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Why People Commit Crimes? – Hinduism Explains

Why people engage in crimes even when they know that it is to be avoided and that it brings nothing but misery and sorrow? Hinduism explains crimes, sin, virtue etc by reading the human nature. There is no external force but it is ignorance of people that results in crimes and sins.

Crimes are committed not because an individual is forced to commit it even against his will. But a crime is committed by succumbing to desire and anger. These are two deadly enemies within each one that are nurtured by rajas guana. The state of mind in which a person acts according desire, passion and anger is referred as rajas.

The three gunas – sattva (transcendence), rajas (activity), and tamas (inertia) – are present in all living beings in the world. Character is formed based on their percentage in a person. Through proper understanding and practice we can control the percentage of the three gunas in us.

The three gunas prompt people to do either good or bad deeds, and there is no external instigator. One should try to overcome the rajas and tamas and avoid being victimized by them.

Desire fulfillment is associated with Rajas. One may think that desires can be quelled by fulfillment, that is, enjoyment of the objects of desire. But sadly it is not the case. Desires only rise again with greater vigor and attack the individual even when one keeps them well fed just as the fire to which fuel is added blazes.

Sri Krishna provides three illustrations in the Bhagavad Gita to show how wisdom is enveloped by desire which is the only perennial foe. Just as the smoke and soot can hide the fire, or the mirror laden with dust cannot reflect objects and the fetus is enveloped in the womb, the rajas and tamas nurtured in one’s mind prevents the recognition of one’s pure being within each one.