In this verse kama and raga are mentioned separately. One is to take note of the fine distinction between kama and raga. Kama is the desire to accomplish; raga is attachment to what one has. In other words, kama is the longing for objects which are not right now possessed. Maybe they are far away but still longed for. Raga is the attachment to the objects already in possession and near. Obsession over possession already acquired is raga.
In the earlier verses in Chapter 7, the Lord said he is buddhi of the buddhiman; the tejas of the tejasvi; tapas of the tapasvi. These are different strands of strength surely with an element of abuse. Kama-ragas signify ahankara; therefore it is also strength free from ahankara. One having brilliance should also be kama-raga vivarjitam. Kama and raga are centred on ego, ahankara so what is naturally without the misappropriation of the ahankara is naturally Iswara.
The analogy is this: if Isvara is not appreciated, strength becomes the source of fear; if one has strength and also kama-raga, then he or she ends up as ruffian as he is no longer Isvara; one having the strength and does not have kama raga sees only Isvara. He has no more fear. He has Isvara anugraham, symbolized by abhaya mudra, and the strength of Isvara.
“I am strength of the strong devoid of desire and passion. In beings, I am desire, not contrary to dharma, O chief of the Baratas.’
(draft Gitayamutham Essays)
by Yogi Ananda Saraswathi