3.36 Arjuna inquired, “Blessed One, what is the power that binds us to selfishness? Yes, what is behind that self-destructive force to commit actions that are contrary to our will?”
3.37 It is desire and anger, born from passion that consumes and corrupts everything in its path.
As stated in an earlier verse, anger, and now including its mischievous twin, desire, is that destructive force that wrecks havoc in the undisciplined mind; so saith the Dhammapada, or the Way of the Self-Disciplined Mind.
3.38 Just like fire is shrouded in smoke, like a mirror smothered by dust, like a fetus pickled in the womb, just so is the entire cosmos basked in desire.
Desire is that inextricable force that clogs the spiritual clarity of the mind that is held spellbound by its effects.
3.39 It is a wise man’s Achilles heel; it violates wisdom’s-face. Like an insatiable fire, it rages wild if left unattended.
The mad desire for Helen destroyed a whole nation. Indeed, desire is the dominate downfall of many who are helplessly attached to its throbbing-thrall.
3.40 The kama-manas, accompanied by the Five Skandhas, are the activating-harbors for desire’s fleet; in so doing they assign its ignominious captain, the personal-ego.
This is the very seat of desire, driven by the undisciplined mind that has loosened its reins on the skandhas.
3.41 Therefore, Arjuna, you must have dominion over your sensate desires, as they are the cancerous eradicator of Wisdom’s Self-realization.
3.42 The senses are in themselves powerful; yet greater still is the mind, and the Buddhi behind the mind, and the undivided bodhipower that resides in the Unborn Absolute-Self.
Buddhi is the natural intellect that can be attuned to the undivided-power of bodhi—or the Awakened Mind Itself. The Awakened One (child of bodhi) knows only the Essential-Self of the Unborn.
3.43 Now knowing That which is Self-Supreme, wear the mantle of deathlessness and destroy your arch-nemesis—mad desire—for evermore.
Once perfumed with Deathless Suchness all former particles of desire dissolve-away into the nothingness from which they spawned.
Thus ends the third discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, The Yoga of Action.