Chapter 3 Karma Yoga Verse 27

Sloka

Aavritam jnaanam etena jnaanino nityavairinaa;
Kaamaroopena kaunteya dushpoorenaanalena cha.

Translation

O Arjuna, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise
in the form of desire, which is unappeasable as fire!

Interpretation

After talking about the ego which covers our actions and spoils them, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the desires which envelopes the wisdom of the wise men. He says that Wisdom of wise people is constantly engulfed by something called desire. That means when desire takes over wisdom wise men automatically lose their wise virtues. Lord Krishna also compares these desires as an unappeasable fire. That means these desire are like that fire which cannot be brought under control, whatever the person may do to bring it under control.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here the things to be considered are the desires and the fire. There is a lot of similarities between desires and fire. Fire is used for cooking food, giving warmth and for burining the decayed and decomposed things. In that way fire is a good thing. Similarly desires also helps us to understand our needs, they also give rise to our goals and aspirations and also in finding happiness in situations. Some of the examples of desires are wanting a happy life style, enjoying a vacation with wife and children and reaching the top position at your work place. These are all good effects of desires that helps in the progress and development of an individual and are directly comparable with the positive effects of fire.

Fire also has its negative effects. What happens if you put your hands into fire? It burns your fingers. What happens if you behave carelessly with fire? It engulfs everything and burns down everything. Example is, if you dont have proper fire safety in your factory or a mall, it can burn it down completely causing huge loss to your wealth as well as to your life. Same is the case with desires. If you become excessively addicted to desires, it ruins you. Like excessive drinking or womanizing or gambling or obsession for money can ruin an individual’s life. Just as we take care of fire, we also need to take care of our desires and keep them under control. Then only you will be called as a wise man.