CHARACTERISTICS OF A MAN OF PERFECTION OR A KNOWER OF BRAHMAN
na prahrishyet priyam praapya nodwijet praapya chaapriyam
sthirabuddhir asammoodho brahmavid brahmani sthitah // 5.20 //
Resting in Brahman, with intellect steady and without delusion, the knower of Brahman neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieves on obtaining what is unpleasant.
From this verse onwards the characteristics of a man of perfection are given.
The Lord describes him as having always a balanced intellect because of the absence of egocentric influences. He is never deluded. He has abandoned all actions as he rests in the Self.
He is neither exhilarated when he gets pleasant objects nor feels disappointed when he obtains unpleasant objects. This does not mean that he has no reactions at all but it means that he remains balanced always with a sense of equipoise which cannot be shattered easily.
baahyasparsheshwasaktaatmaa vindatyaatmani yatsukham
sa brahma yoga yuktaatmaa sukham akshayamashnute // 5.21 //
With the heart unattached to external contacts he discovers happiness in the Self; with the heart engaged in the meditation of Brahman he attains endless bliss.
The happiness from the enjoyment of outer objects is transitory while the Bliss of Brahman is eternal. When the mind is not attached to the external objects of the senses, when one is deeply and constantly engaged in the contemplation of the Self, one finds eternal peace within. If one wishes to enjoy the imperishable happiness of the Self within, one has to withdraw the senses from their respective objects and enter in deep meditation on the Self within. It is to be noted that through self-control a void is created in the mind and heart which will have to be filled in with bliss through contemplation of Brahman.
ye hi samsparshajaa bhogaa duhkhayonaya eva te
aadyantavantah kaunteya na teshu ramate budhah // 5.22 //
The enjoyments that are born of contacts with objects are generators of pain only, for they have a beginning and an end, O Son of Kunti, and the wise do not find delight in them.
Man goes in search of happiness among the external and perishable objects. He finds no permanent joy in them but receives a load of sorrows instead. One should, therefore, withdraw the senses from the sense objects which are not at all a source of permanent joy. One should fix the mind on the immortal, blissful Self within. The sense objects have a beginning and an end. The pleasure out of them is therefore momentary and fleeting during the interval between the contact of the senses with the objects and their separation. One who has discrimination or knowledge of the Self will never rejoice in the objects of the senses.
LUST AND ANGER ARE THE GREATEST ENEMIES
shaknoteehaiva yah sodhum praak shareera vimokshanaat
kaamakrodhodbhavam vegam sa yuktah sa sukhee narah // 5.23 //
He who is able to withstand the force of lust and anger even before he quits the body - he is a Yogi, a happy man.
Desire (lust) and anger are powerful enemies of peace. It is extremely difficult to annihilate them. One has to make strong efforts to destroy these enemies. He who has controlled desire and anger is the happiest man in the world.
Desire is longing for a pleasant and agreeable object which gives pleasure when it is seen, heard or remembered. Anger is the feeling one gets when he finds obstacles in the way of getting the desired objects. The greater the desire for an object the greater will be the anger against any obstacle that comes between the desirer and the objects desired. Lust and anger create an agitation of mind accompanied by appropriate physical symbols.
A Yogi is the one who controls the impulses of desire and anger, destroys likes and dislikes and attains equanimity of mind by resting in the Self. He is always happy because there is neither desire nor hatred in him. The implication of what Sri Krishna says is that in this very world and in this very life one can be perfectly happy if one learns to withstand the avalanche of desire and anger.
WHAT KIND OF YOGI ATTAINS BRAHMAN?
yo'ntah sukho'ntaraaraamas tathaantarjyotireva yah
sa yogee brahma nirvaanam brahma bhooto'dhigacchati // 5.24 //
He who is happy within, who rejoices within, who is illumined within, such a Yogi attains absolute freedom or Moksha, himself becoming a Brahman.
It will be seen from the above three verses that the man of perfection does not attain joy in the ordinary sensual objects of the world. Renouncing all these he reaches a state of bliss where there is no place for desire or anger, love or hatred. The Lord says such a man alone can be said to be happy. Such an individual who lives in the Self is the one who has known Brahman. He becomes a Jivanmukta. The next verse clarifies that this state is not annihilation but the positive one full of knowledge and Self-possession.
labhante brahma nirvaanam rishayah ksheena kalmashaah
chinnadwaidhaa yataatmaanah sarvabhootahite rataah // 5.25 //
With sins destroyed, doubts dispelled, senses controlled, and devoting themselves to the welfare of all beings, the sages attain freedom in Brahman.
When a man of perfection brings his senses under control, his sinful mental impressions are cleared which were blocking his vision of the Self behind several doubts about the Reality. Knowledge of his real nature comes to dawn on him and he comes to rediscover himself as the Self.
Having thus reached the goal of all evolution his duties till he leaves his mortal body will be to engage himself in the good of all beings. Thus loka-seva becomes his obsession. To overcome the world is not to become other-worldly. It is not to evade social responsibilities. His body, mind and intellect are offered to the sacred fire of activity for the common welfare while remaining at rest with himself and living in an unbroken consciousness of the Divine, the Eternal.
The two sides of religion viz. personal and social are emphasized here.
kaamakrodha viyuktaanaam yateenaam yatachetasaam
abhito brahma nirvaanam vartate viditaatmanaam // 5.26 //
Released from desire and anger, the mind controlled, the Self realized, absolute freedom exists for such Yogins both here and hereafter.
When the seeker conquers his lust and anger and can face all the threats coming from within and without, he knows the Self and gains the Bliss of Perfection both here and hereafter.
The import of this verse is that those who renounce all actions and do intense Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana, who are established in the Self and who are steadily devoted to knowledge of the Self, attain liberation instantly (Sankhya Yoga). But Karma Yoga in which action is performed in complete devotion to The Lord and as dedication to Him, leads to liberation step by step; first the purification of the mind, then knowledge, then renunciation of all action and lastly liberation.
To enunciate the Dhyana Yoga, which is the nearest and effective means to right knowledge, The Lord teaches the path of meditation in the following two verses.
sparshaan kritwaa bahir baahyaamshchakshus chaivaantare bhruvoh
praanaapaanau samau kritwaa naasaabhyantara chaarinau // 5.27 //
yatendriya manobuddhir munir mokshaparaayanah
vigatecchaabhayakrodho yah sadaa mukta eva sah // 5.28 //
Shutting out all external contacts, steadying the gaze of his eyes between the eyebrows, regulating the outward and inward breaths flowing within his nostrils, the senses, mind and intellect controlled, with Moksha (Liberation) as the supreme goal, freed from desire, fear and anger, such a man of meditation is verily liberated for ever.
In these two verses The Lord has given a pre-view of the next Chapter. Sri Krishna gives a scheme of practice by which one can gain in himself a complete integration.
The external world of objects by itself cannot bring any disturbances unless one remains in contact with them through body, mind or intellect. But if we shut out external objects - not physically- but through discreet intellectual detachment at the mental plane, we shall discover in ourselves the necessary tranquility for starting meditation.
Then the gaze should be fixed in between the eye brows so that the eye balls remain steady. This is followed by rhythmical breathing which makes the mind quiet and perfect harmony is developed in the system. These instructions relate to physical adjustments.
The instructions relating to mental and intellectual adjustments are then given. The seeker is asked to be free from desire, fear and anger to attain perfect peace of mind. When the senses, mind and intellect are subjugated by dedicating all his outer and inner activities to achieve the goal of realizing the Self he attains liberation. The mind gets restless because of the agitations caused by desire, fear and anger. When it is desireless, it proceeds towards the Self spontaneously and Liberation becomes one's highest goal. When an individual follows these steps he can remain in the contemplation of Truth without any distractions. Such a man of meditation comes to experience the freedom of the God-hood before long.