The verse n°18 onwards, you have several statements about equality of consciousness. Now, to be able to understand fully the whole theme of equality, we need to visit the 2nd chapter also because there too, we have a number of verses, which relate to equality. Since equality is one of the fundamental themes of the Bhagavad Gita, you get in chapter n°2 & chapter n°5, and also in chapter n°6, a great deal of emphasis on equality. All of them are inter–related.
So, first of all we see chapter n°2 and verse n°56 & 57:
There is a close connection between chapter n°2 & chapter n°5 and also chapter n°6 where the theme of equality, samatvaṁ, is described. Since we are doing the text of the Bhagavad Gita, I am referring to this because you have then a real understanding of the inter–connection of the verses of the Gita.
Why this repetition, if there is a repetition, why? The reason is that the 5th chapter is a kind of a summation, is a summary, in which all that has gone into the first four chapters is taken up, and full summary is given in the 5th chapter. It is this inter–connection, which has to be understood; it is not as if there is a repetition here and there. Many people say, “Gita has lot of repetitions”. But that happens only when you do not read the Gita in the context. Why this repetition? Because now this is summation. Ultimately Sri Krishna having described the whole of the Karma yoga…in fact the third chapter, as I told you earlier, is the quintessence of the Karma yoga of the Bhagavad Gita. In the 2nd chapter there is an introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. In the 4th chapter there is a culmination of the Bhagavad Gita. In the 5th chapter therefore there is a summary of all that has gone above, and therefore you get a description of the divine worker; and in the description of the divine worker you have to say the most important element in his consciousness is that of equality.
We have said that the Karmayogin, when he reaches the highest level, his first attributes is that he is free from egoism; secondly he is free from desire; third is that he is equal–minded; the fourth is that he is impersonal, that he is peaceful: śāntim adhigacchati and he is sukhī, he is in delight. These are the few words, which describe the real divine worker. In this description, it is a summary of the whole thing. After the finishing of all the 4 chapters, there is a summary of it. Therefore, what is most important in the Gita as to regard of equality is concerned, we have here the description of the equality; but we have to take into account also where equality is described earlier, so that in our mind there is a connection, and therefore I am referring to these verses n°56 & 57:
duḥkheṣvanudvignamanāḥ sukheṣu vigataspṛhaḥ |
vītarāgabhayakrodhaḥ sthitadhīr munirucyate ||56|| (II)
“He who is not perturbed in mind in the midst of sorrowful conditions and who is devoid of coveting in the midst of happiness, who is free from attachment, fear and anger, such a one is called a sage of steady wisdom.”
He remains equal whether in happiness or in misery.
Then in the next one:
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tattatprāpya śubhāśubham |
nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||57|| (II)
“He who is without attachment in everything and who neither rejoices nor hates in whatever good and evil he may obtain; his wisdom is firm.”
And then you have in paragraph verse n°64 & 70, these two:
rāgadveṣavimuktaistu viṣayān indriyaiścaran |
ātmavaśyairvidheyātmā prasādamadhigacchati ||64|| (II)
“The self–controlled man, though enjoying the sensory objects with his senses restrained and free from attachment and hatred, obtains peace.”
And then if you read n°70:
āpūryamāṇam acalapratiṣṭhaṁ samudramāpaḥ praviśanti yadvat |
tadvatkāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve sa śāntimāpnoti na kāmakāmī ||70|| (II)
“Just as waters from different rivers enter into the ocean from all sides, yet the ocean continues to be still, in the same way a person who is not perturbed by the incessant flow of desires, he alone attains peace and not the desirer of sense–objects.”
Now, in the 5th chapter apart from this n°18, we have also in 19 the same themes, and also again in 22 & 23. In 19 we have:
ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ |
nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ ||19|| (V)
“Even here on earth, the world is conquered by those whose mind is established in equality. Brahman is flawless and is the embodiment of equality; therefore, are these steadied in Brahman.”
And then, 22&23:
ye hi saṁsparśajā bhogā duḥkhayonaya eva te |
ādyantavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ ||22|| (V)
“The enjoyment obtained by the contact of the senses with their objects are the sources of sorrow; they have a beginning and an end; therefore, O Son of Kunti! The wise man finds no joy in them.”
śaknotīhaiva yaḥ soḍhuṁ prāk śarīravimokṣaṇāt |
kāmakrodhodbhavaṁ vegaṁ sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ ||23|| (V)
“He who is able to resist the impulse of desire and anger even before departing from the body, is verily a yogin and a happy person.”