Trividham narakasyedam dwaaram naashanamaatmanah |
Kaamah krodhastatha lobhastasmaadetattrayam tyajet ||
Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 21 ||
Lust (kaam), anger (krodh) and greed (lobh) are triple doors to hell, which bring about the destruction of soul. One should get riddance from all three, says Lord Krishna.
Lust of any kind, whether for food, sex, power or money ties you to the physical (which is temporary) and creates veils such that you cannot see reality. Blinded by desire you chase the unreal, and before you realize you are in the ICU breathing your last. The birth wasted, and lower, far more painful one lying ahead. History is proof…it was Ravan’s lust for a woman that brought his downfall, Bhasmasur’s lust for power that destroyed him.
Anger, too, robs a man of his ability to think and act constructively. It is a sign of attachment. There is an interesting story of Japanese Samurais in this regard. It was war time and two Samurais were engaged in a fight. After a fierce fight, one of the Samurais got disarmed and fell on the ground. His opponent was about to kill him when he suddenly spat on the opponents face. The opponent put his sword back in. On being asked why he did so, he replied that had he killed the man back then, it would have been out of an emotional reaction (anger) rather than for the war. The Samurai had power and advantage over his opponent, yet he controlled his anger. Had he not, he would have taken upon himself the karma of killing a person (not for war, but for self). That is the sign of a sadhak, only such a person is entitled to moksha. When negative emotions like anger take possession of the body, the person misses his/her spiritual goal and wastes his/her birth and life, fast moving towards destruction. Proof of this is that when you get angry, your pulse rate shoots up as does the rate of breathing and in extreme cases, you become breathless. These symptoms are similar to those experienced by a dying person.
Greed is the opposite of nature. Nature rests on the principle of giving and non-hoarding. Sun gives light, rivers give water, plants give food and earth holds us together. If any of them becomes greedy and starts collecting for self, Creation will collapse. Same is true of humans, as a microcosm of Creation. It is human greed that drives men to cheat, to plunder natural resources, to destroy animal’s habitat and to abuse them. By doing this man is taking upon himself the karma of destruction of Creation…hells are waiting, says Gita.
Creation functions in opposites. If there is light, then there is darkness. If there is silence, then there is sound. If there is hell, there is heaven…Gita tells us how to reach both. The opposite of these three take one to heaven.