What is the enemy of Wisdom?
extract from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter III
36 O descendant of Vṛṣṇi (Krishna) by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?
The Blessed Lord said:
37. It is desire, it is anger (anger is a modification of desire) born of the quality of Rajas, which is the great sin that devours everything; know this is the foe in this world.
38. As fire is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by the amnion, so is Atman enveloped by desire.
39. Thus, the wisdom (man's pure consciousness-Atman) is enveloped by this eternal enemy of the wise, the insatiable (never satisfied) fire of desire!
40. The senses, the manas (mind) and the buddhi (intellect-intelligence) are said to be its seat; through these it deludes the embodied by veiling his wisdom (man's pure consciousness -Atman).
41. Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, controlling the senses first, do thou kill this sinful thing (desire), the destroyer of jnana* (indirect knowledge) and Vijnana** (direct knowledge, Self-realisation)!
jnana*: theoretical knowledge of Atman obtained by the study of sacred texts and the masters).
Vijnana**: knowledge of direct experience of what one has been taught, Self-realization.
42. They say that the senses1 are superior to the body; superior to the senses is the manas2 (mind); superior to the mind is the buddhi3 (intellect- intelligence); and one who is superior even to the buddhi is He—the Self4 (pure consciousness, Atman).
senses1: are superior to body because the body functions and interacts with the world through the senses. Without senses the body would be like dead.
manas2: the manas (mind) is superior to senses because the manas controls, coordinates and directs the senses.
buddhi3 : the buddhi (intellect- intelligence) is superior to manas because it is intelligent, has the capacity to observe consciously, discern, judge, reason, understand, and decide the action. It has the capacity to control the manas.
He—the Self4: The Self or Atman is pure consciousness; Consciousness reflects on buddhi and makes it sentient, intelligent and conscious.
43. Thus, knowing Him (Atman, consciousness) who is superior to the buddhi and restraining (or control) the self by the Self*, slay thou, O mighty-armed Arjuna, the enemy in the form of desire, hard to conquer!
the self by the Self*: self with small s’, means the lower self, what we consider as our self. Self with capital S’, means the higher Self, the Atman or (Consciousness).
Restrain the lower self by the higher Self. Subdue the lower mind by the higher mind. It is difficult to conquer desire because it is of a highly complex and incomprehensible nature. But a man of discrimination and dispassion, who does constant and intense Sadhana, can conquer it quite easily.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the third discourse entitled:
“The Yoga of Action”