Desire induces man to commit sins
THIS IS A COLLECTED LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND TALKS BY THE SRINGERI ACHARYALS ON VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TOPICS DURING THE 1990’S. THEY WERE PUBLISHED IN “THE HINDU” NEWSPAPER.
It is understandable that evil persons are prone to indulge in misdeeds. Why should even those who wish to abstain from unrighteousness, commit sin? It is as if a man is being forced to err, akin to a servant ordered by an employer to perform some task. ``Impelled by what, does a person, even though reluctant, commit sin as if he were compelled?''
This doubt was raised years ago by a confused individual before God whose reply contains the cause of all evil. "Desire and anger born out of man's triple qualities are his foes."
The chief enemy is desire from which evil springs in all beings. When this desire happens to be obstructed by some cause, then it gets transformed into anger. Thus anger is a manifestation of desire. Everything in the world comprises three qualities - one which is responsible for a peaceful, happy disposition, the second for an overactive, attached nature and third, indolence and sloth.
Desire, the Lord says, is born out of the third quality. Only when a man is in the grip of desire does he commits sin.
The doubt about evil and the answer to clear it are in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna illustrates how desire affects, by giving three examples which convey the gradations in the covering of knowledge by desire. ``Just as fire is enveloped by smoke, a mirror by dirt and as a fetus is enclosed in the womb, so too is knowledge covered by desire''.
The wise man knows, even before suffering the consequences, that he has been led by desire to evil ways. So, he feels extremely sorry and in his case, it is his enemy. On the other hand, the ignorant regard desire, at the time of their thirsting for objects, as a friend. Only when grief arises that an unwise man realizes that he has been rendered miserable by desire. "Never is desire satiated by enjoyment just as fire cannot be put out by pouring ghee into it."
Explaining the source of all evil, Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Swamigal of Sringeri, in one of his discourses had said that according to Krishna who had delivered the eternal message in the Gita to mankind, "The senses, the mind and the intellect are the seats of this enemy." Veiling knowledge, it deludes the embodied soul.
The Lord has also indicated that the senses are dangerous for they forcibly carry away the mind of even a striving wise man. Hence to conquer desire, the senses should be controlled. One who is keen to realize God, should not only eliminate desire, anger and greed, but also the three types of impure mental tendencies.