We often struggle to control our behavior and experience the helplessness of not being able to react appropriately to a given situation, here is a story or conversation which touches on this topic.
Conversation between Krishna and Duryodhana
For those who do not know who these people are, let me explain a little bit.
Krishna is God’s incarnation and acts like humans in Mahabharat, the longest epic in poetic form in world history from Ancient India.
Duryodhana is portrayed as Villain with bad intentions towards the good people who are Pandavas. (The 5 brothers)
When Krishna tried to convince the Duryodhana in a last attempt at peace.
He asked Duryodhana, you are a prince of great lineage and bought up well, still, why do you do such terrible things?
Duryodhana answers with the below explanation.
“Janami dharmam na cha me pravrttih, janamy adharmam na cha me nivrttih; kenapi devena hrdi sthitena yatha niyuktosmi tatha karomi“
The translation to English is below
I Know Dharma, yet I cannot get myself to follow it. I know what is evil, yet I cannot stop myself from doing this.
Please see also “How to avoid learned helplessness“
The bottom line of what Duryodhana was trying to say is though he is learned and knows the difference between good and bad, still, some force makes him behave the way he is.
We know virtues are good to follow and lust and greed are not good, however, we tend to not be able to control them at times. This is a sad truth of human behavior.