Influence of Prakriti

Sastras are known as the pointers to attain the goal of

liberation. The section on Veda mantras comprises praises

to the Supreme Lord who is known by dierent names.

The section known as the Brahmanas prescribes rules and

code of conduct applicable to all beings. It is up to each

individual in his own interest to tread the path shown by

the sastras and attain the goal. Krishna reiterates this truth

and states that the paths of Nivritti and Pravritti are open

to each one. In this context, Krishna makes an important

observation about how one’s nature influences one’s

actions, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a

discourse. Prakriti and its modes represent the limits of

human freedom. Heredity and environment are two

factors to be reckoned with. The gunas are intertwined

with Prakriti and constitute the personality of every

individual. The senses are drawn naturally to the external

world and make one a victim of likes and dislikes. The

baggage of karma and vasanas cannot be escaped by

anyone including a realised soul.

It may look that the Vedic injunctions such as ‘satyam

vada, dharmam chara,’ are not going to be eective against

the strong influence of Prakriti. These are meant to be

advice given in the interest of each individual. They do not

hold anyone guilty if one transgresses the rules. Not all

follow all these rules. Yet the self can restrain itself to

overcome Prakriti and its eects by exercising one’s free

will. The self can use the sense of discrimination and

viveka to rise above the gunas and also likes and dislikes.

The self can divert its attention to the Supreme Lord. Each

one has to feel the importance of adhering to these rules

and then realise the ultimate purpose for which these are