18.25: A moment of indulgence, a lifetime of repentance
(A Bhagavad-gita perspective on current scandals)
Time and again, we see talented individuals with a promising future ruining their prospects by succumbing to immoral temptations. Blinded by the hope for quick gains, they throw away their integrity and end up disgraced and dispossessed of their careers, left to regret lifelong their momentary indulgence.
What impels them to such foolish choices? The Bhagavad-gita (18.25) describes that short-sighted action unmindful of the consequences is typical of the mode of ignorance, which is the subtle force of nature that influences people’s minds toward self-destruction.
This destructive psychological force is given a free hand by our contemporary culture, which glamorizes live-for-the-moment thinking. That’s why all of us – even those who righteously condemn others’ immoral choices – are susceptible to the insidious influence of the self-destructive force of ignorance. We can insulate ourselves from such influences by cultivating spiritual wisdom and leading a moderate lifestyle. These two practices help us harmonize with the mode of goodness, which is the subtle psychological force that extends and expands our inner vision, thereby enabling us to make prudent, far-sighted choices.