Chapter 3 Karma Yoga Verse 23

Sloka

Sadrisham cheshtate swasyaah prakriter jnaanavaan api;
Prakritim yaanti bhootaani nigrahah kim karishyati.

Translation

Even a wise man acts in accordance with his own nature;
beings will follow nature; what can restraint do?

Interpretation

Here Lord Krishna talks about the benefits of doing actions. He tells Arjuna that everyone in this world has to perform actions. Ignorant people think that doing work is taxing one’s body and prefer to take rest. A wise man on the other hand always thinks and does some work depending on his nature. But as nature is defined by senses and so controlling the senses is very important. This can be done through meditation and that meditation, can easily control Nature if he rises above the influence of the pairs of opposites, like love and hate, kindness and anger, etc.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The word that needs concentration here is “restraint”. What is restraint? It is the ability of an individual to stay away from doing any action. But why do people stay away from doing action? It is because of fear and discomfort. How many times we feel like telling someone something but dont do that because either we fear losing that person or the discomfort that gets created because of telling that. When we do an action it creates love or hate or generates kindness or anger and our actions are linked to these vices. That makes us to practice restraint. Let me explain with an example.

How many times it happens that we don’t tell something to our parents or other elders fearing that they will get angry! That is nothing but restraint. We stop ourselves from doing that action of telling something to that person. It is bad because one should not fear something and stop doing actions. So we need to have courage to tell that. Next question is how do we get that courage? It comes through meditation. Meditation is the only way in which a person gets the ability to get over the influences of his senses.

Mediation helps everyone in rising above the senses. If we take the same example, the person when he does the meditation will get the power to say anything which is right to his parents or elders. And if the other person who hears that also does meditation he/she will also get the courage to face the situation and take the action positively. When we dont have that courage then we scold the person who advises us by putting down. So, action should never stop and it should always be directed at developing an individual.