Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3 verse 37: Krishna responds: It is desire; it is anger, born of Rajo Guna, all consuming and most evil. Know this to be the enemy here on earth.
...continued from 3.36.
To answer Arjuna’s question about sin and involuntarily being driven by force towards it, Krishna answers, ‘It is desire; it is anger born of Rajo Guna.’ Rajo Guna gives forward energy and motion to an underlying desire. A thought rises out of pure consciousness of Self and develops into a desire and through Rajo Guna gains momentum. In effect, Rajo Guna has its foot on the accelerator to take desire to a happy conclusion as directly and as quickly as possible. At this point where desire initiates action, Rajo Guna has the peddle to the metal while moderating Gunas of Sattva (steering wheel) and Tamas (brakes) are backseat drivers at best.
Anger arises when desires collide. Let's say I have two things on my plate: a desire to finish my commentary on this verse and a desire to meet my wife for lunch. Both are time-dependent. As the clock ticks, Rajo Guna for finishing the commentary and Rajo Guna for meeting the wife for lunch butt heads. Time gets away from me. As the conflict heats up, moderating influences of Sattva and Tamas lose all sway, as does intellect (2.63) to think things through, compromise and take a balanced course of action (2.48).
In the absence of intellect established in contented Self, conflicting outcomes become 'all consuming.' 'As if driven by force,' outward flow of attention dominates. Inner contentment of Self doesn't stand a chance. The 'evil' of selfish actions attached to outcomes, retarding spiritual and material progress, lords over selfless ones of serving others, in this case my readers and my wife. Evolution, the very purpose of life 'here on earth,' suffers.
What's the solution to 'It is desire; it is anger, born of Rajo Guna'? Establish intellect in the Self through the practice of karma yoga (3.08, 3.35). Experience separation of Self from desires and the actions they seed. Outsource desires to Nature (3.11, 3.12). Gunas in balance, perform all actions in accord with evolution.
copyright commentary Keith R Parker 2021.