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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 38 - Meaning - Explanation

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 38 Explanation by Swami Swarupananda 

As fire is enveloped by smoke,
as a mirror by dust,
as an embryo by the placenta, so is
Knowledge covered by desire. (Bhagavad Gita 3.38)

Swami Swarupananda Explains this as
Three states of the over-clouding of knowledge or Self by desire are described by the three illustrations here given.

The first stage is sattvika — ‘fire enveloped by smoke’—the rise of a slight wind of discrimination dispels the smoke of desire in a sattvika heart.

The second, the rajasika — the removal of ‘the dust on a mirror,’ requires some time and preparation.

While the third — the tamasika, takes a much longer time like the release of ‘the embryo’ from the placenta after birth.

The time taken to overcome desire depends on the nature of a person.

SourceSrimad Bhagavad Gita, Tr. and notes by Swami Swarupananda