Conquering desire and anger

C L Kaloo
A living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme, is originally spiritual, pure and free from all material contaminations. Even, Swami Vivekananda has said, “Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this by work or worship, or psychic control or philosophy – by one or more or all of these- and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines dogmas, or rituals or books or temples, or forms are but secondary details”.
In this context, Arjuna asks the Lord in the Bhagavat Gita in Adhaya 3rd Shloka -36 (3:36 BG) as under:-
“Atha kena prejuktoyam – papam careti purusah;
Anicehann api varsneya – baladiva niyogitah”.
Means: O Varshneya (Krishna) by what is a man impelled even against his will to perform evil – compelled, it seems by force?
Here in this Shloka, Arjuna Calls the Lord as “Varshneya”- refers to the descendent of the VRISHNI dynasty of the Yadava Race, Arjuna’s question to the Lord is very sanguine as to the perverted nature of the living entities who are originally spiritual, but when in contact with the material nature, a living entity acts in a very sinful ways without hesitation, and sometimes even against his will. Thus, every man sometimes experiences a peculiar state, even as he strives towards virtuous actions; he seems to be dragged into temptation to control the strongest.
Many a moralist trying to control the strongest mental and physical impulse created by Nature – say the Sex – impulse – finds his mind driven, seemingly, automatically to Sex – thoughts and sex desires. Attraction to pleasant taste and odours or even the beauty, art and music, may harmfully lure the strict ascetic who wants to rise above them and concentrate on self control. Even during meditation, a devotee finds his mind concentrated in the spiritual eye, suddenly, he discovers, he has been dragged down, as it were by some mysterious force and his mind is distracted from concentration. So, inspite of remaining in the motionless percepting of the blessed soul, he seems impelled to forsake that State and indulge in sensory activities that intensify bodily consciousness. Thus, a question arises – why it is that, one is compelled, as though by force and against one’s resisting wish, to commit error or evil in thought and deed?
What we learn from the Holy Gita is that the repeated performance of good or bad actions form good or bad habits and the habits being automatic machines (psychologically) that enables man to perform action without constant effort. To be able to perform good actions under the compelling influence of habit is beneficial, because good habits make easy the performance of good actions. Without the automatic power of a worthy habit, a fresh difficult effort requires to be made each time; one strives to perform a good action. Therefore, it follows, then that the devotee should never form any evil habit, lest it enslaves his will. It is said that brain works on a simple function – use it or lose it. Thus, when we use it, we do understand that we should not misuse this God – given law of mind. “Ease comes with repetition”. This law should be used only to ease the performance of good works. Bad habits are destructive to health, morality, and inner peace and cause desire and anger – Two sided passions which are to be conquered by seeking good company, practicing self control and wholly consume these evil habits or actions, with the fire of discrimination and meditation.
Now taking up Arjuna’s query to the Lord, it can be said that people misuse the forceful power of habit to perform evil, while they should use that force only to perform good. Ignorance, want of discretion in selecting right actions and carelessness in choosing good company of persons, often entrap a person in a quick sand of bad habits that draws him down against his will. The influence of constant association is usually stronger than that of Judgement or will power. Good or bad company is more potent that one’s inner resistance. Thus, a person is free to choose between good and bad actions before his inclinations solidify into habits.
It is always dangerous to be in the company of wicked. Hence, it is said in a Sanskrit Shloka:-
“Tyaja Durjana Samsargam.
Bhaja Sadhu Samagaman,
Kuru Punyam Ahora Thram,
Smara Nityamani Tyatam”.
Means: Give up bad company. Join good company. Perform meritorious deeds day and night, and remember what is Transient and what is eternal?
The Lord Krishna said in Adhaya 3rd, Shloka 37th (3:37 BG)
“Kamaesa Krodhaesa – rajo-guna Samvdhavah
Mahasano Maha papma – Viddhyenamtha – Vairinam”
Means: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all devouring sinful enemy of this world.
In fact, the sense of love of living entity for God becomes transformed into lust because of association with the material creation (mode of passion). It is just, as milk in contact with sour tamaril is transformed into yogurt. Then, again when Lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Thus, lust induces the pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world. Therefore, the root cause of compulsive action is the nature – instigated delusion duo of desire and its corollary of anger or frustrated desire. In the words of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, “These desires are silken threads of material pleasures which the spider of habit continuously spines around the soul to form the shrouding cocoon of ignorance. The soul must manage to cut through this stifling cocoon of ignorance, to emerge as the butterfly of Omnipresence”. However, this inquiring is the beginning of the “Vedanta – Sutras” where it is said, “athato brahma Jijansa” mean – one should inquire into the Supreme and Srimad – Bhagvatam defines that origin of everything is Supreme Brahman. Therefore, the origin of lust is also in the Supreme. If, therefore, lust is transformed into love for Supreme – then both lust and wrath can be spiritualized. In the Holy Gita, the Lord induces Arjuna to engage his wrath upon his enemies, for the satisfaction of the Lord.
Concludingly, it is conveyed by the Lord, in the Bhagavat Gita that the desire and anger bind man to the world of illusions and therefore, understanding the constitutional position of the soul which has been described as “Mahan” – the great in the “Katha Upanishad” is the solution to the whole problem of Lust and wrath or conquering desire and anger.