Gita Chapter 3 verse 33.

sadṛiśhaṁ cheṣhṭate svasyāḥ prakṛiter jñānavān api prakṛitiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣhyati

Meaning : Even a wise man acts according to his nature. All living beings act according to their natures, for what can repression achieve?

My confusion: This last statement in the stanza(for what can repression achieve?) confuses me.

I'm not getting the meaning of this sentence what can repression achieve?

I think there is no relation between the word repression and wisemen. Then why is the repression word used in this verse?

My question :why is the repression word used in this verse?

  • 1
    nigrahaḥ means repression/ control of sense etc Aug 5, 2022 at 2:11
  • 1
    holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/3/verse/33 refer this & kindly edit the question title as it is verse 33 instead u have meantioned 34. Aug 5, 2022 at 5:36
  • Any Jiva is bound by a Prakrutha sharira(material body - fundamentally constitueted by sattva rajas tamas) 'Prakruthe Jnanavan Api'(Even the Wise 's prakrutha sharira is in the sway of Prarabdha karma although it does not affect the Wise). Say, for an instance, hunger/ thirst is the dharma of prana(intrinsic in a jiva) , it is instinctive for jiva-- to follow this nature( Prakrithim yanthi)...extensible to any other inbuilt nature of jiva..Kim karishyati nigrahaha(how can one ever repress it ) .
    – Athrey
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:47
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    It is impossible to repress , here the key is to remain unaffected, thereby to overcome , in subtle gradations..Only an Avatara with Aprakruta sharira(non material body- prathibhasika) isn't bound by Prakrithi ,in which case nigraha loses its relevance.
    – Athrey
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


A person with evil nature and uncontrolled senses even though can differentiate between right and wrong but still works as per his nature. For what can repression achieve? here repression means that a person with uncontrolled senses cannot restrain his senses by knowledge of scripture. Ramanujan commented;

3.33 Such and such is the nature of the self, which is different from the Prakrti - this has to be always contemplated upon: thus declare the Sastras. Even a person who knows this, acts in relation to material objects only according to his own nature, i.e., guided by his old subtle impressions. How is this? All beings follow their nature. Beings in conjunction with non-conscient matter, all follow only subtle impressions which have continued to come from time immemorial. What can the control enjoined by Sastras, do to these beings who follow their subtle impressions?

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