Beware of Lust- Part Four

Beware of Lust- Part Four

Srimad Bhagavatam warns us emphatically to contend with the force of lust. One cannot neglect the problem of lust; one has to be open and honest to address the problem and seek solution and guidance from more advanced practitioners. The ultimate solution is to call out to Krishna helplessly. We have to beg Him for mercy and shelter because all lust can be controlled only by the master of lust, the transcendental cupid, Krishna, who is the God of love. Our main protection is our humble, prayerful attitude to Krishna.

The great devotee Kulashekar prays,
andhasya me håta-viveka-mahä-dhanasya
cauraiù prabho balibhir indriya-nämadheyaiù
mohändha-küpa-kuhare vinipätitasya
deveça dehi kåpaëasya karävalambam

“O Lord, the powerful thieves of my senses have blinded me by stealing my most precious possession, my discrimination, and they have thrown me deep into the pitch-dark well of delusion. Please, O Lord of lords, extend Your hand and save this wretched soul.”
Kulashekar acknowledges that only by the Lord’s intervention we can be saved from this deadly enemy. And saintly association is all about encouraging us to take shelter of Krishna. The genuine devotees of Krishna teach us how to pray and take shelter of the Lord.

We have to seek out the association of a devotee who has given up lusty pursuits and is still happy in this world. This is because our main problem is the hope that sense gratification will give me some happiness. Therefore we are fearful of giving up lust because we worry we won’t experience any happiness if we give up lust. Therefore we need to seek association of those who have happily given up lust.

The association of saintly devotees convinces us that real relief and happiness is in giving up lust, not pursuing it. This also relieves us off the social pressure of chasing after women which is the common goal of materialistic people. But a saintly devotee by his practise and preaching cuts our illusions. He declares these pursuits to be hollow and in his presence, and hearing his instructions, we are convinced to abandon lust.

Srila Prabhupada was one such saint who cut our material illusions and hopes springing from the desire to enjoy lust. Malati devi, a leading disciple of Srila Prabhupada once explained how as a young member of the flower generation (also called ‘hippies’) in the 1960’s, she was looking out for love. The hippies sought love and advocated it in their songs and practises. When Srila Prabhupada first came to San Fransisco in January 1967, he burst the bubble; addressing a gathering of hippies he said, “There is no love in this material world.” Externally this may not be the most popular thing to tell the hippies, but Malati was struck by this sentence; she realized the whole search for love is a waste because it isn’t there in the first place. She felt relieved and determined to explore the spiritual alternative for love. Thus a pure devotee of the Lord by his association and instructions, driven by deep realization and compassion, relieves us of the torments of lust and guides us on the journey to experience real love.

If we thus understand from a pure devotee of the Lord that there is real love and happiness in Krishna consciousness alone, we will not only feel relief from lust, we will also find hope and happiness which will eventually lead us to perfect this rare and precious human life. Then instead of wasting our lives on lusty pursuits, we will seek happiness in Krishna, and there is no material comparison with that.

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