Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 (Part-5) Saankhya Yogah- Yoga Of Knowledge

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
 Control  of the senses and the mind is prescribed as a stepping stone to spiritual  progress as these faculties have a natural propensity to engage with objects.  This underscores the fact that the spiritual quest involves directing the mind  within by withdrawing it from objects. When the mind engages in the world it is  constantly subjected to attachment, likes and dislikes, and anger because the  external factors are not under one’s control. To realize one’s true nature as  the Self (Atman) within it is necessary to exercise control over the mind by  restraining its tendency to do what it likes.

If the mind is given the freedom to do what it  wants only constant restlessness would result as a result of desires that arise  one after another. This prods the individual to action to fulfill his desires  giving rise to frustration and anger when they are not fulfilled. Even when he  is able to realize his desires the joy that he enjoys is fleeting and thus the  quest for worldly joy only subjects the person to further bondage by his  actions. To become free from this quagmire, which traps man, is the objective  of spiritual quest. The basic requirement then is disentanglement from the  world slowly by restraining the mind.

As long as an individual is subject to  bondage—due to ignorance of his true spiritual nature—his identification will  be with his body and his actions will be to preserve and pamper it, while a man  of wisdom (Jnani) will identify with the Self and thus be free from attachment  to his body.

The equanimity  of mind that a Jnani has is a consequence of his constant abiding in the Self,  which is tranquil and blissful. The afflictions of his body will not disturb  his mind as he is aware of their transience. The relationship between the body  and the mind is an illusion created due to superimposition (Adhyasa), which is  primordial. Just as the Moon shines because of the Sun’s light, so also does  the mind acquire the properties of the objects it engages with. When the mind  attains union with the Self it reflects its serenity and bliss.

Krishna’s  advice to Arjuna is to have equanimity of mind to achieve the ultimate  objective. He says, “One who has control over the mind is tranquil in heat and  cold, in pleasure and pain, in honor and dishonor and is ever steadfast with the  Supreme Self”. This is in accordance with the saying in the Rig Veda “The mind  is fickle like a fast galloping horse and the only way to control it is by  involving it in good actions beneficial for the welfare of all”.

If  a man can control his mind he can find the way to enlightenment and all wisdom and  virtue will naturally come to him. The mind is like a white cloth. Dip it in  red dye, it turns red, dip it in green, it turns green. Put it out in the sun  for long, it loses its color. The mind is truly the Self itself with no color.

What  we think determines what happens to us. So if we want to change our lives we  need to stretch our minds. The world is as the mind  perceives it. The world is as the mind thinks of it. (“mano matramjagat, mano kalpitam jagat”).

If  the Bhagavad Gita is viewed as a spiritual metaphor the persons portrayed are ingenious  depictions symbolizing the various stages in the transformation of spirit into  matter. The battle proper represents the real struggle that ensues within a person  who realizes that all along it was the mind and its deep-rooted tendencies that  were playing a devious game of deception with him, leading to false perceptions  of truth and happiness and so, under proper guidance, sets out to rectify all  this. 

Kurukshetra,  the battlefield refers to our own bodily domain, where the action must take  place. Pandu was the rightful monarch of Bharata, the bodily kingdom. Pand in  Sanskrit means white or pure, referring to the faculty of discriminating  between right and wrong, which humans inherently possess. If man lives as per  this discriminating power he will live life in such a way that slowly but  surely, the soul's body-consciousness ascends to spirit-consciousness and thus  one attains independence from false providers of happiness, namely, the five  senses. 

As  the story goes, Pandu has five sons representing the power of dispassion and  the power of persisting therein. The bodily kingdom comes to be ruled by the  blind king Dhritarashtra who represents our own infatuated sense and hence  "blind" mind.  The blind king's  eldest son Duryodhana represents vain, material desire, most difficult to fight  off. His ninety nine other sons represent other sense-entrenched tendencies of  the mind.

The victory of Pandavas represents  self-purification. Similarly, in day-to-day working life too, if one starts  taking right action, his efforts will eventually lead to total realization of  the Self, the ultimate goal of life.

Points to Ponder
1. Man of steady wisdom.
2. How a person’s degradation takes place?
3. Control of mind.
4. Brahmi state.

Next time we shall take up Chapter 3

    Harih Om

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