03.39 – When a wildfire appears to be the cure for a burn, a wildfire is burning our head
When a fire burns us, we immediately move away from it towards something cooling and healing.
Yet when the fire of lust burns us, we imagine that moving closer to that fire will cool and heal us.
That’s how lust covers and perverts our intelligence. The Bhagavad-gita (03.39) indicates that lust is like a fire that is insatiable (dushpurenanalena). Further, it obstructs and obscures our knowledge (avritam jnanam), leaving us to fend for ourselves in ignorance and illusion. And the way we fend for ourselves is by exposing ourselves more to the stimuli that provoked the lust within us, hoping to get relief.
If we get to indulge in lust, we do get some momentary relief, relief that we mistake to be life’s greatest pleasure. But soon the relief ends and the burning desire re-appears. And it comes back, bigger and wilder, scalding us with worse burns of craving that demand relief through more depraved forms of indulgence. Seeking relief from those burns, we rush into a wildfire of sensuality and debauchery. Thus lust keeps burning and tormenting us lifetime after lifetime, as the Gita’s sobering declaration of it as “eternal enemy” (nitya-vairi) underscores.
The only way out of this trap is through intelligence and grace.
When the burn of lusty craving starts tormenting our heart and we feel that the wildfire of immoral sexual indulgence will remove that torment, we need to use our intelligence to recognize that the wildfire of lust has started burning up our knowledge internally. If we seek the grace of Krishna by calling out his holy names, then his soothing remembrance will extinguish the fire of lusty desire and show us the way to lasting relief in his eternal love.
Thus the wise living entity’s pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisﬁed and which burns like ﬁre.