Our inner vulnerability increases our outer vulnerability
Suppose an army guarding a fort has some potential turncoats who may covertly open the fort gates for aggressors. The army’s inner vulnerability – the possibility that its own soldiers may defect – increases its vulnerability to outer enemies.
If we compare our consciousness to a fort, we are under attack by the many tempting objects in the outer world. Our vulnerability to these objects is increased by the lower desires present inside us, which can, at any moment, open the gates of our consciousness for temptations to enter. These desires make us believe that sense objects are enjoyable – and so immensely and immediately enjoyable that if we are not indulging in them, we are missing life’s greatest pleasure. Actually however, worldly objects offer at best a little pleasure followed by a lot of trouble. The desires that make us believe otherwise are deceivers.
Tipping us off to the presence of such inner enemies, the Bhagavad-gita (03.40) declares that selfish desires represented by lust are entrenched inside us, in our senses, mind and intelligence. To prevent these desires from sabotaging us internally, we need to study scripture regularly, thereby reminding ourselves of our great vulnerability, both externally and internally. And we need to follow scripture’s supreme directive of practicing bhakti-yoga and fixing our consciousness on Krishna, the all-attractive source of all pleasure.
By regular bhakti-yoga practice, we start relishing the fulfilling remembrance of Krishna within our own consciousness, thus feeling internally satisfied. Because we no longer feel so dependent on outer objects for pleasure, we stop giving our lower desires the leeway to surface or sabotage us. Gradually, as we become increasingly fulfilled in Krishna, lower desires get purged out of our consciousness.
With intense bhakti-yoga practice, when Krishna becomes our prominent and dominant desire, that inner purity ensures our security even amidst outer vulnerability.