Watch the watchdog of conscience that watches for us and watches us
During our spiritual journey, we face dangers from worldly temptations. When we encounter things that seem delightful but are actually painful, our conscience acts like a watchdog, cautioning us against their allure.
Significantly, in our spiritual journey, the danger comes from outside as well as inside. Not only do temptations come towards us, but also we go towards them when we become bewitched by our lower desires. So, we need protection from ourselves. Our conscience offers this protection too, by keeping a watch on the territory of our consciousness, warning us whenever lower desires start penetrating and pervading it.
When the conscience is such an all-round watchdog that watches for us and watches us, why do we still fall prey to temptations?
Because we frequently don’t watch the watchdog – we don’t pay heed to the conscience’s voice.
The Bhagavad-gita (15.15) states that Krishna is the source of knowledge, remembrance and forgetfulness. As conscience is usually the subconscious recollection of the right choice based on our prior knowledge, we can infer that conscience ultimately comes from Krishna.
When we face temptations, Krishna lets us recollect or forget the right course of action according to our desires. If despite knowing through the conscience’s voice that a particular course of action is wrong we insist on choosing it, he reciprocates by blanking our awareness of the wrongness of the choice. When we thus neglect the conscience’s voice repeatedly, it gradually becomes muffled and muted.
Thankfully, Krishna’s reciprocity works the other way too. If we choose to hear the conscience’s voice, he reciprocates by making that voice louder, clearer and purer, thereby giving us greater strength to implement its counsel.
Thus, by staying attentive to the conscience’s voice, that is, by watching the watchdog, we benefit from the watch of the watchdog.
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