Bhagavad Gita Chapter III - Verse 40 & Verse 41 Print E-mail

Verse 40



In verses 34, 37 and 39 Krsna has referred to desire as the enemy – paripanthin, vairin, nityavairin. Now He gives the location of desire. It resides in the senses, mind and intellect.


Senses – You yearn for sightseeing, music, fragrances, food etc. Mind – You crave emotions, forge relationships and get attached. Intellect – The intellect seeks ideas and concepts. It longs for acceptance, reputation, fame.


Through these it deludes you. In areas of weakness, attachment, and desire you lose clarity, become confused and commit mistakes. Watch out for the vega force that arises from unbridled desire. It can destroy you.


There are five ways of dealing with desire –

1. Encourage positive desires like the desire to learn classical music, become a better person, follow the spiritual path.

2. Fulfil harmless desires like wanting to eat out or watch a movie.

3. Ignore petty, trivial desires like impulse shopping.

4. Analyse strong desires like desire for marriage and work out a way of fulfilling them.

5. Aggressively root out negative desires like that for drugs and tobacco.


For this the intellect has to be in place and alert. The most important aspect of education is development of the intellect. Yet not many understand its importance. Rare is the institution that is engaged in the task of reinforcing the intellect in young minds!


Verse 41



Tasmat therefore – Krsna concludes after a rational presentation of thought.


First control the senses. They are the grossest and easiest to harness.


Desire is sinful. As long as a desire is not fulfilled it will cause agitation in the mind. A whole bunch of unfulfilled desires causes tremendous stress.


When the mind is agitated you have no access to either knowledge or wisdom. You commit gross acts of commission or omission that you yourself regret once the cloud passes.


Control is regulation, not frustration. It is achieved by escalating to a higher desire. You cannot give up desire. You can only take up a more fulfilling desire. Once you rise to something better the lower will not even tempt you. Thus you never experience the pangs of denial.



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