tani sarvani samyamya
yukta asita mat-parah
vase hi yasyendriyani
tasya prajna pratisthita
One who restrains his senses and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.
By controlling the senses, an aspirant should devote himself, heart and soul to Me. Moreover, he should not feel proud of his sense-control, because pride goes before a fall. He should, rather, feel that it was only God’s grace, which enabled him to control his senses.
Whosoever would wish to succeed in overcoming the dichotomous difficulty by the mutual inter-relating dependence of sense control and soul cognition as delineated previously, must certainly master the senses. Which due to their constant craving for pleasure are extremely troublesome to govern. Lord Krishna as the Supreme Lord is instructing to make Him the sole object of one’s meditation and thus become established in undisturbed serenity in the ultimate reality. When our minds have been evolved to realising Lord Krishna as the supreme absolute reality all impurities are eradicated and the mind is purified and clear, free from all desires.
Gita 2. (62-63)
dhyayato visayan pumsah
sangat sanjayate kamah
kamat krodho ‘bhijayate
krodhad bhavati sammohah
Contemplating constantly on the objects of senses, a man develops attachment for them; from attachment springs desire and from desire (unfulfilled) originates anger. From anger arises delusion; from delusion, confusion of memory; from which grows loss of reason; and with loss of reason (discrimination), he goes to complete ruin.
This is the best scientific explanation for the downfall of a man. Brooding on the objects of senses, leads to attachment; attachment leads to desire; desire to anger; anger to delusion; delusion to loss of memory; loss of memory to loss of reason and finally, loss of reason leads to utter ruin.
Lord Krishna is explaining that one whose cravings for sensual objects linger, the effort to overcome the senses without focusing the mind on the Supreme Lord is futile. This is due to the fact that without the Supreme Lords grace the residue of past sensual activities and the pleasure or frustration derived therefrom will delude the mind to pursue sense objects. This debilitating effect creates a magnetic attraction where the desire for sense objects becomes more and more extreme. From this extreme desire springs ‘kama’ lust. Lust is the next stage of desire. Lust is that which one feels when they think that they cannot exist without their desire being gratified. From lust springs ‘krodha’ anger. ‘Krodha’ is that frustrated outrage one feels against that which stands in the way of obtaining the gratification of ones senses. From ‘krodha’ arises ‘sammoha’ bewilderment and delusion which is the mental condition where one is no longer cognisant of what action should be performed and what action should not be performed. One will foolishly do anything in this condition. Thereafter comes dementia causing loss in memory of the process one began in order to constrain the senses and control the mind. From dementia comes loss of will power, one no longer has the drive and incentive to cultivate themselves towards obtaining spiritual realisation of the eternal soul. When this happens then one perishes their spiritual opportunity being drowned again and again in samsara the endless cycle of birth and death in the material existence.
Desire is a ‘rajasika’ trait; delusion a ‘tamasika’ one, and anger lies between the two. If you are angry with either, it means that you have attachment for something or the other. If you are angry with a man who defames you, it means that you are attached to fame. If you are enraged with a person who censures you, it proves your pride of innocence and so on.
From anger, arises delusion. In fact, delusion ensues not only from anger, but also from desire, greed and attachment. (i) Delusion born of desire, veils discrimination and so a man goaded by desire performs undesirable actions. (ii) Out of anger, a deluded person utters harsh and pinching words, to even friends and adorable ones, and performs wrong and cruel deeds. (iii) Delusion born of greed makes a man blind and he cannot distinguish between the real and the unreal, the right and the wrong and he cheats others by using fraudulent methods. (iv) Delusion born of attachment creates partiality.
From delusion arises confusion of memory. It means that a man forgets his aim to attain salvation, or to follow the spiritual path, in accordance with the ordinance of the scriptures etc. From confusion of memory arises loss of reason viz., a man cannot discriminate between right and wrong. Loss of discrimination paves the way to self-destruction. Therefore, it is obligatory for all seekers to devote themselves heart and soul to God, in order to escape self-destruction.
Gita 2 (64-65)
visayan indriyais caran
prasanna-cetaso hy asu
One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free from all attachment and aversion. For one who is so situated in the Divine consciousness, the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such a happy state, one’s intelligence soon becomes steady.
It may be further submitted that since it is impossible to control the senses who by their very nature tend to be drawn towards senses objects, it would be extremely difficult to overcome these defects; so where is the possibility of attaining steady wisdom. Apprehending such doubts Lord Krishna states that one who is free from both attachment and aversion although amidst sense objects attains the mercy of the Supreme Lord. Here Arjuna’s fourth question is being answered concerning how one of steady wisdom experiences sense objects. The answer given in this verse is that one experiences sense objects with one’s senses under control. Lord Krishna now explains that when the mind is placid and pure it has enacted for itself the cessation of all miseries arising from conjunction with materialism. ‘Prasanna-chetah’ refers to that delightful one whose mind is expunged of all impediments that hinders it from realising the eternal soul while bestowing the spiritual intelligence needed for illumination. Thus when the mind has been purified all sorrow is terminated.
An aspirant, who has controlled his mind and whose senses are controlled and free from attachment and aversion, uses the sense-objects, but does not enjoy them viz; he does not derive pleasure from them. And it is enjoyment, rather than use, which leads him to ruin. An aspirant who utilizes the sense objects being free from attachment and aversion attains placidity (purity) of mind. This placidity of mind is called mental austerity which is superior to the austerity of body and austerity of speech. So an aspirant should neither enjoy the sense-objects with attachment, nor should renounce them with aversion, because both attachment and aversion lead him to affinity for the world. Such an aspirant attains placidity of mind and if that placidity of mind is not enjoyed, that leads to God-realization. With the attainment of such placidity of mind, all his sorrows come to an end, because it is attachment only, which causes sorrows. These sorrows give birth to desire which again causes sorrow. When attachment goes away, the mind becomes serene and that serenity destroys all sorrows.
All sorrows are only due to the agitation of mind concerned with acquiring the objects of desire and preservation of them and the grief on losing them. All experiences whether joyous or painful bring only sorrow, former because of their fleeting nature and the latter because of their being unpleasant. When the mind is in equanimity neither the pleasure nor the pain affects the person. Then the mind becomes established in Brahman immediately.
nasti buddhir ayuktasya
na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah santir
asantasya kutah sukham
One who has no control over his senses and the mind will not have steadiness of mind nor is he able to contemplate on the Lord. Therefore for him there is no peace of mind and without peace of mind there is no happiness.
In the Discipline of detached Action, control over the mind and senses is important, because without control, desire persists and with the persistence of desire, the mind does not get fixed. Therefore, it is obligatory for an aspirant following the Discipline of Action to control his mind and senses. What happens to the man who has not controlled his mind and senses, is explained in this verse
Without being happy there is no possibility of concentration of the mind. Without concentration of the mind there can be no meditation and without meditation it is not possible to have inner awakening or soul-cognition. Therefore it has been declared that these things are not possible for one without concentration.
He who has not controlled his mind and senses cannot have determinate intellect that he has only to realize God, because he indulges in worldly pleasures and seeks prosperity. He develops desire for riches, honour and bodily comforts etc. These numerous desires keep his intellect obsessed and do not allow him to have a stable intellect. He, whose intellect is not determinate, cannot have the feeling that he has to discharge his duty by renouncing attachment and desire etc. The man, who does not discharge his duty efficiently and sincerely, can have no peace, whosoever he may be. How can he who lacks peace be happy? He cannot be happy, because his heart is filled with agitation and commotion. Despite acquiring all agreeable sense objects, his mental perturbation cannot be wiped out. In other words he cannot be happy.