battles but also by cautiously choosing our battles
Often a machismo-filled notion of a hero is someone who fearlessly charges into some battle and single-handedly against overwhelming odds wrecks havoc in the enemy’s ranks and attains ultimate victory.
However, in real life, such machismo rarely, if ever, works. Most warriors who achieve significant victories do need courage, no doubt, in fighting the battles that they do fight. But what takes them from the level of fighting to the level of winning is not just courage but also caution. Such warriors cautiously choose which battles to fight and by getting those strategic decisions right, they by getting one victory at a time grow from strength to strength till they get the final victory that they craved for.
Similarly, in our inner battle against the forces of illusion, we attain victory not merely by a reckless fighting spirit, but by a cautious choosing intelligence. The Bhagavad-gita (05.23) cautions us that lower desires such as lust and anger are unlikely to disappear overnight – we will have to battle with them lifelong. So rather than fighting a vain battle against them hoping to eradicate them entirely, we can channelize our energies much more effectively in strengthening our spiritual connections with Krishna. The more we become steadily linked in love with him, the more we relish a supremely fulfilling higher taste that enables us to resist and reject the lure of lower pleasures even when they present themselves to us.
By thus re-envisioning spiritual heroism not as a utopian elimination of all impure desires, but as an empowering connection with the supreme source of all pure desires – Krishna – we can conserve and channel our time and energy towards optimum utilization for our sustainable and transformational spiritual growth.