Leave temptation – and don’t leave a forwarding address
When troublesome stalkers harass people repeatedly, they may decide to flee. For this strategy to succeed, they need to leave without leaving a forwarding address; otherwise, the stalkers will soon be snapping at their heels.
Similarly, when we find ourselves harassed and stalked by temptation, we need to flee to save ourselves. Fleeing usually means either getting ourselves physically away from the tempting circumstance or at least getting our thoughts away from the tempting stimuli. While retreating though, we frequently leave a forwarding address for the temptation. How? By continuing to entertain the temptation at the back of our mind – by refusing it with not “No”, but just “Not now.”
We often refuse temptation merely by the desire to preserve a respectable public profile or such external considerations – not by inner conviction.
Why are we half-hearted in our refusal?
Because we are often prompted merely by the desire to preserve a respectable public profile or such external considerations – not by inner conviction. Staying open for future opportunities to indulge privately is like leaving a clearly visible forwarding address for temptation. No wonder it keeps stalking us even after our refusal.
To stop the stalking, we need to leave for temptation no forwarding address. That is, we need to reject it wholeheartedly with the determined conviction that sensual pleasures are ultimately futile and that the devotional joys awaiting us are far more fulfilling. We can gain such determined conviction firstly by strengthening our intelligence through serious scriptural study and secondly by enriching ourselves through devotional activities such as prayer and meditation. Then our rejection of temptation will be clear and unequivocal. Pertinently, the Gita (06.24) urges us to reject distracting desires without making any exceptions.
A devotionally purposeful rejection of temptation founded on a wholehearted inner embrace of Krishna will propel us rapidly on the way to him, eventually taking us forever beyond the harassment of temptation.
Explanation of article: