tasmat tvam indriyany adau
papmanam prajahi hy enam
Therefore, O best of Bharata (Arjuna), first control the senses then, kill, this sinful destroyer, of wisdom and realization.
So long as, a man is swayed by his senses, he cannot have an eye on the goal of life. Without having an eye on the goal of life i.e., without attaining it, desire cannot be totally killed. So, first the Lord urges to control the senses, in order to kill desire.
The term ‘Jnana’ stands for discrimination (what should be done and what should not be done). The term, ‘vijnana’ stands for Self-realization.
The first step towards fighting the enemy consists in locating him. Krishna points out that the senses, mind and intellect are abode of desire and hence the control of these is the only way to vanquish and destroy this foe of man who hides behind the senses, mind and intellect using them as his fortress deludes the embodied soul by obstructing jnana and vijnana, knowledge and realization.
indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah
The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.
Senses are superior to body or objects of senses. It means that senses know the objects but objects do not know senses. Senses live without objects, but without senses, the existence of objects is not proved. Senses, do not know the mind, while the mind knows all the senses. Every sense, knows only its own objects, but does not know the objects of other senses. Ears can perceive only sound, but cannot perceive touch, form, taste and smell. Similarly, tongue can only taste, nose can only smell, eyes can only see, and skin can only touch. But the mind knows the five senses, and their objects. Therefore, the mind is superior, more powerful, and more subtle, has a wider range of activity, than senses and is their illuminator. The mind, does not know the intellect, but the intellect knows the mind and senses. The intellect, knows whether the mind is quiet or turbulent and whether senses function properly or not. It means that the intellect knows the mind and its thoughts, as well as the senses and their objects. Therefore, the intellect is greater, more powerful more subtle and has a wider range of activity, than the mind and is its illuminator. The master of intellect is ego; therefore, a person says ‘My intellect’. Intellect is an instrument and ‘ego’ is the doer. The instrument depends, on the doer.
The five senses are the main impediments to spiritual development and are arranged in a hostile formation against it. As long as the senses are primarily occupied in the pursuit of pleasure the realisation of the Atma will never happen. Yet the mind although fickle is capable of controlling the senses but if the mind is also inclined to enjoy the senses then realisation of the Atma will never manifest. But the intellect is superior even to the mind as it possesses the discriminative faculty. This means that the mind may be tranquil but if the intellect is inclined towards the channels of sense activities there will be no possibility again for realisation of the Atma. A question may be posed what if all the three, the senses, the mind and the intellect were tranquil and passive? The unvarying answer is that Kama or lust which arises from desires covertly resides deep within the heart and is always craving for sense gratification. This kama is so powerful that it will assert its mastery over them all and domineering them will have them fully pursuing the objects of the senses for sense gratification in the phenomenal world obscuring the light of knowledge and the realisation of the Atma. That which is the most powerful with its domain in the spiritual phenomena is the Atma and is designated by the pronoun sah.
evam buddheh param buddhva
jahi satrum maha-baho
Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material senses, mind and intelligence, one should control the lower self by the higher self and thus–by spiritual strength–conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.
Now in conclusion Lord Krishna establishes the fact that one should try their utmost to destroy the powerful enemy known as kama or lust. Knowing that kama is the mightiest enemy one must, by withdrawing the senses, keeping the mind steady and the intellect resolute in sattva guna the mode of goodness then slay this enemy kama which will attack your mind and senses in various ways causing one to fall into delusion before one becomes powerless to resist. Kama is extremely difficult to overpower and is tenacious and formidable yet if one dedicates all actions to Lord Krishna with their mind fixed on Him they can overcome it. So knowledge of Vedic wisdom and meditation on the Supreme Lord are the combined panacea to neutralise kama from its location in the senses, mind and intellect and then destroy the great enemy. This path of selfless action unattached without conception of rewards should be practiced according to one’s capacity and knowledge as a means of gradually achieving renunciation.
A man can know the world, by dissociating himself from it, and the Lord, by identifying himself with Him, because he (the self) is different from the world, while he has identity with God. But he accepts his identity or affinity, for the world, in order to acquire worldly things, which is never possible. Similarly, he accepts that he is different from God which is also not a reality. Spiritual desire, is necessary, in order to root out worldly desires. When spiritual desires grow up mundane desires, automatically, perish. When mundane desires, are rooted out, spiritual desire is satisfied viz., God, Who is ever attainable, is attained. God always pervades everywhere, but a man does not realize Him, because of his entanglement with worldly desires.