In this world, which is subject to continual change, there are two paths, the bright and the dark, that have existed from time immemorial. These are symbolic of the good and the evil that challenge one another in a perennial contest.

Many a time, the Lord incarnates to establish the good and defeat the evil which is very powerful. Many of us know what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, and yet opt to follow our whims and fancies because evil easily attracts and entices many to its fold.

In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana typifies the inherent tendency to bypass the path of Dharma in the pursuit of one's goals, while being fully aware of the nuances of Dharma and Adharma, said Sri Hariprasadji in a lecture. Duryodhana does not hide his real nature.

He is openly jealous of the Pandavas, and is determined not to give the kingdom to them which rightfully belonged to them and which his father ruled as a regent. He justifies his actions in the manner of a boy who misbehaves and is not contrite about it at all. Duryodhana too accounts for his nature as something inherent and that he is just being propelled by it.

Scriptures warn against the powerful senses that can mislead people. The famous analogy — where the body is compared to a chariot, the mind to the reins, the horses to the sense organs, the intellect to the driver, the traveller to the individual and the desires, pursuits, etc., to the paths by which it travels — indicates the need to control the horses and steer the chariot in the right path. Wild horses are difficult to tame and so are the senses by one whose mind and intellect are not under control.

If we live as we please we are charting the course for our next lives. We get drawn to things that are not relevant to us either due to ignorance or due to lack of will power to opt for the right path.

All actions have the impact of habit-forming. For instance, feelings of anger, prejudice, etc., can become a powerful force to cause people to make mistakes. Unless one feels penitent and decides to turn a new leaf, it will not be possible to get out of this mess.

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