सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्या: प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि |
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रह: किं करिष्यति || 33||
sadṛiśhaṁ cheṣhṭate svasyāḥ prakṛiter jñānavān api
prakṛitiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣhyati
sadṛiśham—accordingly; cheṣhṭate—act; svasyāḥ—by their own; prakṛiteḥ—modes of nature; jñāna-vān—the wise; api—even; prakṛitim—nature; yānti—follow; bhūtāni—all living beings; nigrahaḥ—repression; kim—what; kariṣhyati—will do
Even a wise man acts according to his own nature. Beings follow nature; what can restraint do?
The term-a wise man (Jnanavan) refers only to a learned man who intellectually understands the principles of religion and philosophy. He has yet to realise the Truth. Mere intellectual culture and understanding of the Sastras are powerless to control the tremendous power of natural instincts and tendencies with which a man is born in this world. Though he knows much of spiritual lore, he acts in conformity with his own nature, the impulses and thought patterns formed through a series of births. If such is the case with a learned man, what to speak of the ignorant!
Here the Lord’s purpose is to emphasise the power of the tendencies (Samskaras) which constitute the nature of all beings, and definitely not to discourage the practice of self-restraint. The verse that immediately follows insists on self-restraint as the only means to liberation. Let no man imagine that he can have an easy walk over Nature. No. It is necessary for the seeker to understand fully the mysterious power of Nature, and the tremendous will that is needed to change and transcend it. But it is clear that spiritual realisation is not possible unless all the blind prejudices and evil tendencies of the past are gradually eradicated. Surrender to the Lord and selfless devotion to duty are the means to liberate oneself from the tyranny of Nature by which man has been enslaved from time immemorial.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“Even those who know the path act impelled by their own nature. Everyone acts according to his nature. He cannot transcend it.” The atom cannot disobey the law. Whether it is the mental or the physical atom, it must obey the law. “What is the use of [external restraint]?”[Source]
“Nature will have her way. What can suppression do?” That is a terrible [statement] in the Gita. It seems it may be a vain struggle after all. You may have a hundred thousand [urges competing] at the same time. You may repress [them], but the moment the spring rebounds, the whole thing is there again.[Source]