Temptations are cosmic delusions that run through us due to our ignorance. Akin to a thumb placed in front of our eyes that obstructs the entire view of a full moon, temptations are tiny happenings in our minds that obstruct the real nature of happiness within ourselves.
Why are temptations attractive?
Temptation is a strong desire or drive to do something which is wrong. Temptations are ever-inviting, there is no doubt about it. It is the natural phenomenon of the human body to get into the trap of temptations because the current of life energy keeps on flowing from our brain through the nerves into the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. All our organs of perception open out in the outside world. As the open windows of a house naturally attract dust from the outside surroundings, similarly, these windows of perception let the dust of attraction settle within us. Since childhood, we have received pleasure through these five windows. However, as we grow up, these attractions become our obsession, our habit. The trouble is, most people have not had any experience of the Higher field (Soul, consciousness) within us. Thus, they have no way to know the difference between the pleasure of fulfilling temptations and the unending bliss that is our very nature.
The three ways to overcome temptations
1. The wisdom to reason
Wisdom is man’s best protection against temptations. Complete understanding of nature of things will bring us to a point where nothing can attract us to an extent where we start hurting or damaging ourselves. It takes understanding through satsangs & deep contemplation to arrive at the insight that what we are actually looking for is everlasting happiness and not temporary pleasures. Behind every human temptation is the seeking of happiness, and wisdom is the only tool that supplies the reason to decline the invitation from pleasures.
2. Seeking the Higher Help
To overcome any temptation, it is important to fix our mind in the Divine consciousness. This can be done by remembering the all-pervading God, or the ‘mudra’ of our Guru, to help conquer the call of temptation. You can stay occupied with whatever you might be doing, and yet have your mind anchored in the Divine. This is the surest way to stay away from the trap of temptations and receive the power to overcome them whenever they appear in our life.
3. Developing a strong Will
Willpower is our ability to resist short-term temptations to meet long-term goals. The stronger the will, more is our strength of resistance against temptations. Willpower is just like our body muscle and thus we need to train it just as we train our muscles. Firstly, the more we use our muscles, the stronger they become. Secondly, if they are overused then they need some time to recover. A seeker needs to find a strong balance between the use of willpower and its restoration. The power of will allows us to develop our inner strength and save ourselves from falling into the trap of temptations.
An important technique is to know when to tighten and when to loosen the knob of control. Prolonged tight control will eventually lead you to lose to your temptations, and make it even harder to get back on track. For example, a sudden resolution to practice strong Yoga exercises daily is very likely to end up in failure – it will quickly drain out your body’s energy and you will lose to the tempting laziness that you were trying to overcome in the first place. Rather, try to practice in small and consistent cycles that are easy enough to follow, while still keeping you in a certain level of control.
|How to build Wisdom to reason?||Enter into deep contemplation and regular Satsangs.|
|How to embrace the help of Higher?||Practice the art of staying busy yet anchored to the Divine.|
|How to develop a strong will?||See Will power as a muscle that needs to be trained and balanced.|
Remember that the cosmic delusion is a universal play, and its only purpose is to push us to excel in wisdom, connection and willpower. Once we are well trained and equipped with this trinity of skills, we can not only enjoy the game, but also win it by returning back to our eternal home, that is, Pure Bliss.
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