Cause of Human Suffering

Cause of Human Suffering

Bhagavad Gita has discussed in detail various evils which cause the human suffering. It has also been analysed as to why do these afflictions arise and how can they be managed.

Shri Krishna has identified lust, anger and greed as the main culprits which lead to one’s downfall. Hence, in shloka 16.21, he has termed them as three entry gates of hell. Further, he has cautioned that they lead to degradation of the soul and, therefore, should be abandoned.

In the next shloka i.e. in shloka 16.22, it is stated that one who is freed from these three gates of darkness, he does what is good for himself ; and thus attains to the supreme destination. In other words, Krishna tells man that the more a person is liberated from these three vices, the more he becomes pure and ultimately reaches the highest position of self-realisation i.e. of oneness with Ishvara.

Mischiefs of lust have further been elaborated in shlokas 3.36 to 3.39. When asked by Arjuna as to what impels man to commit sin, as if by force, even against his own will ; Shri Krishna replied that sin is committed due to lust. The lust is born of the mode of passion (rajas guna) and it later emerges as anger. It is all-devouring and most sinful enemy of man. Lust envelopes the wisdom of the wise. It is their constant enemy because like fire, it has an insatiable appetite.

Bhagavad Gita has then examined as to why do the evils arise. It has been explained in shlokas 2.62 and 2.63 that thinking about sense objects produces attachment towards them. Attachment breeds desire ; and non-fulfilment of desire leads to anger. And anger breeds delusion which leads to loss of memory and, in turn, decline in intelligence. From the destruction of intelligence, one perishes.

These two shlokas have analysed the functioning of human mind very precisely. Depending upon whether one gets pleasure or pain from an object, he develops a liking or disliking for that object. Object here obviously includes a person or any other thing that impacts the concerned sense organs and the mind. Such like or dislike i.e. attachment gives rise to desire – desire to get that object or to get rid of it.

Desire has the potential of giving rise to many evils. When it becomes excessive, selfish, unreasonable and beyond any control ; desire then degenerates into lust. The lust shows itself in many forms – the urge for sexual satisfaction, the craving for wealth, physical impulses, hunger for social prestige and the drive for power etc. etc.

Unfulfilled desire results in anger and fulfilled desire leads to greed. When deluded by anger, one loses touch with reality and creates a false impression about himself and his situation. Delusion leads to loss of memory i.e. in the moments of anger one forgets the lessons learnt from the past experiences. Thus, one fails to discriminate between right and wrong. Such destruction of intelligence results in one’s downfall.

….. to be continued …

Vijay Singal

Vijay Singal, a former bureaucrat, is an eminent author in the field of spirituality, philosophy, psychology and religion. He writes both in Hindi and in English. His first book 'Behind Psychology : Searching for the Roots' was published in the year 2002. Since then, he has authored many books on various subjects.

57 thoughts on “Cause of Human Suffering

  1. श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमः
    Dear Shri Vijay Singal Sir Namaskar Sir.
    1. In view of verse no. 19 of Ch. 14 of Geeta, i.e.
    ” नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारम् यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति / गुणेभ्यश्च परं वेत्ति मद्भावं सोsधिगच्छति //19//अ.14.
    all Karmas are done by Gunas only and so every living being including humans too, are merely pawns in the hands of God which is emphatically confirmed in the 61st verse of the 18th Ch.,
    2. So where is the question of anyone either doing or not doing anything at all as per his will ?
    3. May I request you Sir to give me reply purely based on the Geeta only ?
    Thanking you Sir.

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