Gita insights for New Year resolutions

The Bhagavad-gita (18.33)(18.34)(18.35) describes resolution or determination in the three modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. The modes comprise subtle cosmological forces that exert psychological influences on us, thereby impelling us toward certain kinds of action.

When our determination is impelled by the mode of ignorance, the force of destruction dissipates the resolutions even before they materialize. Thus our resolutions remain little more than daydreams.

When our determination is impelled by the mode of passion, the force of creation energizes us to change our externals, but runs out of steam when faced with the internal change necessary to sustain the external change. This makes the change and even the resolution for the change short-lived.

When our determination is impelled by the mode of goodness, the force of sustenance empowers us for inside-out change; it enables us to gain self-mastery and become more mature, responsible and principle-driven human beings. Our internal improvement then kindles external improvement subtly, smoothly and sustainably. What makes this kind of determination unbreakable and inexhaustible is the practice of yoga that enables us to draw strength from the Infinite. The yoga that most easily and effectively connects us with the Supreme is the yoga of devotion, bhakti-yoga.

That’s why our resolution to stick to regular yoga practice underlies our ability to stick to all our other resolutions.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Text 33

“O son of Prtha, that determination which is unbreakable, which is sustained with steadfastness by yoga practice, and which thus controls the activities of the mind, life and senses is determination in the mode of goodness.”

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Text 34

“But that determination by which one holds fast to fruitive results in religion, economic development and sense gratification is of the nature of passion, O Arjuna.”

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Text 35

“And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Prtha, is in the mode of darkness.”


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  1. Absolutely love this website. It’s my go-to for sharing Krsna with others.
    Thank you for all you do!!

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