Chapter 3: Karma-yoga

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.36

arjuna uvaca

atha kena prayukto 'yam

papam carati purusah

anicchann api varsneya

balad iva niyojitah


arjunah uvaca -- Arjuna said; atha -- then; kena -- by what; prayuktah -- impelled; ayam -- one; papam -- sins; carati -- does; purusah -- a man; anicchan -- without desiring; api -- although; varsneya -- O descendant of Vrsni; balat -- by force; iva -- as if; niyojitah -- engaged.


Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?


A living entity, as part and parcel of the Supreme, is originally spiritual, pure, and free from all material contaminations. Therefore, by nature he is not subject to the sins of the material world. But when he is in contact with the material nature, he acts in many sinful ways without hesitation, and sometimes even against his will. As such, Arjuna's question to Krsna is very sanguine, as to the perverted nature of the living entities. Although the living entity sometimes does not want to act in sin, he is still forced to act. Sinful actions are not, however, impelled by the Supersoul within, but are due to another cause, as the Lord explains in the next verse.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness