When Our Impulses Hold Our Values Hostage, Diksha Mataji (Gita Daily)

Published on Sep 27, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 03, Text 36

All of us have experience of times when our impulses overpower our values and goad us into actions that we regret later. How do our impulses become so brutally strong?

This, in fact, is the question that Arjuna asks Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (3.36).

Gita wisdom points to the root cause of this conflict between impulses and values that characterizes our human condition. We are spiritual beings presently living in material bodies. As spiritual beings, we are naturally motivated by sublime values, with the supreme value being selfless love — love for God and all his children. However, our material bodies, geared as they are for self-preservation, make us prone to self-centered impulses, with the prominent selfish impulse being lust followed closely on the heels by greed and anger.

Thus the conflict between values and impulses in our heart originates in a conflict between the two dimensions of our present existence: the selfless spiritual core and the selfish material shell. Our contemporary culture, by its incessant glamorization of selfish materialism, fuels and fans our material side, thereby making our impulses far stronger than our values.


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