Gita Study: Class 39


Topics for today:

  1. Opening prayers and Gita Dhyanam
  2. Chapter 2 verse 62-68

 Highlights of today’s class:

Verse 2.62 & 63

dhyayato visayanpumsah sangasteshupajayate | sangatsanjayate kamah kamat krodho’bhijayate ||

krodhatbhavati sammohah sammohat smrtivibhramah | smrtibhramsad buddhinaso buddhinasat pranasyati || 

  • In these two verses, Krishna points out exactly how a person gets into trouble when he or she is completely taken over by the senses, meaning rasas.  A downward spiral of 8 stages is presented here.
  • In a person who dwells upon objects, an attachment with reference to them is born.
  • From attachment is born desire (to possess, own, experience the object, etc.).
  • From desire is born anger (when fulfillment of that desire is obstructed).
  • From anger comes delusion (with regard to what is to be done and not to be done).
  • From delusion comes loss of memory (of what was learnt from scriptures and teachers).
  • From loss of memory, mind becomes incapacitated (to discern what is to be done and not to be done).
  • Due to an incapacitated mind the person is destroyed (person becomes unfit to pursue life’s purpose).
  • Sankara summarizes that the root cause of all anarthas, calamities is vishayabhidhyanam, dwelling upon sense objects.
  • Given that meditating on desirable objects creates problems for oneself, the message of Gita is to meditate upon the self. If one does not meditate upon the self, one will naturally meditate upon the objects which is the cause of all problems.
  • An interesting fact is pointed out in the description of these 8 stages by changing the verb after the stage when anger is born. Upto that point, jayate or “is born” is used. From the point of anger onwards, bhavati or “takes place” is used. A person has control on this process only upto the point of anger arising. Once anger arises, he or she is no longer in control. Subsequent steps automatically take place.

Verse 2.64

ragadvesaviyuktaistu visayanindriyaiscaran | atmavasyairvidheyatma prasadamadhigacchati || 

  • Having described the process of downfall for one who dwells upon objects of raga-dvesas, Krishna now shows the starting point for moksha.
  • Krishna advises mumukshus to (a) engage sense organs in sense objects only when unavoidable – avarjaniyan visayan caran. Sankara adds avarjaniyan (b) being free from prompting of raga-dveshasragadvesaviyuktai (c) having mind under control – atmavasyaih vidheyatma. By doing this, Krishna says one attains tranquility, prasada.
  • In other words, mumukshus are advised to lead a life of karma yoga wherein one’s pursuits are not dictated by raga-dvesas but by dharma-adharma.
  • Tranquility that is gained by such a lifestyle is praised in the next two verses.

Verse 2.65

prasade sarvaduhkhanam hanirasyopajayate | prasannachetaso hyasu buddhih paryavatisthate ||  

  • By the tranquility gained in the mind, all pain and sorrow is destroyed – sarvaduhkhanam hanih. sarva-duhkhas means duhkhas caused by all the sources of duhkhas we saw earlier viz. adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika. The causes for duhkhas do not go away, they are merely incapable of causing duhkha because the mind is tranquil.
  • The second point conveyed by Krishna in this verse is that, with tranquility of mind, one gets established in self-knowledge soon – buddhih asu paryavatisthate. Tranquility is the condition that frees one’s knowledge from all obstructions and lets the knowledge become clear, steady and firm.

Verse 2.66

nasti buddhirayuktasya na cayuktasya bhavana | na cabhavayatah santirasantasya kutah sukham ||

  • Krishna praises the tranquility of mind in this verse saying that one without a tranquil mind does not get knowledge, cannot contemplate and cannot attain peace or happiness.
  • Managing one’s raga-dvesas must be done, through a lifestyle of karma-yoga. Without relative freedom from raga-dvesas one cannot attain knowledge of self, nor freedom from agitation.

Verse 2.67

indriyanam hi caratam yanmano’nuvidhiyate | tadasya harati prajnam vayurnavamivambhasi ||

  • Giving a reason for why a person without a tranquil mind (ayuktah) does not gain knowledge, Krishna in this verse states that a person whose mind follows along with the sense organs which are moving among their objects, is robbed of his knowledge just as the wind carries away a small boat on the waters.

Verse 2.68

tasmadyasya mahabaho nigrhitani sarvasah | indriyanindriyarthebhyastasya prajna pratisthita || 

  • In this verse Krishna sums up all that he said about steadying one’s knowledge starting from the verse 60 (yatatohyapi). Having given a number of reasons for why one must have one’s sense organs and mind under one’s control from verse 60 onwards, here Krishna summarizes his message by reiterating that for one whose senses are completely mastered, knowledge becomes steady.
  • As one’s knowledge grows in clarity, mastery of the mind over raga-dvesas also takes place. With a karma-yoga attitude, raga-dvesas are mastered to a certain extent and the knowledge becomes clearer. Thus, there is a mutual kinship between the two. Knowledge and mastery of the mind go hand in hand.

om tat sat


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