We need to retire from lust before it will retire from us

Suppose we have a beloved pet dog. If we discover that it has contagious incurable rabies that could be lethal for us, we would have to drive it away.

Lust is like that pet dog. In the past, we have loved it dearly, imagining it to be the source of life’s greatest pleasure. But when we discover Gita wisdom, we recognize that lust is akin to a rabid dog whose contact makes us spiritually sick – lust perverts our original selfless love for Krishna into a selfish shortsighted craving to enjoy matter. Because this perverted craving traps us in material consciousness and thereby subjects us to the miseries of material existence, we need to drive it away.

Unlike a rabid dog that can be killed easily, lust can't be killed so easily. We may kill a specific lusty desire, but other lusty desires soon appear whenever we see sexually alluring objects. The only solution is to reject lust whenever it appears.

Aptly, the Bhagavad-gita (15.05) urges us to retire from lust irreversibly and non-negotiably (vinivrtta-kamah). If we push the dog away a few times and then in a moment of weak-heartedness fondle it, it will think that we still love it, and even if we reject it later, it will still keep returning. The same applies to lust.

Only when we unwaveringly drive away the dog whenever it comes will it finally get the message that it is always unwanted, and will go away forever. Similarly, only when we unwaveringly retire from entertaining lust will it eventually retire from tempting us.

The way to such unwavering retirement from lust is unflinching engagement in devotional service to Krishna, for then we will connect with a higher happiness that makes us less vulnerable to the lure of lust’s lower pleasures.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15 Text 05

Those who are free from false prestige, illusion and false association, who understand the eternal, who are done with material lust, who are freed from the dualities of happiness and distress, and who, unbewildered, know how to surrender unto the Supreme Person attain to that eternal kingdom.

Failure is no disaster; failure to try is
To fathom the depth of Krishna’s love, we need to fathom the breadth and the length of our existence
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9 Comments

  1. Srila Prabhupada used to talk about the good qualities of some dogs (not rabid ones). He said if we had the good qualities of dogs, we would be good devotees. Qualities like faithfulness, loyalty, protectiveness, etc. If we are loyal and faithful and obedient to our guru and Krishna, then that will be good for our spiritual advancement. Then he went so far as to compare himself to Krishna’s dog. (Love me, love my dog). Then Srila Prabhupada said…”Now you can take me for my walk”. But, still, it is definitely true that we have to give up lust before lust will give up trying to tempt us. Arjuna wonders how he will control the mind which he compares to the wind. Krishna answers that this control can be cultivated by suitable practice and by detachment. BG 6.34 Hari Hari.

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  2. Har Krsna,

    how can we identify the false eco. Also many a times on the name of spirituality we keep thinking we are doing it for the supreme or we are on the right path spirituality but in reality it is now the same as it is our false eco which we cannot identify and because of which we many lots of vaisnav aparadas…

    plz guide Prabhuji….

    Ys,
    SCD.

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  3. Hare Krsna,

    how can we identify the false eco. Also many a times on the name of spirituality we keep thinking we are doing it for the supreme or we are on the right path spirituality but in reality it is now the same as it is our false eco which we cannot identify and because of which we many lots of vaisnav aparadas…

    plz guide Prabhuji….

    Ys,
    SCD.

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  4. Thank you for giving wonderful examples to illustrate how much strong one should in his determination to get rid of this deadly enemy lust.

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  5. you said that in order to retire from lust we need to engage in devotional service to krishna. so suppose even if i have wife and children and i develop lusty desire towards a girl much younger to me and when she comes to my home i should force my mind to retire from there (mind wants to stick around) and chant hare krishna and pray or how to retire mind from this situation. as whenever the sense object is around then mind really becomes agitated and strong and doesn’t want to focus on anything else.

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  6. Thank you for such a detailed explaination of the verse

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