Bhagavad Gita Chapter III - Verse 34 & Verse 35 Print E-mail

Verse 34


Two emotions connect sense organs with sense objects – raga and dvesa, attraction and repulsion. If the contact is pleasant you are attracted. If unfavourable you are repulsed. These likes and dislikes are your enemies. Do not fall a prey to them.


In this Chapter Krsna uses four words, all of which mean enemy, to describe desire. In this verse He uses the word paripanthin to convey the danger in encouraging likes and dislikes.


From birth onward you collect likes and dislikes. Parents, family and friends encourage these likes and dislikes. They then become a force to reckon with. They drive you to activity. Life is designed such that what is pleasurable in the beginning gives sorrow in the end and that which is painful to begin with yields a life-time of happiness. So by acting on likes and dislikes you are actually working against your own long-term interests!


This does not mean you live a boring life with no enjoyment. You do not have to discard your likes. You just scan them through the intellect and act on the decision of the intellect. If a like is not harmful the intellect will sanction it. Then you can enjoy the experience fully, without guilt or negative repercussions.


Verse 35



This verse seems to contradict the earlier verse which highlights the dangers of acting on likes and dislikes. Here Krsna says it is better to die in svadharma which means powerful like!


You need to choose a field of activity in line with your svadharma or most powerful desire. Strong desires have to be fulfilled. They cannot be sublimated through knowledge alone. While working in your svadharma do not act on likes and dislikes. If music is your svadharma choose music as your vocation and invest your energies in this field. Fix a higher ideal. Work out a plan to achieve this goal. On a given day you may not feel like going through the schedule. Here do not give in to your dislike. Act on intellectual conviction.


It is far easier to pursue a field aligned with your svadharma as you already have a passion for it. And if you dedicate your actions to a higher cause you will be successful, happy and grow spiritually. Acting in a field alien to your nature is unpleasant, leading to failure and spiritual decline.



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