We Are Products But Not Prisoners Of Our Past

“Is this just the way I am? Am I a prisoner of my past?” Gloomy thoughts like these may haunt us when we fail in our resolutions to give up our past bad habits.

Gita wisdom offers us the empowering insight that we are products but not prisoners of our past. The Bhagavad-gita (3.34) indicates that, though our past actions have embedded themselves as our present attachments and aversions, we are not slaves of these mental inclinations. Our default likes and dislikes can only push us; they can’t force us. We can prevent a push from becoming a compulsion by activating our internal power to counter-push.

To activate this counter-pushing power, we need to align ourselves with scriptural guidelines that give us access to higher powers. The most empowering scriptural guideline is to cultivate constant remembrance of Krishna. By remembering Krishna, we relish a sublime happiness that protects us from being lured by external pleasures. Our past habits act on us primarily by alluring us towards the pleasures that we had indulged in the past but had subsequently given up. When we develop the habit of seeking and finding happiness in remembrance of Krishna, then our past habits gradually lose their power over us. Our devotional satisfaction acts initially as a powerful counter and eventually as a decisive crusher of all anti-devotional impulses. Then we become completely free from our past, free to rejoice eternally in reciprocating love with Krishna. 

Thus, when we align with Krishna through devotional service, that divine alignment frees us from our past and helps us chart a future of ever-increasing freedom.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 03 Text 34

“There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.”


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