Is the dark side stronger than the bright side?

We all have inside us a divine side and a demonic side, or phrased metaphorically, a bright side and a dark side. The bright side inspires us to do good things, the dark side impels us to do bad things As these two sides pull us in opposite directions, we often experience an inner tug-of-war. In this war, the dark side wins frequently, so frequently as to make us believe that it is stronger than the bright side. 

The dark side seems stronger because it seduces strongly. It allures us by promising quick things such as quick pleasures through sensual indulgence or quick solutions through elimination of opponents. Speedy, easy, ready — such are the dark side’s lures. 

Though the dark side tempts everyone, it may tempt different people differently. Why? Because we all have different  impressions in our mind, based on our past actions. Depending on the particular impressions within  us, certain aspects of the dark nature seem especially captivating to us. Some of us may find lust irresistible; others may find anger uncontrollable; still others may find greed insatiable. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita deems these three drives self-destructive (16.21). And the dark side, being a combination of such deadly drives, can become sinisterly self-destructive. 

How can we protect ourselves from the dark side? Knowing that it seduces primarily by triggering our emotions, we can conscientiously avoid acting on our impulsive likes or dislikes. And we can cultivate healthier emotions by situating ourselves in the bright side. How? The most effective way is by connecting with the source and shelter of all brightness: the supreme divinity, Krishna. The more we connect with him devotionally, the more we get the inner insight and strength to tolerate and transcend the lures of the dark side. 

One-sentence summary:

The dark side is not more powerful; it is just more powerfully seductive. 

Think it over: 

  • Why does the dark side seem more powerful?
  • How is the dark side similar and dissimilar in different people?
  • How can we protect ourselves from the dark side?


16.21: There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.

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