(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2005)
It is a fact that previous life sinful reactions can create a sinful disposition in the heart and bring out a strong impulse to engage in certain activities. But one can check it with the intellect. It is true that everyone of us is caught up in our previous karma. You see, that is the sinfulness in us; we are conditioned already; we are not at all tabula rasa or a blank personality!
We already have a whole load of hand baggage with us from our last life that will come through in this life and that is the so called ‘subconscious’. The subconscious is nothing but impressions from our last life. As Freud said, “The subconscious is a very powerful force in the individual!” That is true – it is simply the leftover remnants from the last life that push us.
But even if the tendency is there, then one can check it and one can also, by self control and by getting some moral knowledge, lift himself above this sinful disposition. It may still be there but one can control it. You see many people who are either good religious people and they are good citizens but they are caught in some compromising situation; happens all over.
This is the result of such compulsive behaviour, due to previous reactions. So, it maybe difficult for someone to give it up, even by knowledge, intelligence and by the attempt to control – but if you take to the process of bhakti, devotional service, then it immediately diminishes the sinful disposition… not completely but it begins to diminish it!
So in bhakti we also have to control ourselves by the intellect and through knowledge while simultaneously breaking down the sinful disposition and with time… you just change! It is gone… it just disappears! No other process can offer you a means to make the sinful disposition disappear.