We are bound by our nature, but we are not bound to our nature
We all have particular qualities, abilities and interests – all of which can be collectively referred to as our nature. Different frames of reference can be used to analyze human nature in different ways. The Bhagavad-gita analyzes our nature broadly into four human types: the ministerial, the managerial, the mercantile and the mechanical.
Whatever the way we analyze our nature, the fact remains that our inborn characteristics shapes our behavior. How that shaping can be for our benefit and not our detriment is a key question of human life.
Our nature is like a rope that is around us. If we struggle to break free of the rope, we frustrate ourselves. But the key fact is that this rope isn’t bound to anything. Despite having the rope around us, we can still move towards our destination.
Similarly, while our nature makes some things easy for us and makes some things difficult, still, we can use that nature for constructive purposes. In fact, the Gita guides us to use our material nature to realize our spiritual nature, that is, to realize our spiritual identity as souls, who are parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna, and who are meant to relish eternal love for him.
The Bhagavad-gita states that we are bound by our nature and are forced to act accordingly. Yet, the next verse states that Krishna is the controller of material nature. If we surrender to him, we can attain transcendence, thereby going beyond the pulls and pushes of material existence.
Earlier, the Gita states that by working in a mood of worship, by striving to serve Krishna through our work, we can attain perfection – we move towards him steadily with whatever nature we have. We use our nature to move towards Krishna and thus we attain our spiritual nature by working in harmony with our material nature for a spiritual purpose.
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