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Chapter 3: Karma-yoga

Bg 3.41
tasmat tvam indriyany adau
niyamya bharatarsabha
papmanam prajahi hy enam
tasmät—therefore; tvam-you; indriyäëi—senses; ädau—in the beginning; niyamya—by regulating; bharatarñabha—O chief amongst the descendants of Bharata; päpmänam—the great symbol of sin; prajahi—curb; hi—certainly; enam—this; jïäna—knowledge; vijïäna—scientific knowledge of the pure soul; näçanam—destroyer.
Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bhäratas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.
The Lord advised Arjuna to regulate the senses from the very beginning so that he could curb the greatest sinful enemy, lust, which destroys the urge for self-realization, and specifically, knowledge of the self. Jïänam refers to knowledge of self as distinguished from non-self, or, in other words, knowledge that the spirit soul is not the body. Vijïänam refers to specific knowledge of the spirit soul and knowledge of one's constitutional position and his relationship to the Supreme Soul. It is explained thus in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam: jïänaà parama-guhyaà me yad-vijïäna-samanvitam / sarahasyaà tad-aìgaà ca gåhäna gaditaà mayä: "The knowledge of the self and the Supreme Self is very confidential and mysterious, being veiled by mäyä, but such knowledge and specific realization can be understood if it is explained by the Lord Himself." Bhagavad-gétä gives us that knowledge, specifically knowledge of the self. The living entities are parts and parcels of the Lord, and therefore they are simply meant to serve the Lord. This consciousness is called Kåñëa consciousness. So, from the very beginning of life one has to learn this Kåñëa consciousness, and thereby one may become fully Kåñëa conscious and act accordingly.
Lust is only the perverted reflection of the love of God which is natural for every living entity. But if one is educated in Kåñëa consciousness from the very beginning, that natural love of God cannot deteriorate into lust. When love of God deteriorates into lust, it is very difficult to return to the normal condition. Nonetheless, Kåñëa consciousness is so powerful that even a late beginner can become a lover of God by following the regulative principles of devotional service. So, from any stage of life, or from the time of understanding its urgency, one can begin regulating the senses in Kåñëa consciousness, devotional service of the Lord, and turn the lust into love of Godhead—the highest perfectional stage of human life.


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Copyright (c) 1972 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada