tasmāt tvam indriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣabha,
pāpmānam prajahi hyenam jñānavijñānanāśanam (3.41)
[3.41]:”So, O the best of Bharat (Arjun), first subdue the senses and kill determinedly this desire, the heinous destroyer of both spiritual and physical knowledge.”
Above all, Arjun must control the senses because his enemy lies concealed within them. The enemy is within us and it will be futile to look for him outside. The war that has to be waged is internal; it has to be fought within the mind and heart.
So Arjun must subdue his senses and kill this sinful desire which ravages both knowledge of the unmanifest Spirit and knowledge of the physical world. However, he cannot storm them directly; he has first to lay siege to the stronghold of moral perversions itself by vanquishing the senses.
But to restrain the senses and mind is most difficult. The success of this endeavour always appears doubtful.Sri Krishn dispels this pessimistic attitude by pointing out the many weapons at his disposal which a man can use to fight against the enemy.
indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ param manaḥ,
manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ (3.42)
[3.42]:”Above senses there is the mind and above mind there is the intellect, and the one which lies above all of them is the Soul within, supremely powerful and yet subtle.”
So man is not so helpless after all. He has an armoury of plentiful arms with which he can wage war with strength and confidence. He can use his mind against the senses, his intellect against the mind, and above all these there is his Soul, all powerful and yet unmanifest.
That Soul is the real “us,” and so we are strong enough to subdue not only our senses, but also our mind and intellect.
evam buddheḥ param buddhvā sanstabhyā’tmānam ātmanā,
jahi śatrum mahābāho kārmarūpam durāsadam (3.43)
[3.43]:”Therefore, O the mighty-armed, knowing the Soul-subtle and in every respect mighty and meritorious, restrain the mind with your intellect and kill this desire, your most formidable enemy.”
Possessed of knowledge of the unmanifest and yet mighty Soul that is beyond intellect, and after a due appraisal of his innate strength and restraining the mind with his intellect, Arjun must slay desire, his worst enemy.
Arjun has to kill this enemy after a proper scrutiny of his inherent capacity. Desire is a terrible foe, for it deludes the Soul through the senses. So knowing his strength and with confidence in the might of his Soul, Arjun should kill this desire-his enemy. Of course, this enemy is internal and the war to be waged against it is also internal- of the sphere of the mind and heart.
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