See weakness as woundedness, not wickedness
Suppose our hand is fractured, thereby weakening its connection with our arm. Then our capacity to move it according to our will decreases. And if someone else pushes it forcefully, they can make it move according to their will.
Similar is the condition of people whom we often consider wicked. Gita wisdom emphasizes that they are driven by something other than themselves: self-destructive forces residing within them. These forces – which include lust, anger and greed – misdirect their innate search for pleasure towards worldly things. The more they give in to these forces and indulge in worldly pleasures, the stronger these forces become and the lesser becomes their capacity to resist. Thus, these forces become their weaknesses.
Moreover, these strengthened self-destructive forces impel them to actions that are increasingly reproachable, till they start acting wickedly. However, they aren’t wicked; they are wounded. Their wound is that they are disconnected from the omnipotent supreme, Krishna. At their core, they are pure souls, parts of all-pure Krishna (15.07). Because of their disconnection from Krishna, they are like the fractured hand – they aren’t strong enough to resist the self-destructive forces that impel them to act wickedly. If they connect with omnipotent Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga, they can be healed and strengthened, thereby reforming themselves.
If, however, they start working for those vicious forces, showing no remorse for their misdeeds, they need to be duly disciplined. Such disciplining is like surgery; they need strong intervention to prevent their wound from worsening and to prevent them from wounding others.
We can apply the preceding analysis to ourselves too. When we succumb to our weaknesses, we needn’t lose heart; instead, we can take heart by understanding that we are wounded, not wicked. And we can determinedly connect with the Whole who is ever eager and equipped to heal us fully and forever.
Think it over:
- How do self-destructive forces make us weak?
- How are those who act wickedly actually wounded, not wicked?
- When we succumb to our weaknesses, how can we respond positively?
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