Friday, September 24, 2010

III: 36

Greetings from Bali...

Chapter 3, Verse 36

"What is it that drives
Me to an evil action, Krishna,
Even against my will,
As if some force made me do it?"

Swami Shivananda:

"Often we come across this in our own lives. We don't want to do certain things. We even know it's terribly wrong. But still some force seems to be pushing us: 'Go ahead. It's okay.' "

[The devil made me do it.]

Srila Prabhupada:

"Living entities, as part and parcel of the Supreme, are originally spiritual, pure, and free from all material contaminants. But when they come into contact with material nature, they often miss the mark without hesitation, and sometimes even against their own will. These actions, however, are not impelled by the Supersoul within, but are due to another cause, as the Lord will explain in the next verse."

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

"Arjuna is saying in so many words, 'I want to lead the right life. I want to enter into a state of abiding joy, and I do not want to be a plaything of circumstances. I want to do what is good for every creature in the world, but what force prevents me from carrying out these high ideals? What makes me fall over and over again?' Krishna will answer Arjuna in the concluding seven verses of the third chapter. Try to imagine Krishna now as I do, looking at Arjuna with a twinkle in his eye and saying, 'So you think you are the only one who has this problem?' It is in this loving tone that Krishna reveals the cause of his and our suffering."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

"Arjuna wants to understand the force that robs a person of the awareness of the reality of existence."

A friend:

"As you wrote in the brackets, 'The devil made me do it,' is our great cop-out, and even Arjuna is having trouble taking responsibility for his own actions. We're eager to blame an outside force for our misdeeds. Krishna's response will put things aright: 'Unskillful desire is the form of your enemy.' Or more completely, desire in the forms of anger, Rajas Guna, and sense/ego gratification. We have no one to blame but ourselves. No doubt everyone is conditioned by external forces. Our nature can be modified by others' nurture. Environment doubtless plays a role in shaping character. Therefore we have compassion for those who perform unskillful deeds. But my own deeds are my responsibility. I have done them by choice. No excuses."

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