When the heat hits, move away from the heat source, not towards it
When the environmental heat hits us, we naturally move away from the heat source.
Strangely however, we react in the opposite way to another kind of heat: sensual heat. This is the heat of intense craving that burns within us when we contemplate alluring sense objects. The Bhagavad-gita (03.39) insightfully refers to this acute craving as fire (analena).
When this sensual heat hits us, we instinctively move towards instead of away from the heat source. Why? Because we believe that the pleasure from the sense object will extinguish the inner fire. The falsity of this belief becomes evident in the end-result of indulgence: we get very little pleasure and instead get lot of misery in the form of escalated heat, that is, increased torturous craving. That’s why the same Gita verse describes the fire of craving as insatiable (dushpurena). This describer underscores that indulgence is not a fire-extinguisher but a fire-fueller; it simply causes the fire to blaze bigger and longer.
We may protest, “It’s undeniable that indulgence brings pleasure.” Gita wisdom agrees, but helps us to see that this pleasure is not much more than a short-lived relief from an intense, intolerable craving. This relief is similar to the temporary decrease in the fire for the period when the fuel added to it has not yet ignited. Once the fuel starts burning, the fire blazes higher and stronger. Similarly, soon after the “pleasure” (read: relief) of indulgence ends, the inner fire becomes more intense and more intolerable.
That’s why Gita wisdom recommends that when the sensual heat hits us, we move away from its source – if not physically, then at least psychologically. The Gita also shows us the way to get actual relief from the heat: by cultivating remembrance of Krishna, who is the supreme source of happiness. His remembrance acts as the ultimate coolant.
“Thus the wise living entity’s pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisﬁed and which burns like ﬁre.”