Napoleonís army was in Russia in June 1812, having crossed the Neman River. The Russians retreated, denying Napoleon a decisive victory. Napoleon stayed on and in September fought the Russians again near Moscow. This time also the Russians withdrew.
It should have been clear to Napoleon by now that the Russians would deny him a clear victory and he should have retreated in view of the coming winter. But he could not resist pushing further into Moscow, only to find the city destroyed by the Russians. Unable to supply basic amenities to his troops, Napoleon finally withdrew. During this, his soldiers struggled against snowstorms and freezing temperatures. Of the 6,00,000 men in his army, about 5,00,000 were lost.
There have been similar instances in History where famous men have not been able to resist temptations and have suffered. Viswamitra Muni could not resist taking a lustful look at a bathing beauty and fell from his elevated position. However, this lack of resisting temptations is not special to the high and mighty. Practically, every one succumbs and pays heavy price.
Most of the times, low wage-earners are big contributors to various lotteries ; poverty-stricken husbands habitually beat up their wives ; and famous film-stars take advantage of aspiring artists.
Throughout the day, one comes across different types of temptations and fails. Beginning with not wanting to get up on time, eating wrong foods, not carrying out our designated tasks, taking drugs, indulging in illicit behaviour, etc.
The modern civilization is throwing up increasing challenges to our power to resist what is potentially harmful. Problems of deprivation are many but so are those of plenty. In the latter, one regresses to animal consciousness, which involves losing control over oneís senses and mind and hurting oneself in the process.
Of the two, the problem of plenty is more difficult to handle since in this case one has what can be misused.
Human birth is meant for making progress towards liberation and during oneís current life-time, by being satisfied, peaceful, secure, enthusiastic, and useful.
And those who can resist various temptations like lust and selfishness are able to achieve this privileged position. Human birth is far too precious to be frittered away in animal propensities.