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Harikumar Lokghanathan
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Prohibition can be a support for purification, not a substitute (Based on Gita 03.43)

Some governments recognize that alcoholism leads to various problems such as disease, domestic abuse and driving under intoxication. To curb such problems, they prohibit alcohol.

Prohibition can help by deterring impulsive indulgence. But it doesn’t deter compulsive alcoholics – they simply seek it illegally. And illegally trafficked alcohol often comes with far lesser quality or quantity checks, leading to greater health hazards. Further, in today’s cultural ethos that puts a premium on free rights, bans of any kind trigger vehement protests and defiance.

To actually change things for the better, prohibition needs to be complemented with purification, that is, by the change of desires from lower indulgence to more wholesome forms of pleasure.

The most wholesome pleasure is spiritual pleasure. Gita wisdom explains that our longing for pleasure originates in our spiritual nature as souls. And that longing is best fulfilled though loving connection with the supreme spiritual reality, God, Krishna, the reservoir of all pleasure. In fact, that spiritual longing when misdirected in the material realm manifests as worldly cravings.

The Bhagavad-gita (03.37) indicates that selfish desire, referred generically as lust, impels self-destructive behavior, such as alcoholism. To counter selfish desire, the Gita (03.41) urges us to begin with control of the senses. Sense control is made easier by external supports such as prohibition.

Significantly however, the Gita section concludes (03.43) that we can conquer selfish desire only by rising to spiritual consciousness. The best way to spiritual consciousness is by practicing bhakti-yoga, which connects us with all-pure Krishna. As that connection purifies us, we find higher spiritual satisfaction, and our lower cravings decline and disappear.

If restriction of any kind is implemented in isolation, it seems like deprivation and triggers rebellion. But if complemented with spiritual education and devotional purification, restriction helps us progress undistracted towards higher satisfaction.

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Verse 03.43 - “Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Krishna consciousness] and thus – by spiritual strength – conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.”

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Smriti Irani to visit Amethi on Sep 20 http://buff.ly/1Lx9CqB
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In Varanasi, visited the Ma Anandamayi Ashram.
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India and Australia are bound by a love for cricket! It is a common passion in both our nations. An Australia vs India cricket match is a delight for sports lovers and viewers alike.

I thank Prime Minister Abbott for hosting me at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground during my Australia visit.
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Narendra Modi’s Musings on his Childhood at DLW Varanasi - http://buff.ly/1xawbiG
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New ATM Charges: Pay Rs 20 More at These Banks http://goo.gl/XheF8c
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In Varanasi I stayed at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW). My stay at the DLW took me back to my childhood days when I was closely associated with trains and railway stations.

I shared some thoughts in the Visitors' Book on those days, recalling the passengers and railway carriages. It was a very emotional experience. These memories of childhood would lead to new resolve and new possibilities!

Sharing the text of what I wrote. http://nm4.in/1uLmI0Q
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Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in Varanasi!

Participated in Shramdaan as part of Swachhta Abhiyan at Assi Ghat, Varanasi. Invited Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Lok Sabha MP Shri Manoj Tiwari, sportspersons Shri Suresh Raina and Shri Mohammad Kaif, Ram Bhadracharya ji, popular singer Shri Kailash Kher, Shri Manu Sharma, Shri Raju Srivastava and Devi Prasad Dwivedi ji to join Swachh Bharat Mission. ‪#‎MyCleanIndia‬ http://nm4.in/1vXCHng
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