स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्ध: स्वेन कर्मणा |
कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत् || 60||
swbhāva-jena kaunteya nibaddhaḥ svena karmaṇā
kartuṁ nechchhasi yan mohāt kariṣhyasy avaśho ’pi tat
swabhāva-jena—born of one’s own material nature; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; nibaddhaḥ—bound; svena—by your own; karmaṇā—actions; kartum—to do; na—not; ichchhasi—you wish; yat—which; mohāt—out of delusion; kariṣhyasi—you will do; avaśhaḥ—helplessly; api—even though; tat—that
O Arjuna! bound by your own Karma, born of your own nature, that which in a deluded state you do not wish to do, even that you will do helplessly.
Nibaddhah: Man is bound by his own thoughts and works (Karma). The Lord knew that Arjuna’s nature as a Kshatriya is to fight. That is why he tells Arjuna that even if he does not wish to fight, he will still engage himself in the battle, prompted to it by his own nature. This is a truth that man thinks and acts according to his nature. If that is so, if man cannot but follow nature, how can there be any prospect of liberation? He was bound in the past and the same will bind him in the present and the future. Is there no way out? There is. The force of nature and human effort are both active forces in one’s life. However much he feels that he is bound by nature, there is the opposite current of thought pointing the way to liberation. The struggle between the two goes on endlessly in the human heart. The Divine Sankaras slowly unfold themeselves and as they become stronger, all the weaknesses of man are overcome in due course. There is no other way. Therefore every man, however, degraded he may be at present, must take an upward curve one time or other. The sooner it is done the better it is for man. But there is no cause for despair in this account. “Perseverance will finally conquer,” says Vivekananda.
Question: By what is man bound?
Answer: By his own habits of thought and action acquired in previous births.
Question: How does he liberate himself?
Answer: He will attain liberation by cultivating assiduously all good qualities by human effort in the present birth.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18 🔻 (78 Verses)