03.34: We are products, but not prisoners of our past
“Is this just the way I am? Am I a prisoner of my past?” Gloomy thoughts like these often cross, even possess, our mind when we succumb repeatedly to an undesirable behavioral trait that we had indulged in the past, but had subsequently decided to abandon, having recognized that it was detrimental to our best interests.
The Bhagavad-gita (3.34) indicates that, though our present likes-dislikes are products of our past, those likes-dislikes can only push us, they can’t force us. We can prevent a push from becoming a compulsion by activating our internal power to counter-push. To activate our counter-pushing power, we need to align ourselves with principles that empower us to choose our actions intelligently instead of instinctively. The most empowering of all principles is the principle of selfless love for the Supreme because that love links our counter-pushing power with the power of the Supreme, thus empowering us to overpower the residual effects of our past.
Thus, when we align with the divine, that alignment frees us from our past and helps us chart a future of ever-increasing freedom.