Bhagavad Gita Chapter III - Verse 36 & Verse 37 Print E-mail

Verse 36



Arjuna asks a question that baffles almost every person. You know what you ought to do but there appears to be something in you that forces you to do precisely what you do not want to do. As a result you suffer. You get stressed. Arjuna wants to know the cause so he can deal with it.


Sin is the mental agitation that results from an action performed against the conscience. If the conscience revolts against an act and causes unrest in the mind it is a sinful act for you. If it does not bother you it is not a sin.


Verse 37



Krsna answers – desire causes you to act against your own wish. Desire is the strategy of the intellect to fill an imaginary void. Hence ignorance of your fullness is the root cause of desire. Desire is the enemy within that destroys your happiness, makes you unsuccessful and takes you downhill.

When desire is not fulfilled you get angry. Anger is an aberration of desire. There cannot be anger without an underlying desire.


Desire is born of rajas. There are three types of gunas or qualities of thought in every human being. Sattva is purity, serenity, calm and poise that come from freedom from desire. Rajas is restless activity, passion, craving, lust and greed arising from uncontrolled desire. Tamas is inertia, sloth, inactivity and indifference that result from ignorance. All humans have all three gunas in different proportions.


Mahashana – Voracious devourer. Desire consumes you. It is insatiable. Fulfil one and another springs in its place. Trying to fulfil desire with object of desire is like trying to extinguish fire with fuel. The more you give in to desire the stronger it gets.


Mahapapma – Very sinful. Unfulfilled desire agitates the mind. Stress is mental disturbance caused by unfulfilled desire.


Desire and anger lead to loss of viveka discrimination and vijnana wisdom. Navigate through the minefields of desire with the intellect. Moderate and refine rajas with a dash of sattva, higher purpose. Gain knowledge of your fullness.


The goal of human existence is to rise above tamas and rajas and get established in sattva. Pure sattva catapults you to the trans-sattvika state of God realization.



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