Who is this enemy inside of our consciousness?

In this excerpt from Chapter Three of the Bhagavad Gita, In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism Swami Lakshmanjoo explains: Who is this enemy inside of our consciousness, how does it appear, and how does it rise? As those three questions of Arjuna are being answered by Lord Kṛṣṇa in this unique version of the Bhagavad Gita by Abhinavagupta.

Now Arjuna places his question for this.

DVD 3.2 (35:49)

भवत्येष कथं कृष्ण कथं चैव विवर्धते 

किमात्मकः किमाचारस्तन्ममाचक्ष्व पृच्छतः  ॥३८॥

bhavatyeṣā kathaṁ kṛṣṇa kathaṁ caiva vivardhate /

kimātmakaḥ kimācārastanmamācakṣva pṛcchataḥ //38//

O Lord Kṛṣṇa, how does it appear–this kāma and krodha? Kathaṁ caiva vivardhate, how does it rise? Kimātmaka, what is the nature of this enemy? Kimācāra, what is the activity of this enemy? Please explain it to me so that I understand who is this enemy inside of our consciousness. Asya cotpattau kimkāranam, how does it appear? How does it rise in one’s own mind? Vardhane ca ko hetuḥ, how does it increase day by day? Svarūpaṁ cāsya kīdṛk, what is the nature of [its] formation? How does it get formed? When [they] take a position and [are] established in one’s own body, how does he act then? Iti praśnāḥ, these are my questions. Please clear these questions for me.


śrī bhagavān uvāca

Now Śrī Bhagavān (Lord Kṛṣṇa) places its answer.

DVD 3.2 (37:37)

एष सूक्ष्मः परः शत्रुर्देहिनामिन्द्रियैः सह 

सुखतन्त्र इवसीनो मोहयन्पार्थ तिष्ठति  ॥३९॥

eṣa sūkṣmaḥ paraḥ śatrurdehināmindriyaiḥ saha /

sukhatantra ivāsīno mohayanpārtha tiṣṭhati //39//

This is the supreme enemy (śatru) of the aspirant of truth, dehinām, [for] one who has a body, one who has maintained a body, one who is existing in a body. Indriyaiḥ saha, along with the classification of all of his organs, it is established in one corner of his intellect, sukhatantra ivāsīno, and creates sukhā-bhāsa. Actually it is not sukha, it is not pleasure, but it gives this temptation of pleasure, [that] there will be pleasure. In fact, [this enemy] is depriving you of God consciousness and keeps you absolutely away from its nature.

This is a very subtle enemy. Atha, when it rises, you cannot mark how it rose in your intellect. It rises unknowingly. Secretly it rises.

DVD 3.2 (39:26)

कामक्रोधमयो घोरः स्तम्भहर्षसमुद्भवः 

अहंकारोऽभिमानात्मा दुस्तरः पापकर्मभिः ॥४०॥

kāmakrodhamayo dhoraḥ stambhaharṣasamudbhavaḥ /

ahaṁkāro’bhimānātmā dustaraḥ pāpakarmabhiḥ //40//

Stambhaharṣa samudbhavaḥ, and it gets strength by stambha and harṣa. Stambha means kulādyabhimānaḥ, [to think that], “I am such and such a person.” Harṣa means aham īdṛśaḥ, “I am very great!” These [manifestations of the] ego are there.

ata evāḥ – ahaṁkāra iti

[comm. intro to 41st śloka]

It is only due to ego. Ego gives its rise day by day–increases. How does it [affect] him?

DVD 3.2 (40:11)

हर्षमस्य निवर्त्यैष शोकमस्य ददाति च 

भयं चास्य करोत्येष मोहयंस्तु मुहुर्मुहुः  ॥४१॥

harṣamasya nivartyaiṣa śokamasya dadāti ca /

bhayaṁ cāsya karotyeṣa mohayamstu muhurmuhuḥ //41//

All of his joy, [this enemy] extracts at once. All joy is gone in him by this. This is the [enemy’s] activity inside the one [in whom] it appears. Śokamasya dadāti ca, it gives him grief. In place of harṣa, in place of joy, it gives him grief. Joy is extracted and grief is produced by [this enemy]. Bhayaṁ cāsya karotyeṣa, and there is the threat that, “I may die, that something bad will happen to me.” Mohayamstu muhurmuhuḥ, and it keeps him away from God consciousness. It keeps him away from the touch of God. This is the nature [of the enemy].

Who is this enemy inside of our consciousness?

Ata eva ca garvādvardhate’bhimānasvabhāvaḥ [comm.]. It is garu (garu means ego). Sukhabuddhiprakāreṇa ca jāyate, by producing some vision of pleasure, [the ego] gives rise [to the enemy] inside.

Iti trayaḥ praśnāḥ parihṛtāḥ, these three questions were answered altogether.

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  1. May 7, 2018


    What is the chapter please?

  2. May 11, 2018

    It is from Chapter 3 of Bhagavad Gita

  3. April 12, 2021

    Thanks for this practical advice. I understand better, the connection between lust and ego, and I see the need to uproot lust so I can know myself as Shiva Parabhairava.

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