Bhagavagd Gita

Track Running Session 22- Track 2204

So, we have now reached a climax of the statement of the synthesis of Knowledge and Action. Having said this now Arjuna raises a question:

yo ’yaṁ yogastvayā proktaḥ sāmyena madhusūdana |
etasyāhaṁ na paśyāmi cañcalatvāt sthitiṁ sthirām ||33|| (VI)

“O Madhusudana, O Lord that which has been spoken of by you, proktaḥ ’yaṁ yoga, this Yoga which has been spoken of by you, sāmyena, with a synthesis, the synthetic Knowledge that you have given me; etasyāhaṁ na paśyāmi cañcalatvāt sthitiṁ sthirām, what you say is attained only when the mind is still, but the mind is so restless, because of the restless of the mind, I don’t see how this is attainable.”

This is his question: all that you are saying is fine, wonderful, but how to attain it when the mind is so unstable?

And then he continues with this question:

cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham |
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva suduṣkaram ||34|| (VI)

“Just as it is difficult to control Vayu, the Wind, similarly the mind is also like the wind: cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ, this mind is so restless; pramāthi balavad dṛḍham, tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye, su–duṣkaram; to control it, is su–duṣkaram, it is extremely difficult; not only duṣkara, su–duṣkara, it is very difficult; tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ, the control of it, I find it to be very difficult.”

Now, in a brief formula (VI, 35), Sri Krishna answers that question. It is a very brief answer, but full of tones, because these two words which He uses are the answer namely abhyāsa and vairāgya. He says: “it is difficult, but by two processes you can control the mind, by abhyāsa, practise”. Even if you fall rise again, fall, rise again, do not feel guilty that you have fallen down; manaḥ cañcalaṁ iva, mind “is” restless, so, don’t worry, if you fall don’t worry, but, rise again, abhyāsena, and then “vairāgya”. Gradually you will discover that the meaning of the world is not what we think it is. Our sense of meaning in the world is egoistic, selfish, narrow, something that is concerned with immediate gain. If you rise above, cease immediate interests, and see the real meaning of it, in which you see that the whole world is for the enjoyment of the Lord, not of ‘me’. I can enjoy the world only in so far as I participate in the joy of the Lord:

“īśāvāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ yatkiñca jagatyāṁ jagat |” (Isha Upn. 1)

This is the very statement of īśā vāsya, which is a translation of this statement in the Bhagavad Gita. Your real vairāgya arises from here that “All this belongs to the Lord, and the moment you see this Lord, our selfish interest all disappear”. But it does not mean therefore you cease to be active, or you cease to enjoy, no, but your enjoyment will be of a different kind, it will be full of vairāgya; vairāgya towards all that is selfish and egoistic. That is why Isha Upanishad also says:

“tena tyaktena bhuñjītāḥ…”, “you enjoy but by renunciation”, by vairāgya: “…mā gṛdhaḥ kasya sviddhanam ||”, “Do not covet somebody’s wealth as if it is yours” (Isha Upn. 1) the moment that “coveting” goes away, then, you can really enjoy everything, because the world is nothing but a constant coming in. It is ‘we’ think that it is now gone, lost, finished. But the real nature of the world is that there is no vacuum anywhere. ‘We’ think it is lost, it is gone: it is a false view. The real thing is: there is fullness everywhere. And fullness is taken out of fullness: fullness remains. Fullness is added to fullness: fullness remains. Such is the nature “īśāvāsyamidaṁ”: if the supreme Lord is everywhere where is the vacuum? When you realise this, then the mind becomes full of stability:

abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate ||35|| (VI)

So, Sri Krishna affirms the doubt of Arjuna, says:

asaṁśayaṁ mahābāho mano durnigrahaṁ calam |

“You are right, O Mahabaho! O Arjuna! asaṁśayaṁ, doubtless; mano durnigrahaṁ calam, it is so restless, it is very difficult to control it; but tu, (tu means but), abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate, but the mind can be made to be stabilised by practise, and by vairāgya, detachment.”

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