Lust, Greed, and Exploitation

Lust, Greed, and Exploitation

As Lord Kṛṣṇa states in the Bhagavad-gītā, there are three gates leading to hell – lust, anger, and greed – which intelligent persons should give up. But today’s permissive society promotes all three of these vices, especially lust. Television, cinema, and the internet unabashedly and unrelentingly tout lust, anger, violence, and greed. The dangers of lust are described by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Gītā; it covers one’s intelligence. Yet, the peddling of lust is the main feature of today’s liberal and “progressive” world.

How can we propose that humankind will be very nice and peaceful and that everyone will be happy, when lust, anger, and greed – lust being the root of them all – are promoted? Lust and greed cannot make anyone happy. On the contrary, they cause tremendous discontent, because they can never be fulfilled. They are emblematic of “happiness” in the mode of passion, which is like nectar in the beginning but poison at the end.

In today’s ridiculously oversexed society, women are the main sufferers, because they are more often and more seriously exploited. Lust is so strong that commonly even children – both boys and girls – are sexually exploited, even by their closest relatives. Lust causes people to lose all sense of discrimination, all sense of right and wrong (as described in Bg 16.7, cited above). They then see others as mere bodies meant to satisfy their lust.

They do not stop to reason or consider that that body is actually their sister or daughter. But this is the mentality of pigs. The inordinate promotion of sexuality is the root cause of myriad problems within today’s highly disturbed world. People are programmed to relentlessly indulge their sexual appetites: “In modern civilization, sex life is the focal point for all activities. Wherever one turns his face, he sees sex life predominant.”

Women in particular are encouraged to be unchaste. What would formerly have been considered sluttish behavior is now heralded as virtue, as an assertion of women’s independence and empowerment. Yet these same women, who freely mix with and entice men, will later complain that they have been sexually exploited.

Free mixing of the sexes must incite lust, which results in premarital sexual contact. Sex before marriage is devoid of commitment and responsibility.

Marriage means a commitment to be responsible to one’s family and to the whole community. But in animalistic society, a girl is picked up by a boy and together they enjoy sex. But what is she left with? She loses her virginity and her respectability, all for some fleeting titillation.

And due to the habit of intermingling with assorted sexual partners before marriage, people continue to do so even after being married “religiously.” So what is the point of marrying at all? Indeed, many people (especially in the West) simply do not bother to marry; they just live together until they feel like switching to someone else. All of this is very sinful and uncivilized – like cats and dogs, as Śrīla Prabhupāda would say.

Reproduced with permission from the book Women: Mothers and Masters by Bhakti Vikasa Swami.

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Bhakti Vikasa Swami
Bhakti Vikasa Swami
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Prabhupada disciple, ISKCON guru, Public Speaker, Spiritual Guide