03.37 – Lust is worse than our worst enemy
Our culture glamorizes lust as the source of life’s greatest pleasure. In jolting contrast, the Bhagavad-gita (03.37) warns that lust is the enemy of the world.
To understand how lust is our enemy, let’s analyze its effects in terms of perpetuity, identity and strategy.
Perpetuity: An ordinary enemy would want to hurt us. Our worst enemy would want to hurt us as much as possible, even for our entire lifetime. Lust hurts us more than our worst enemy. It allures us with pleasure that lasts for a few moments, and keeps us hankering and lamenting for the rest of our life from the earliest moments of puberty till the final moments of death. Lust torments us lifetime after lifetime, for as long as we remain in material existence.
Identity: Lust masks itself so deceptively that we don’t even recognize the cause of our suffering. We mistake the cause to be the external factors obstructing our lusty indulgence – the non-cooperation of potential sexual partners, cultural restrictions, our lack of good looks or big bank accounts, etc. However, these don’t cause our misery; even if all such obstacles to indulgence were removed, lust would still goad us for more gratification and would keep tormenting us with its insatiable appetite.
Strategy: Lust so thoroughly perverts our perception that it makes us use our own energy against us. Just as a computer virus wrecks our computer with then energy that we provide, lust wrecks us with our own energy. Instead of the enemy exerting to hurt us, the enemy of lust makes us exert to hurt ourselves.
That’s why we need to fortify our intelligence with Gita wisdom and calmly contemplate the enormous dangers of unregulated lust. Only then can we combat and conquer this worst of all enemies.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.