duḥkheṣu anudvignamanāh sukheṣu vigataspṛhah,
vītrarāgabhayakrodhah ̣sthitadhīr munir ucyate (2.56)
2.56 – “He is indeed a steady-minded sage who is unmoved by sorrow and indifferent to happiness, and who has overcome his passion fear, and anger.”
He whose mind is untroubled by bodily, accidental, and worldly sorrows, and who has rid himself of desire for physical pleasures, and whose passions, fear, and anger have been subdued,is the sage with discrimination who has achieved the culmination of spiritual discipline..
yaḥ sarvatrā’nabhisnehas tat-tat prāpya śubhāśubham,
nā’bhinandati na dveṣti tasya prajnā pratiṣṭhitā (2.57)
2.57 -“That man has a steady mind who is entirely free from attachment and who neither gloats over success nor abhors failure.”
That man has a firm wisdom who is totally free from infatuation and who neither welcomes good fortune nor repudiates misfortune. That alone is auspicious which draws a Soul to the being of God, whereas that which pulls the mind to temptations of the material world is inauspicious. The man of discrimination is not too happy in favourable circumstances and he also does not scorn adversities, because neither is the object which is fit for attainment different from him nor is there for him any evil that may sully the purity of his mind. That is to say that he has now no need for further striving.
yadā samharate cā’yam kūrmo’ngānī va sarvasah ̣,
indriyān ̣ī’ndriyārthebhays tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā (2.58)
2.58 -“As a turtle pulls in its limbs, this man reins in his senses from all objects, and then he truly has a steady mind.”
When a man pulls back his senses from all sides and restrains them within his mind like a turtle pulling its head and feet within its shell, his mind is steady. But it is only an analogy. As soon as the turtle knows that the danger is gone, it again expands its limbs.
Does a man of steadfast wisdom also, in the same way, let his senses loose after restraining them, and resume enjoyment of worldly pleasures?
viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinah,
rasavarjam raso’py asya param dṛṣṭvā nivartate (2.59)
2.59- “While objects of sensual pleasure cease to be for the man who withdraws his senses from them, his desire for these objects yet remains; but the desires of the man of discrimination are completely erased by his perception of God.”
The objects of sense come to an end for the man who has rejected them because his senses no longer perceive them, but his desires yet survive. The feeling of attachment lives on. But the passions of the yogi, the doer of selfless action, are annihilated by his perception of the ultimate essence that is God.
The accomplished, or enlightened, sage does not, like the turtle, re-extend his senses to objects which are pleasing to them. When once his senses have shrivelled, all the influences and impressions (sanskar) he has carried with him from a previous existence are irrevocably dead. His senses do not then return to life. By apprehending God through the observance of the Way of Selfless Action, even the attachments to objects of sensual pleasure become extinct. Force has often been a feature of meditation, and by its use seekers rid themselves of objects of sense. But thoughts of these objects persist. These attachments are brought to an end only with the perception of God and never before that, because before this stage residues of matter persist.
Sri Krishn proclaims that although a man’s association with objects of sense ends when he restrains them from reacting to these objects, he is rid of desire for these objects only when he knows his own Self as the identical God through meditation. So we have to act until we have achieved this perception. Goswami Tulsidas has also said that at first there are passions in the heart, which are swept away only by true devotion to God.
yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ,
indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabham manaḥ (2.60)
tāni sarvāṇi sanyamya yukta āsīta matparaḥ,
vaśe hi yasye’ndriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā (2.61)
2.60/2.61 -“O son of Kunti, men ought to subdue their senses which seize forcibly even wise and striving minds, and devote themselves to me with perfect concentration, because only that man’s mind is unwavering who has achieved control of his senses.”
Mutinous senses ravish even discerning and active minds, and undo their steadiness. So with full control over his senses, equipped with yog and devotion, Arjun should find shelter in God, for that man alone has a firm mind who has subdued his senses. Here Yogeshwar Krishn explains what ought to be prevented in the course of worship, as also the components of spiritual seeking which it is the duty of men to undertake.
Restraint and prohibition alone cannot subdue the senses. Along with negation of senses there must also be incessant contemplation of the desired God. In the absence of such reflection, the mind will be preoccupied with material objects, the evil consequence of which we see in the words of Sri Krishn himself.
[As expounded by most revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Paramhans]
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