In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 62 - 65. Shri Krishna guides on what occurs when we get swayed by objects of the senses. Shri Krishna also guides us on how we can remain in balance by controlling the material senses.
Translation used: The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation by Jeffrey Armstrong Available here on Amazon
If you would like to dwell deeper in the Bhagavad Gita, I recommend Swami Gambhirananda's translation with Adi Shankara ji's commentary: Available here on Amazon
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today, we're going to be continuing on with my thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita, and we'll be looking at verses 62 to verses 65 of chapter two. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast you can do so by signing up to the and the details are in the show notes and video description below. So in the last episode we looked at verses 58 to 61. Let's give a recap. Shri Krishna explained that when the Sage can fully withdraw their senses from the pull of their desires, then like how a turtle protects itself with its shell, the Sage utilizes that knowledge of Brahman and becomes established in the unfluctuating Awareness of Atman and Brahman. Our memory is what keeps the identification of the ego and once this is transcended with the direct vision of Brahman, the Formless Self, then one is able to remove the emotional impact of the past pleasures and experiences. So staying focused on the path of being aware, watchful of the flow of the senses, once we are able to do this, we can notice when they are hungry and that they can never feel full even when they are followed through. Therefore the wise person must always remain vigilant and not be carried away by the senses. The most Supreme is the Awareness behind all experience and knowing, this remains not being pulled by the senses, but the one practicing the wisdom has to keep practicing, controlling their senses and to sit and meditate on the most Supreme, never letting go of the sight of this One. Let's begin with exploring verse 62. Sri Krishna continues on saying: While contemplating the object of the senses, attachment to them is born. From such attachment, intense desires arise. From unfulfilled desires, the seeds of anger appear. The first line is while contemplating the object of the senses attachment to them is born. So whenever we look at the senses and what they give to us, we automatically get attached to them. Whatever the senses perceive, we automatically want to possess those things. We automatically want to get attached to them. Whether that's people that we love or whether that's people that we know, that we work with. Maybe it's items that we care about, products that we care about, maybe a car, maybe a house, maybe having more wealth. Now one may turn around and say how do my senses get attached to wealth? Well, it's the end goal of wealth that invigorates the senses. What I mean by that is that we think about the life that we could live if we have such wealth, and that's what happens, our senses can create those feelings, those imaginations and memories of maybe the past to create that yearning. Contemplating also means that we constantly are thinking about those objects. Therefore, we gradually create an attachment. So we may keep thinking of that car and suddenly that car consumes us. Maybe we thinking of that chocolate cake. As I used in that last episode, as an example, we may constantly be attached to that chocolate cake and we can't wait to eat that slice of chocolate cake again. And we constantly think about it, therefore we get attached to it, to that particular thing. To remove the attachment, we need to focus on meditation in order to move the contemplation from the object of the senses to Brahman or Pure Awareness. This takes time, this involves a lot of effort on our side, but at the same time, if we're able to observe the senses and the objects of the senses, the attachment is not going to be as strong. Then the next line is from such attachment, intense desires arise. Once we get attached, once we're always thinking about that chocolate cake or that car or that house, whenever we're thinking about it. We get that attachment. When we get that attachment, then that intense desire rises. We want that thing. We must achieve it at any cost and it doesn't matter what happens. We must get it, whatever the cost may be. Whether I hurt others, whether I affect other people, even if it's not for my benefit, I still want to get that thing. And that's what happens when that intense desire arises. These desires become impulsive and become the very focus of our lives except for spiritual growth. Eventually what happens is spiritual growth has to take the backseat and may be even forgotten in the backseat. That's what tends to happen when that intense desire arises. Shri Krishna being very, very insightful. He says from unfulfilled desires the seeds of anger appear Whatever we don't get, we get angry. If we wanted to win in a game that we're playing, that we gambling in, we get angry if we don't win. If we don't get the result we want, we get angry. Our team loses in football or soccer. We get angry. Why? Because we want something. We have the desire to see something and when that desire is unfulfilled because we lacked fulfillment of the Self, of Pure Awareness, those desires then create the seeds of anger. As we feel disappointed about not getting something, we get annoyed and it doesn't matter at that time, what or who is around us, we lose all awareness when we get angry, that seed of anger is because we have unfulfilled desires. The desires that are being talked about here is multi-faceted actually. If you think about it, the major unfulfilled desires, if we do not realize the Self, if we do not understand and realize that we are Brahman, that is one unfulfilled desire. And because that isn't attained, we tend to feel unfulfilled. Therefore anger is at bay, whenever it happens, it happens and we have no control over it. Now at the same time when we have material desires, the same thing happens. If we do not earn that salary, if we do not earn that promotion, if we do not get the house we want or the car we want, that becomes anger. We get angry that we cannot achieve those things. We start hating life. We start hating society, but we do not look for solutions. The context of the whole verse is that this verse shows us that what happens when we get attached to the objects of the senses. So the objects that we see and perceive. Krishna is telling us about our own downfall when we are constantly thinking and are in the pursuits of the objects of our senses, it leads to attachment and anger arises from those unfulfilled desires. Remember, those material desires. Verse 63. From unrestrained anger, delusion arises. From this delusion, memory is lost. Where memory is lost, discernment is lost. When discernment is lost, this leads to harmful or destructive actions. Just remember in the last verse, he talked about the seeds of anger. Now Sri Krishna goes on to the next level to tell Arjuna, well there's now unrestrained anger, because that's what happens. Now before the unfulfilled desires created seeds. Now those seeds have grown. It becomes unrestrained. We're not doing any practice, spiritual practice or spiritual inquiry to address the anger because we constantly thinking about fulfilling our desires. We're going through this cycle of causing more pain and suffering to ourselves. So the first line Shri Krishna says from unrestrained anger, delusion arises. Whenever anger is unrestrained, it flows in all sorts of directions and therefore delusion is going to arise. Delusion in this context is that we think that this world is real, the desires for material objects is real, according to the ego and that's the delusion. This delusion, once it rises, it takes us away from the Atman. It takes us away from the True Self. This is what tends to happen. We get deluded, we start believing in things, which aren't really there. Remember this world is an appearance, therefore thinking that it's real, we get into delusion. And Adi Shankara ji says that for an angry man becoming deluded abuses even a teacher. So it's very interesting that if we get angry as spiritual beings, and we say we follow a guru and yet we become angry, we become deluded and we're following only our material desires and not even concentrating on our spirituality, then we are abusing the teacher. And as you know, in Vedanta abusing a teacher is an incredible paap. It's an action that causes and creates suffering. This is why it's very important that when you do approach a teacher, that you are looking to improve yourself, that you are making the efforts to become more realized, more stable in this realization of your True Self. Shri Krishna continues from this delusion memory is lost. So whenever we are in this delusion memory is lost about who we are. We forget who our True Self is. Also we forget about our loving relations because we are so full of anger. We don't care about the people around us. Our memory is lost about their impact on us. We get frustrated and we forget all the good things that have happened and what other people have done for us, because we do not know who we are. This delusion that this world is real, that I must attain these material objects because of this, we lose the memory of our loved ones. It doesn't matter if you've been in a loving relationship with our spouse or our partner for many years, if we have that anger because it's unrestrained and because we're so deluded by this attachment we have, our memory of everything they've done for us is forgotten. Actually, if you think about when you get angry at the person you love and you care about, you forget about all the good things they've done for you, you only concentrate on the bad things. How many people have fallen into arguments and now have huge rifts between them. The huge wall standing between brothers, between siblings, between parent and child, between friends, over maybe a misunderstanding, but this is going to happen because all memory is lost. We don't care. At that moment, being angry is the most important thing because we feel our anger is justified, we feel everything else can take a back seat Adi Shankara ji says failure of memory, originating from the impressions acquired from the instructions of the scriptures and teachers, where there is an occasion for memory to rise. It does not occur. So what happens is because we are too focussed on our material desires of the material objects, we fail to understand the scriptures and our teachers. We fail to live up to their teachings, even though we say we follow them, but actually we lose every impression. So here Adi Shankara ji's not even saying the full understanding, just the impression of the teachings are forgotten. And even if we try to remember that deep truth, we cannot. We fail to remember those teachings. So that's why from this delusion, memory is lost. Shri Krishna continues that when memory is lost, discernment is lost. So we lose viveka. We lose our wisdom of this True Self. We lose that discernment. The discernment, this very knowledge that takes us away from ignorance and brings us into the truth. We forget that wisdom. We forget the discernment of the Real. It's very necessary in our spiritual journey to remember this knowledge of what is Real and unreal. This whole chapter two, we've been discovering this very truth. We've been building upon our discernment of the Real and unreal. What is Brahman and Maya? And Adi Shankara ji in this line also continues to say that the unfitness of the mind to discriminate between what should or should not be done is called loss of understanding that person perishes. This is what happens when we lose that discernment to know what should be done and should not be done because our wisdom is not being utilized. We have failed to see our own wisdom. Remember the wisdom that we have is within us. We just have to awaken ourselves to it. Shri Krishna in the last line says that when discernment is lost, this leads to harmful or destructive actions. So this discernment is lost, then our actions can hurt others and that's going to happen. Destructive actions like paap are those actions that take us towards suffering. And that is ultimately what we are going to attain, only suffering and Adi Shankara ji here says that indeed, a man that continues to be himself so long as his mind remains fit to distinguish between what he ought to and ought not to do. That's great. He continues to be himself, continues to be the True Self. When he becomes unfit, a man is verily ruined, is truly ruined. Why? Because when his internal organ, his understanding is destroyed his buddhi is destroyed, a man is ruined. That is who becomes unfit for the human goal. What's the human goal? To attain liberation, to be free from all suffering. But how can that happen? If one can not utilize one's discernment. When one goes towards actions that cause disruption, that cause destruction, that cause harm, that cause pain, how can that man, how can that being go towards liberation? How can they even desire enlightenment? It becomes next to impossible. So the context of this whole verse is that the purpose is to show us what the issues are when we forget our True Self and when we just keep going towards that worldly sense objects. So we forget about our discernment. We forget about the memory of what the good things our loved ones have given. We go towards more harmful actions without thinking of the repercussions. This is what happens in that state. When we are continuously traveling towards the objects of material desires. Verse 64. When the Atman controls the indriyas, the material senses, and when one no longer experiences compulsive attachment or aversion to the objects of the senses, then the Atman attains a tranquil divine state, known as ' Prasada.' When the Atman controls the interiors, the material senses. So when the Atman, the Awareness that is always present within us, this Brahman, this understanding of, and realization of 'Aham Brahmasmi', 'I am Brahman' when that's always present, then whatever we perceive through that viveka, through that discernment, we can then control the material senses and where they travel. The Atman is the one driving instead of those material desires. Therefore we're able to see which desires are going to help us and which desires aren't, that discernment is then utilized. Then Sri Krishna continues that when one, no longer experiences compulsive attachment or aversion to the objects of the senses. This is very important. One should no longer feel pulled towards the object of the senses and one shouldn't feel the need to be attached to everything that it perceives through the senses. At the same time, we do not push ourselves away from the objects of the senses, because if one has aversion, this can create disgust and this, then these to the next line because one cannot have peace if one has such aversions. What we need to understand here is that person no longer has that compulsive attachment. Look the word compulsive attachment, also compulsive aversion. So there's no point being just a monk in this situation or being a complete materialist in this situation. We shouldn't have compulsive attachment to the objects of our senses and nor should we have compulsive aversion. If you noticed, in both senses, you keep thinking about the thing that you apparently have an issue with or the thing that you're attached to. For example, if you're completely attached to that slice of chocolate cake, that's all you're going to be thinking about is that chocolate cake. But if you have a complete aversion to chocolate cake, all you will be thinking about is not having that chocolate cake and avoiding that chocolate cake. Again, how can that mind be at peace, if that's what's happening? So having complete attachment and complete aversion is not the right way. Renunciation in that aspect is not great. Sri Krishna says, then the Atman attains a tranquil divine state, known as 'Prasada'. The Atman, when it remains in balance, it becomes tranquil and divine. 'Prasada' is literally not what you get or give at the temple. 'Prasada' is that Formless Consciousness, that Awareness within you, which is always tranquil and always at peace. It's always in a divine state of being. It does not need to be divine, it is divine. It is tranquil. It doesn't need to be tranquil. It is tranquil. And this Atman in this context is talking about the mind specifically. When the mind understands that it is Brahman, that it is the Real, it is Sat, then it will always be in that tranquil and divine state and that is 'Prasada'. That is the true attainment. The reason why it's a divine state is because the Atman understands that it is Brahman. Yeah. Aham Brahmasmi is the lived experience, it is the living experience. Adi Shankara ji says that the mind that has self control can be subdued at will. This person is a seeker of liberation and has that serenity required for it. That mind has self-control. It does not run to wherever the senses take it. It does not strive for those objects. It doesn't have that aversion. It doesn't have that attachment. It has complete self-control. It understands that it does not need to be in both situations where there's aversion and when there's attachment. And that person who's able to be in that balance has the serenity required to be liberated. So the context of this whole verse is that in order for the Atman or even our mind, it must not go in two opposite directions. It must understand that the senses go through what it must and remain at peace with it instead of getting too attached or getting aversion from it. When we are in the state of 'Aham Brahmasmi' or 'I am Brahman', we are constantly in a tranquil state. That is the "Prasada', that is a real offering. Now we go to verse 65. That state of 'Prasada' removes all pain and misery and from it, a deep sense of tranquility arises. In that balanced state of Manas, the Buddhi stands steady always. Sri Krishna is just emphasizing things to make sure the point is understood by Arjuna on what is required here. The first line that state of 'Prasada' removes all pain and misery. So when you are in that tranquil state, how can you have pain or misery? It's literally impossible. That mind then does not feel the pain and misery of the past or anxiety about the future. It's always going to be continuously at peace. Why will it be sad about the past? Why will it be anxious about the future? There's no need for it to be because it's always in that state of Brahman, it always goes back to that Awareness. That Awareness, which is always present. That Awareness, which is always stable and steady. This is like the default position, always for the one that is liberated. The one that is free from suffering. The reason why this happens is because the mind understands what it truly. Is that it is just an appearance in front of Awareness. It must function as it should do, but its true state, its true form is that background Awareness that we talk about, that background Awareness of the Ultimate Reality. The next line is, and from it, a deep sense of tranquility arises. This deep sense of tranquility, that peace is a still and serene mind. It automatically appears for that person as they are the Non-Dual Self, in that state of Awareness, how can pain and misery happen to it? Is there any pain and misery happening to it? No, not in that tranquil state. Sri Krishna continues that in that balanced state of Manas, the Buddhi stands steady always. This is the ultimate state for each and every one of us. That when the mind-heart is balanced, then our discernment is established and steady. It becomes firm. Adi Shankara ji describes it very well. He says the one who has a serene mind, the one whose mind is continuously poised in the Self becomes firmly established. They remained steady completely like the sky. That is, it becomes unmoving in its very nature as the Self. That's the Awareness that is in the background. Remember that classic example that I always use. The clouds being the thoughts in the sky. You could see the clouds being like desires, but the sky doesn't get affected by what the clouds are, whether the clouds are full of rain, whether they are light and they're just floating by, the sky remains unaffected. Likewise, that's like the mind of that Sage that is continuously aware of Brahman, continuously aware of their true nature, their True Self. That Awareness is always unmoving. That is what we really are, and our mind needs to become steady completely like the sky.. The context of the whole verse, and actually I'm borrowing from the commentary of Adi Shankara ji here, because he explains it very well, sums it very well. That since a person with a tranquil mind and who is well-established wisdom, attains fulfillment, or liberation, that person of concentration can deal with the absolute necessary objects through his senses, that are free from love and hatred. The only thing that is, this is Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, and just day-to-day living too. What Adi Shankara ji is talking about is that the well established wisdom attains fulfillment, everything that needs to be fulfilled is fulfilled. There's no need for anyone to feel empty. There's no need for anyone to feel that there is something not being achieved. That person is always concentrating on that wisdom. Whenever they have a chance, they will always be thinking about their true nature. They will always be going back to their true nature, not thinking about their true nature, but going back to their true nature and that person is free from love and hatred. Remember they don't have any hatred towards something and neither do they have increased attachment to something. They just remain focused on that Ultimate Reality. That is the end of this episode. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday. 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