02.44: Allowing temptations in the consciousness is like allowing dust in the carburetor
When dust enters into the carburetor of a finely tuned engine, the engine can no longer function optimally, but starts malfunctioning. Though the dust initially seems insignificant and inconsequential, soon as the engine starts malfunctioning we understand that the tiny dust can cause not-so-tiny trouble.
Just as dust particles are pervasive in our polluted environment, temptations – especially sensual temptations triggered by lust and greed – are pervasive in our materialistic culture. Therefore, it is almost natural and inevitable that temptations enter and occupy our consciousness – if not in the foreground, then at least in the background. As the temptation offers the prospect of imminent enjoyment, it seems not just harmless, but even pleasantly titillating. However, what seems titillating initially soon becomes tormenting; the hope and the hankering for enjoyment distracts and drains us mentally. This mental tiredness makes us malfunction materially in our worldly responsibilities – and especially spiritually in our devotional activities.
When we try to fix our consciousness on Krishna while also entertaining temptations of material enjoyment, the Bhagavad-gita (2.44) indicates that we just can’t get any devotional happiness. Nonetheless, this doesn’t have to be our permanent despair. We can return to spiritual normalcy is by forcing ourselves to think of Krishna; that remembrance acts as a cleanser for removing the dust of temptations. If we empower our intelligence with Gita wisdom, we will also realize that fixing our consciousness diligently on Krishna, even if it seems difficult initially, brings a double dividend:
- It saves us from the far greater difficulty of dealing with the dust of temptations and
- It supplies us with the ultimate devotional fulfillment, thereby taking us beyond the reach of temptations.