Arjuna then asks Kṛṣṇa why even a centered person is led to commit sinful acts, as if forced by unknown powers.
Arjuna’s question is the eternal dilemma of expression or suppression. For example, if you see a beautiful woman and you feel attracted to her, you feel this is not right according to what society has taught you and you try to suppress your feelings. Can this inauthenticity work? If you try to suppress something, it will surface with more intensity. We are always conditioned to believe that anyone with passion or lust is a lower human. There is no lower or higher person. Only a transformation of energy needs to happen. People who pretend to be moralists are either afraid or guilty of their lust. They are completely inauthentic. The moment you think you are a lower human, you start fighting that feeling. Then it becomes very difficult to get out of it and to transform. Anything you resist persists. What you need is to bring completion and allow the transformation, the ultimate reality to happen.
The ultimate completion for a woman is when she expresses the motherliness in her. The ultimate completion for the man is when he comes back to the innocence of the child.
These four principles of integrity, authenticity, responsibility and enriching exist in our very DNA. A seed becomes a tree or man realizes his potential only when these four principles are lived. A human has everything needed in him to become the ultimate reality, the divine reality. The DNA, the very structure with which the human consciousness is built, in Sanskṛit we call it dharma, are these four principles!
As of now, man is only a possibility. Only when these four principles become reality do you experience your actuality. Then the base energy of lust can be transformed into the higher energy of love. It is an alchemic process of changing any base metal to a higher metal. Similarly, changing our base emotion, lust, to the highest emotion we are capable of, love, is alchemy.
First, the impurity, an animalistic emotion, should be removed from lust. Your lust is contaminated by all kinds of fantasies, feelings of guilt and desire we have picked up from the society and media. In earlier times, people were able to drop their lust by the age of forty. Lust simply dropped from them. In Indian marriages, there is a beautiful verse which couples recite. The meaning of the verse is, ‘In the eleventh year of marriage, let the wife become the mother, and the husband the son.’ This may sound strange. What it means is, let the relationship reach ultimate completion. The ultimate completion for a woman is when she expresses the motherliness in her. The ultimate completion for the man is when he comes back to the innocence of the child. So, by the eleventh year, let the relationship mature so that both the husband and wife attain ultimate completion.
First, the impurity in lust needs to be removed so that a deep friendship at the being level and not just at the physical or mental level can be added. When you feel deeply connected to a person, there will be no need for physical proximity to that person. You will feel happy and satisfied with just the feeling connection. For the final transformation of lust into love, the relationship needs to go through the process of patience and perseverance. You need to be patient for the other person to accept your transformation. Then he or she will automatically be transformed as well.
Here Kṛṣṇa refers to lust and anger, both born out of passion. Anger is also an emotion born out of lust. When the other person rejects your lust, it turns into anger towards that person. Anger is a tremendous energy we misuse because we do not understand and respect it. Greed, anger and lust are all rajasic qualities that arise from passion and aggression from the blocked mūlādhāra cakra, the root center. These are instinctive emotions that we inherit from our animal ancestors. Indulging in these base emotions keeps one in bondage to his instinctive nature. This is the reason Kṛṣṇa classifies these as the root causes of sin. A human being is endowed with Consciousness that rises above these instincts. The meaning of a human life is not mere survival; it is the realization of one’s Superconscious nature, one’s highest reality. Anything that stands in the way of Self-realization is a sin.
Just like smoke veils the fire, just as the dust on the mirror masks your reflection, and just as you cannot see the embryo when it is covered by the placenta in the womb, we are not able to see our true nature of bliss because we are caught in base emotions like lust. Lust is linked intimately to the survival of the species. Without lust, there can be no mutual attraction between genders, no reproduction, and no continuity of the human race. This basic survival instinct is lodged in our primal root energy center, the mūlādhāra cakra. When this cakra is blocked we behave out of instinct, like animals. When this cakra is energized, we learn to live in intelligence as we are truly meant to.
Once a person reaches physical or sexual maturity at adolescence, it is very difficult to control the effects of lust arising out of the mūlādhāra. One needs to be spiritually awakened before sexual maturity so that the energy can flow upwards towards the sahasṛāra or the crown cakra. The mūlādhāra cakra is the seat of all fantasies, primarily sexual fantasies. These fantasies are the ones Kṛṣṇa says are like dust on the mirror, completely clouding our judgment. We live by templates that we carve out in our mind based on these fantasies, and live towards fulfilling these fantasies. Completion in the present moment is the key to unlocking the mūlādhāra and dissolving lust. It is only completion that brings you in touch with reality as it is and dissolves your fantasies.
Kṛṣṇa closes his dialogue with Arjuna with these words, ‘Be aware that you have a higher intelligence. Use that intelligence to control your senses and curb your lust, which is your most dangerous enemy on the path to completion.’ Please note that Kṛṣṇa does not say, ‘Arjuna, come here, I shall help you dissolve the lust in your body and mind. You can then be at peace.’
Arjuna started the dialogue saying he was confused by Kṛṣṇa’s words about action and inaction. Kṛṣṇa then told him to carry out his own responsibility with authenticity and without worrying about the result of his actions. He guides Arjuna to lead a purposeless life, free from obsession with the final goal and to be detached from the result of action. ‘Authentic action is our nature,’ He says, ‘not inaction. Act, work, but surrender the result of action to Me.’
Now, Kṛṣṇa says clearly, ‘Control your senses, be aware, be complete living in the present moment and give up lust.’ Lust, here, not only refers to sexual desire but also to all desires related to the outer world. It is our sense of identity, the sense of possession that drives us to acquire and enjoy. The truth, however, is that acquisition only leads to the desire for more acquisition, not to enjoyment and fulfillment.
To be blissful we need to keep our inner space clean and empty. Only then can bliss fill that space. The outer space can be filled, that is not a contradiction. As long as the outer material space is filled without attachment, the inner space remains empty.
To make this happen, the senses have to be in control, not suppressed. Anything suppressed waits for an opportunity to explode. However, creating the space of completion can transform the mind and senses. When we realize that life has no purpose, that the meaning of life is to enrich others and ourselves and to enjoy the path, we learn to give up attachment to end results. We drop expectations. We move into the present moment and live in the space of completion.
This is the whole essence of Karma Yogaḥ.
Be complete and drop your attachment to the goal and the fruit of your actions, and live an enriching life with integrity in words, with authenticity in thinking and action, and with responsibility in feeling. Live life blissfully. You will achieve the Supreme. You will achieve the space of Enlightenment.
Kṛṣṇa says, ‘You will achieve the Supreme.’ You will achieve the eternal consciousness, Nityānanda, eternal bliss.
So let us pray to the ultimate Divine, Parabrahma Kṛṣṇa, to help us understand His message, to help us imbibe Him in our being. May He guide us. May He enrich us to experience the eternal consciousness, the eternal bliss, Nityānanda!