In the previous two articles, Swamiji explained how to overcome the effect of desire and anger on your mind so that one can resist the harmful impulses that they generate. However, that alone is not enough. We should also strive to reduce the desires and anger from the inside. If we could reduce or even eliminate them internally, then we would never be in danger of being impelled to do wrong things under their influence. This would, however, seem to be impossible, given what we know about the origin of desire and anger. Why is it so? Let us understand as explained in Chapter 3 of the Gita.
Is it possible to eliminate desire and anger?
The material energy maya is composed of three inherent qualities of sattvagun, rajogun and tamogun. According to verses 37 and 40 of Chapter 3, desire is a natural product of rajogun. Since our mind is a product of maya, the three qualities of maya are inherent in the mind. Rajogun is the quality that gives rise to passion, ambition, and a desire to indulge in material sensual enjoyments. Thus, desire is inherent in every material mind. This means that anger is also inherent in the mind, because where there is desire, there is bound to be anger. It is unavoidable, because some desires will go unfulfilled, and unfulfilled desire leads to anger. Thus, both desire and anger naturally reside in every material mind. Then how could you reduce or eliminate them?
The one sure way to conquer desire and anger
There is only one method which is effective in internally reducing desire and anger – that is to attach your mind to God. Chapter 3, verse 42 explains that God is beyond all the mayic things like the body, senses, emotional mind (man), and intellectual mind (buddhi). In fact, God is absolutely beyond maya, which means that by definition, God is beyond the qualities of maya. Since He is free of mayic qualities, He is beyond desire and anger, and anyone who reaches Him, also goes beyond desire and anger. So we see that the solution is elegantly simple: if we attach our mind to God, we will be able to conquer the enemies of desire and anger (chapter 3, verse 43).
To the extent that we attach our mind to God, our mind is purified. It happens naturally, since God is Divine and all-purifying. It is like running clean, pure water over a dirty cloth – the dirt in the cloth is gradually removed. Similarly, the impurities of our mind are gradually removed, the more our mind is joined with God; and the more our mind is purified, the more desire and anger are internally subsided. And ultimately our mind will reach a state of complete attachment to God. At this point, since the mind is in perfect union with God, you will receive God’s ultimate grace, which will terminate the material quality of your mind, and replace it with a Divine mind. This means that the mind will be absolutely beyond maya, beyond mayic qualities, and beyond mayic defilements like desire and anger.
However, there is an important question that must be answered at this point: if God is beyond maya, and our mind is made of maya, then how will our mind be able to join with God? This will be addressed in the next article.