Bhagavagd Gita - Session 11- Track 1107

We had been considering the major experiences of sukha, duḥkha, veṣa, rāga, vaya, krodha. Now, we come to deeper level, even the level of senses: indriyā . One was never been able to the yoga of indriyā(s), he will never be able to achieve sthita-prajña: the state of sthita-prajña, is achieved only, not only when you are out of fear and attachment are conquered, but even indriyā(s), even the senses: because basically, we are guided and ruled by senses.

As Katha Upanishad says that all human beings have their doors opening outward: eyes and ears and everything, all the doors of the body are open outward; therefore we are constantly driven by the outward objects. Then, what should you do? kūrmo’ṅgānīva: “Just as the tortoise withdraws all its organs within itself and covers them with its shell, when the individual is able to control all the senses in a similar manner, then even when the senses are active, even then, his senses are withdrawn, when such a state is obtained, then the intelligence becomes stable”; tasya prajñā pratiṣthitā, his intelligence becomes established.

Question: Can it be another meaning also?

Answer: indriyāṇīndriyārtheṣu tasya prajñā. indriyā(s) are doing their work, but still he is not active with that.

He is restrained. On this subject Sri Krishna elucidates because it is a very difficult subject. The senses are used and yet senses are withdrawn.

Sri Krishna says:

viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ |
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
||59|| (II)

If you don’t take food, your indriyā, which enjoys food, what happens to that? viṣayā vinivartante, the objects of your desire, they withdraw from you, or you are withdrawn from them: nirāhārasya dehinaḥ; when the individual who lives in this body, when he becomes nirāhāra, when no food is given to the objects of the senses, it is not only a question of one who fasts, it is nirāhāra: āhāra is the object of food respective to every indriyā. Sight is the āhāra of the eyes; the music is the āhāra of the ears; softness is the āhāra of the touch; fragrance is the āhāra of the smell. Similarly, all the objects by which our indriyā(s) are attracted make it nirāhāra. You fast, let all the indriyā(s) fast, but even then, one is not freed from rasa.

Your tongue may not desire a particular food, or this food or that food; you may not crave for ice cream, even though when you like it very much, but because your nirāhāra, you have withdrawn your senses out of this, yet, rasavarjaṁ raso ’py asya paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. Even then, the rasa for ice cream is not gone: desire for ice cream may go, but the rasa, but even that rasa is transcended, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā. When you see the Supreme, then even the rasa goes away: ice cream is nothing before the sight of Supreme; then you become free completely from all hankering after rasa:

viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ |
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
||59|| (II)

Comment: In other words when you are fasting and you think, “I am not eating today, as you say, for ice cream, but I will eat it tomorrow.”

Answer: Tomorrow, you are quite right, yes, on the contrary sometimes it becomes more acute: when you do not eat something which you like very much, for five days you are able to withdraw, but then the rasa becomes extremely powerful, you want to enjoy thoroughly afterwards.

Sri Krishna knowing this, He says:

yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ |
indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ
||60|| (II)

Sri Krishna is a great psychologist, He knows that even when you try your utmost, yatato hy api, even if you try, if you make prayatna, yatato hy api, you make your best effort, puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ, even when you are enlightened, even then, such an individual’s indriyā(s), pramāthīni haranti, there are troublesome indriyā(s), and they draw you to the objects of senses.

Even when you work very hard, even when you know, even when you are enlightened indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ: the mind is irresistibly drawn towards the objects of your senses. Then what is to be done? This yoga of indriyā(s) is one of the most difficult Yogas; then answer is:

tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ |
vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
||61|| (II)

The only remedy for the control of senses is mat-paraḥ. This is one word, which is of tremendous significance: there is no way of conquering senses, except being completely absorbed in the Divine: mat-paraḥ. You do any kind of austerity; you fast ten times, hundred times, fifty times, but unless you become mat-paraḥ, unless you are completely absorbed in the Bhakti of the Supreme…this is the answer of the Bhakta: it is only by supreme Bhakti, that you can really enter into a complete control of the senses.