|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Unit - 09
Lesson - 0901: Obstacle, the Invisible Force
By Raja Subramaniyan
No one wants to suffer. However, many seem to be driven by an invisible force to do evil actions against their will. They are aware that if they do sinful acts, they will suffer the consequence and yet they continue to do them. Why do they behave like this and what is that invisible force?
Three accumulations from previous births:
People are different from each other because they accumulate impressions, preferences and knowledge in each birth by doing varied types of actions and carry the same with them birth after birth. As a result, when they are born the ratio in which the elements (Aura, Energy and Matter) that constitute them widely differ.
Impressions: The unused portions of our actions are called impressions. When we do an action we enjoy or suffer the result of such action depending on whether it was a good action or bad action. Normally we get to experience the result immediately or within the lifetime. The remaining part, which has not yet fructified for experiencing is carried forward to the next birth as impressions.
Preferences: When we do our actions we continuously modify our likes and dislikes. The total set of our likes and dislikes is called preferences, which is also carried forward to the next birth.
Knowledge: While doing our actions we gain knowledge. This knowledge is also accumulated and carried forward to the next birth.
Impressions are stored in the Causal Body and the Preferences and Knowledge are stored in the Subtle Body. (We have three bodies namely physical, subtle and causal which will be detailed in the subsequent lessons)
Lord Krishna answers the question on invisible force from Arjuna as follows:
1. People are different from each other because the elements (Aura, Energy and Matter) that constitute them are present in different proportions.
2. The situation and environment in which they are placed is dictated by their accumulated impressions.
3. Their actions are dictated by their accumulated preferences and knowledge.
4. Although they have the knowledge that sinful acts will earn them suffering, their accumulated preferences drive them into such acts.
5. Their intelligence, which uses the knowledge, is not strong enough to control the functioning of their mind, which acts on the preferences.
6. The strength of their sense organs is so strong that mere presence of a sense object will drive them into action. Such desire-backed actions make the preferences stronger.
7. Although their intelligence is aware of the nature of their evil actions and the resultant suffering, it cannot control the force of sense organs.
Therefore, they indulge in sinful activities and the invisible force is craving for sense pleasures.
Teaching 47: Desire is the invisible force that drives you to do wrong action
Three degrees of affliction:
Just as a fire causes injury of varying degree, the desire to enjoy sense pleasures afflict their intelligence at varying degrees.
First Degree Affliction: A fire covered by smoke.
Second Degree Affliction: A mirror covered by dust.
Third Degree Affliction: A baby covered by the womb.
The time and effort taken to remove the covering will vary depending on the degree of afflictions. In the case of Third Degree Affliction, one has to go through the required period and undergo the required suffering before one can be hope to be relived. There are no shortcuts.
Chapter 3: Karma Yoga [Verses: 36 - 39]
3.36 Arjuna asked, Oh Krishna, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if driven by a force.
3.37 Lord Krishna answered, it is the desire, which is born of contact with the sense objects, which later transformed into anger, and which is insatiable and very sinful. Know this to be an enemy in this world.
3.38 As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, similarly, this knowledge is covered by different degrees of this desire.
3.39 Thus, the knowledge is covered by this desire, which is like the insatiable fire and which is the permanent enemy of the people, Oh Arjuna.