When a man is deluded with regard to his duty and when his conduct exhibits
degraded values, he is fallen spiritually.
pravrttim cha nivrttim cha janAh na viduh AsurAh
na shaucham na api cha AchArah na satyam teshu vidyate ||16.7||
"The demoniac know not what to do and what to refrain from; neither
purity, nor right conduct, nor truth is found in them. The list enumerating the
negative tendencies of the 'fallen' starts with the idea of 'ignorance.'"
One who is incapable of deciding the actions to be pursued as well as those to
be avoided by him, has no harmony within; and therefore, there is no inner
purity, or outer cleanliness (saucha), for such an individual. If the mind is
undisciplined there cannot be a decent, and well-regulated life, since outward
behaviour (Achara) is nothing but an expression of the mind. Therefore,
Krishna indicates that in them good conduct is conspicuous by its absence.
He who is confused about 'action' and 'inaction,' who has no purity, or
external cleanliness, and who fails in good conduct, cannot maintain
TRUTHFULNESS in his words. All through, if you read these terms very carefully
in the spirit in which the Divine Charioteer has given them out you will find
in them a divine tenderness for such 'Diabolically Fallen' folks. There is no
revengefulness for the sinner anywhere, even hinted at, in the entire length of
the Geeta. It is a logical conclusion that such a man must necessarily be
untruthful in words, not because he is deliberately pursuing dishonesty, but
because by temperament he is incapacitated to be honest. ||14.1||
Man's yielding to desire, anger and greed brings about his soul's devolution.
yat tu pratyupakArArtham phalam uddishya vA punah
deeyate cha pariklishtam tat dAnam rAjasam smrtam ||17.21||
"And that gift which is given with a view to receiving in return, or
looking for fruit again, or reluctantly, is held to be RAJASIC."
DESIRE, ANGER, GREED - The main theme of the entire chapter is to call man away
from a life of sense-gratification into the ampler fields of desireless actions
and egoless perfections. Where there is desire, anger is a natural corollary.
The constant flying of an individual's thoughts towards an object of
gratification is called 'desire,' and when the steady flow of these thoughts of
aggrandisement and possession are deflected by some obstacle, the refracted
thoughts are called 'anger.' When disappointed in desire-gratifications, a
storm of revolt rises in the mind, as a consequence of which anger soars up to
toss, wreck, and sink the boat of life.
If ANGER is thus the thought-storm arising in our mind at the disappointment of
a desire, GREED is the erosion of our mental strength and inner peace when
desires are more and more satiated. When a desire gets fulfilled, an insatiable
thirst for more and more joy holds the individual, and this endless appetite
ruins the mental strength and saps dry the personality-vitality in the
individual. Greed is a sense of dissatisfaction constantly pursuing and
poisoning the sense of satisfaction that we have already experienced. In an
undisciplined man, there can be no satisfaction at any time; even when his
desires are satisfied he is unhappy, because his appetite for enjoyment is
thereby sharpened and he hungers for more; if the desires are throttled, the
disappointment brings into him anger, and he suffers the consequent
If this logic about the action and interaction between desire, anger, and greed
is accepted, then we are forced to accept Krishna's conclusion in this stanza:
"THEREFORE ONE SHOULD FORSAKE THESE THREE." ||14.2||