Gita series – 46. Bhagavad Gita Chapter III. 37 – 39:
Arjuna now asks Krishna: “Oh! Vasrshneya! Though against his will as if he is induced, by which a man is compelled to commit sinful acts.” Vasrshneya means Krishna. This indicates the descendant of Varishni dynasty of Yadavas. Since Krishna hails from this dynasty, Arjuna addresses Krishna like this. Nobody is born to commit sins. Sins are committed during the course of man’s existence. The main cause for committing sins is impulsive desires. Desire for status, desire for money, desire for competition, it could be anything. Sins are sometimes committed for survival. If such desires cannot be achieved through fair means, sinful means are adopted. Normally such means are adopted to satiate one’s mental and physical desires. If one is able to overcome the vicious yearnings and holding on to his mind connected to higher level of spirituality, he could escape the clutches of sins. Sins badly affect one’s karmic account, the effect of which is felt at a later date. Repeated indulgence in such sinful acts make a person habituated to committing only sins, thereby making him a man of unsound character.
The significance of committing sins is not realised instantaneously but realised only at a later date. It is the impulsive desires that make a man to indulge in sinful acts. When such desires arise, even one’s will power is drubbed. Arjuna wants to know the cause for such desires. Arjuna is about to commit sinful act, by not participating in the battle against kurus. Krishna now answers Arjuna: “Lust, arising out of rajo guna transmutes into anger. Know this insatiate craving as the worst enemy and the most immoral sin. Like smoke making the fire obscure, a mirror covered by dust, a fetus covered by womb, in the same way the intellect is covered by the lust. Arjuna! Un-satiated lust is like fire and an enemy to wise man and his intellect stands veiled by this lust.” Rajo guna is one of the three gunas viz. satwic, rajo and tamo. Rajo guna means mobility, the cause for various actions. Actions as such are not prohibited by Krishna. Krishna says that one should not refrain from discharging his duties.
Duties are to be performed only for sustenance of all the living beings, by performing pancha yajna, the five types of duties viz. duties to Gods, departed souls (pitrs), fellow human beings, all other living beings and duties to the wise. On the contrary, if a person indulges in insatiable craving for lascivious acts, he fails to perform other prescribed duties. Such a situation gives rise to replicating sins. First, indulging in illicit sex and second, failing to perform specified duties, the former leading to the latter. Craving for lascivious acts is like smoke that makes the fire, the cause for the smoke obscure. The truth of the Self gets veiled by the influence of maya. In the same way, such desires obscure ones intelligence and wisdom. This is the case even with jnanis. Jnanis are wise men and closer to final emancipation. They can understand and discriminate between good and bad. Lust is such a powerful destroyer; even such wise men are not spared from its clutches. Krishna says that lust is the worst amongst all the desires. Therefore, proper and adequate restraint is necessary for sensual gratification. Otherwise, it leads to annihilation of the person concerned and the society he lives in. A person who overleaps his self-restraint with strong sensual desires is ultimately consumed by the flames of that desire.