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Are We In Control Of Our Senses?

By: for ISKCON News on July 13, 2019
Opinion
Photo Credits: demariaphoto.blogspot.com

"The lady in the golden flame looks pretty to the moth."

The lady in the golden flame looks pretty to the moth.Her fiery smile makes him dance in joy. It’s not that she is smiling just at him but at all. But the moth believes her smile is only for him. And so he without wasting any moment runs desperately to be with her. As he inches closer the golden lady looks much prettier and he becomes desperate to embrace her. The lady looking bright yellow spreads her arms for him and the moth with a hope to enjoy unlimited pleasure jumps into her arms. But immediately his hope turns into nightmare, happiness into deep agony. His beautiful wings which allowed him to play with the wind and jump from one plant to another to play with the colorful flowers is now in fire. He tries hard to come out of the embrace. With teary eyes he looks at her. But she is indifferent to his pleas.  He cries in pain, he tries his best to free himself.  Soon he realizes his efforts will go in vain and so slowly he surrenders himself to her and allows himself to be devoured by her. Meanwhile the victorious lady smiles slyly and spreads her arms to welcome the other moth, who in hope of unlimited pleasure is running towards her to enjoy with her.   

We all may feel for the moth or may even pity him for his foolishness but his story and our story is not much different. This material world too looks extremely attractive externally and provides us a hope of unlimited enjoyment.   It promises that the thirst of all our senses will be quenched forever once we fully surrender to her.  And so we start working hard for material pleasure believing in the false promise that it will give us perennial joy. But just like the ocean, which is filled with water cannot satisfy a thirsty man similarly the vast resources of this material world cannot provide any pleasure to us.

The material energy binds us in this material world by our senses. The more we try hard to enjoy here our senses becomes wild and strong.  And instead of we being in control of our senses our uncontrolled senses take control of our lives. Like a puppet the senses make us dance as per its whims. Srila Prabhupada writes, “The more one is addicted to material pleasures, the more he is entrapped by material miseries.” Bhagavad Gita 5.22 Purport. Just like the moth we suffer terribly and find it extremely difficult to free ourselves from the grip of uncontrolled senses. 

But since we are humans and not a moth, an insect, we have an opportunity to free ourselves from the clutches of the senses.  The sacred literatures advise us that since we have a human form of life we should act intelligently and not waste our time and life in pursuing worldly pleasures.  “An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.” Bhagavad Gita 5.22

With this knowledge we should try our best to restrain our senses from acting whimsically.  But to act against our senses and win the battle is almost impossible. However if we seek protection of Krishna, the Supreme Lord, then he being our best friend and well-wisher immediately comes to our rescue.  

If we muster courage and say no to the demands of our senses and engage it in practicing devotion to Krishna with determination then sooner or later our senses gets purified. Krishna also gives us strength so that we can take control of our senses and use it cautiously. Initially the senses may resist but if we continue engaging it in Krishna Conscious activities then slowly it starts enjoying being in service of Krishna. In such a state, scriptures tell us, we attain independence from material miseries and enjoy unlimited transcendental bliss.

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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at http://www.discoverursupersoul.com)

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[ attraction ] [ mind ] [ mind-control ] [ sense ] [ sense-control ]
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