Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 3 (Part-2) Karma Yogah- Yoga Of Action


arjuna uvaacha
    atha kena prayukto'yam paapam charati  poorushah
    anicchannapi vaarshneya balaad iva  niyojitah // 3.36 //

Arjuna  said
    But  under what compulsion does a man commit sin, in spite of himself, O Varshneya, and  driven, as it were, by force?

This  question raised by Arjuna is illustrative of our daily situations. Everybody  knows what is right and what is not right, what is good and what is bad. Yet  when it comes to action people are invariably tempted to commit the wrong.

Arjuna's  query is why this paradoxical confusion between one's ideology and one's own  actions. The Divine in us wants us to achieve great things but the animal in us  wants us to do most abominable things many times much against our will. We seem  to be constrained by an outside force. Arjuna wants to know the cause for this peculiar  phenomenon.

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
    kaama esha krodha esha rajoguna  samudbhavah
    mahaashano mahaapaapmaa viddhyenam iha  vairinam // 3.37 //

Sri  Bhagavan said
    It  is desire, it is anger born out of the quality of Rajas, all sinful and all devouring;  know this as the foe here (in this world).

The  cause of all sins and wrong actions in this world is desire. Anger is also a  desire expressed in another form. When a man's desire is not gratified he  becomes angry with those who stand as obstacles in the way of their  fulfillment.  When a desire arises the  quality of Rajas in a man urges him to work for its satisfaction.

The  desire-anger-emotion combination of three-in-one is the root cause which makes  an individual to compromise with higher values of existence.  Once the virus of desire enters the  intellectual computer the results are bound to be chaotic, blocking out the  entire wisdom because desire is never satiated by its gratification. One gets  rid of desire only through the constant practice of detachment. Therefore Sri  Krishna says desire is the man's greatest enemy on the earth because man  commits sin only at the command of desire against his will and better judgment  which lands him in terrible suffering in the form of repeated birth and death.


dhoomenaavriyate  vahnir yathaadarsho malena cha
    yatho'lbenaavrito garbhas tathaa tenedam  aavritam // 3.38 //

As  fire is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust and as an embryo by the womb,  so is this (knowledge) enveloped by that (desire).

`This'  means true knowledge or wisdom and `that' means desire which is clearly stated  in the next verse. The three different examples refer to the different degrees  to which desire in the form of ignorance envelopes and conceals the inner Light  in man and delude our capacity to think rationally.

Discrimination  is blocked by the sense of attachment in the mind for the worldly objects.  Desires fall under three categories depending upon the quality of attachments -  Tamasic - inert, Rajasic - active, and Sattwic -divine.

Even  Sattwic desires veil the discrimination just as smoke envelopes fire where rise  of the slightest wind of discrimination can dispel the smoke of desire. The  veiling is thin and hence it requires only a little effort to remove it.

For  the Rajasic where intellect is covered by desire prompted agitations, the  example is of wiping out of dust on a mirror. Here the covering by the  impurities is complete as compared to the Sattwic. In the case of smoke fire  can be at least perceived while dust completely blocks the reflection in a  mirror. Hence, in this case the efforts for the removal of the dirt of desires  require more time and effort.

In  the case of a Tamasic, diviner aspects are completely shut out from the view by  base animal instincts. The case of a foetus covered with amnion fluid in the  womb is given as an illustration. Here there is no method of removing the  covering until a definite period of time is elapsed. Similarly the low desires  can be removed only after a longer period of spiritual evolution a Tamasic has  to undergo.

aavritam jnaanam etena jnaanino  nityavairinaa
    kaamaroopena kaunteya dushpoorenaanalena  cha // 3.39 //
    O  Son of Kunti, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise in the  form of desire, which is unappeasable as the fire.

Desires  are insatiable. They are never satisfied by the enjoyments of the objects of  the desires. They grow more and more as does the fire to which fuel is added.  Desire screens off our capacity to discriminate right from the wrong, real from  the unreal. The ignorant man considers desire as his friend because his senses  are gratified. The wise man knows by experience that desire will bring nothing  but suffering to him. He knows that the enemy in the form of desire does not  allow the ideas of discrimination, dispassion and disinterestedness to get a  hold in the mind of a seeker and presents obstacles in the path of his  spiritual progress.  Hence it is said to  be the constant enemy of the wise but not the ignorant.

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