Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
Most of us agree on the difference between right and wrong. It is wrong to steal; it is wrong to commit adultery; it is wrong to kill.
The parameters of right and wrong are widely shared in most civil societies. But we often find ourselves, in the practice of everyday life, justifying little wrongs with the balance that we do greater good in some other area. And some of us, over time, begin to justify greater and greater wrongs as we accustom ourselves to lives of what we might call sin.
Think about how this happens in an individual. Is this the spiritual battle we are meant to fight, the push back against the slide into doing wrong? What draws the soul or mind toward sin, and what is the defense against it? - Dallas Morning News
NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas
The third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is verses 37-43 concisely address this issue. That the soul is compelled by lust, the desire to enjoy the temporary, because it false identifies the self with the temporary. "As ﬁre is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, the living entity is similarly covered by different degrees of this lust. 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. The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him. Therefore in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization. The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence. Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Kṛṣṇa consciousness] and thus - by spiritual strength - conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust."
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