Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 3 (Part-2) Karma Yogah- Yoga Of Action


indriyaani mano buddhir  asyaadhishthaanam uchyate
    etair vimohayatyesha jnaanamaavritya  dehinam // 3.40 //

The  senses, the mind and the intellect are said to be its seat; through these it  deludes the embodied by veiling his wisdom.

If  the enemy's hide-outs are known it is easy to capture him. Similarly Sri  Krishna gives the clues to Arjuna as to where the enemies of wisdom lurk so  that he can locate and eliminate them. The Lord says the senses, the mind and  the intellect are seats of action for the desire to play havoc with the inner  serenity and equipoise of a man. The sense organs transmit the stimuli received  from the objects of enjoyment to the mind which working in close collaboration  with the intellect starts living in the experience of sense enjoyments.  To eliminate the inner enemy of desire at its  source - sense-organs, mind and intellect- is the crux of the problem.  How it is to be achieved is explained in the  following verses.


tasmaat twam indriyaanyaadau niyamya  bharatarshabha
    paapmaanam prajahi hyenam jnaana  vijnaana naashanam // 3.41 //

Therefore,  O the Best of the Bharatas, controlling the senses first, you kill this sinful  thing, the destroyer of knowledge and wisdom.

Sri  Krishna states that the first step to kill desire is to control the senses.  Desire is referred to here as a sinful thing posing a threat to both knowledge and  wisdom. Desire is a sinful thing because it leads us to live a life of lowly  nature.

Adi  Sankara defines Knowledge - Jnana - as the knowledge of the Self  acquired through a study of the scriptures and from a teacher. This is an  indirect knowledge or Paroksha Jnana. Vijnana or wisdom is the  direct knowledge or the personal experience, anubhava, of the things so  taught or Self-realization - Aparoksha Jnana. Thus desire oriented  agitations are not only an impediment to our direct personal spiritual  experiences but also to our indirect way of acquiring knowledge through the  study of scriptures.

indriyaani paraanyaahur indriyebhyah  param manah
    manasastu paraa buddhir yo buddheh  paratastu sah // 3.42 //

They  say that the senses are superior to the body; superior to the senses is the mind;  superior to the mind is intellect; and one who is superior even to the  intellect is He - The Self.

evam buddheh param buddhwaa  samstabhyaatmaanam aatmanaa
    jahi shatrum mahaabaaho kaamaroopam  duraasadam // 3.43 //

Thus  knowing Him who is superior to the intellect and restraining the self by the  Self, O Mighty armed, destroy the enemy in the form of desire, no doubt hard  indeed to conquer.

These  two verses conclude the third chapter of The Gita giving the seeker a technique  to conquer desire, the inner enemy. The Upanishadic method of meditation for  the withdrawal of ego from the outer world of sense objects to the inner world  of the Self for the purposes of curbing desire oriented tendencies and thereby  achieving Self-discovery is commended here. These verses give us the hierarchy  of levels of consciousness.

The  physical body is gross, external and limited. As compared to this the senses  are superior because they are subtler and more internal and have a wider range  of activity.  Superior to the senses is  the mind as it can direct the function of the senses (as it can undertake the  work of the senses also). Superior to the mind is the intellect because it is  endowed with the faculty of discrimination and finality; when the mind doubts,  the intellect decides. But The Self is superior to even the intellect because  the intellect draws its power to illuminate from the Self alone. The Self is  the indweller in the body, the Witness of the activities of the body, senses,  mind and intellect.

Sri  Krishna advises Arjuna to conquer desire with this understanding of the  superior power of the Self, though it is difficult to achieve. The Lord points  out that a man of discrimination and dispassion will be able to achieve this by  increasing his Sattwic quality and by appealing to the indwelling Presence, The  Self, through meditation. This controlling of the lower self i.e. the mind with  the knowledge of the Higher Self is termed here as ‘restraining the self by the  Self’.

The  technique of meditation is a conscious withdrawal of all our identifications  with our body, mind and intellect and thereby turning our awareness or  desire-faculty towards our diviner existence where the ego is under the perfect  control of the Self with no desires to agitate the mind any more.

Thus  a constructive re-organization of life is taught here by the Gita without the  suppression or rejection of the life's situations. “This  Chapter expounds the necessity for the performance of work without any selfish  attachment to results, with a view to securing the welfare of the world, with the  realization that agency belongs to the modes of prakriti or to God  himself.” - Dr.S.Radhakrishnan.

om  tat sat
     iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma  vidyaayaam yogashaastre sri krishnaarjuna samvaade karmayogo naama tritiyo'dhyaayah

Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal,  the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the third  discourse entitled  The Yoga of  Action.

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