Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 55, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 55

Sri Bhagawan Uvacha


The Lord said:

When a man renounces completely all the desires of the mind, when he is fully satisfied with his mind fixed in Atman, O Partha, he is then declared to be a Sthitaprajna.


> who has renounced completely all the desires of the mind,
> mastered the technique of fixing his mind on the Atman within,
is sure to be totally free of all fears and sorrows.

Such a person will then be expressing untainted and perfect bliss. One needs to be associated with such a perfect master to recognise the “perfect blissful state he is living.”

This is the first and foremost sign with which one can recognise a ”sthitaprajna.”

“Desire” is the capacity of the mind to see ahead of itself. “Desires” are the root cause for all the ills of life. The store house of all the desires is the mind.

We will in the subsequent chapters learn about the gunas and their influence on the seeker. Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas influence the progress of the seeker either to his spiritual heights or spiritual decline.

In the earlier stages of sadhana, it is imperative that there should be desires to move from lower tamasic gunas to higher satvic gunas.

Only on reaching the satvic heights of purity, the seeker has to consider his future and abandon all desires.

Sthitaprajna is he who has climbed up the spiritual ladder and reached higher planes than the satvic state of purity of the mind.

At this early stage of learning, let us not be carried away by the qualities of “Sthitaprajna.” As this chapter is the summary of the entire Gita, the qualities of “Sthitaprajna” are brought out in this chapter. We should not, like Sthitaprajna, start abandoning all desires. Let us harbour desires to purify our minds of impure thoughts.

The mind is the seat of all activities.

On the one side, it is receiving from the jnanendriyas the impulses from the objective world around. On the other side, it is also receiving the message from the “antahkarana” (the Divine inner voice). Overriding the message from the antahkarana, it gives prominence to the impulses from the objective world. It analyses these and classifies them as “I like it”, “I do not like it”, “I hate it” etc. It then sends its army of karmendriyas to get the object of desires.

This process of receiving the impulses and acting accordingly has been going on from birth. Also, as we have studied so far, at birth, the mind is already having a set of stored impulses not acted upon from the previous births. (Of course one need to have belief that we have undergone several births in the past and will have to go through several more births in future.)

Every day of our life we receive several impulses from the world around. We cannot react to all the impulses at the same time. Some of them get stored for action at a later date. The mind thus becomes a store house of all the impulses not acted upon. These remain dormant for an indefinite period. Depending upon the strength of the stored impulses or receiving repeatedly the impulses from certain objects, the desire gets stronger and stronger and the mind puts the karmendriyas into action.

“Renounces completely all the desires of the mind” (PRAJAHATI YADA KAMAAN SARVAAN PARTHA MANOGATAAN):

In the pathway of receiving the impulses and acting upon the same, the mind really is not the boss. It cannot consider itself to be the master and do what it pleases. Its rank is below that of the intellect. It has to follow the guidance from the intellect. Only by letting the intellect guide it, the mind can learn the art of purifying itself and thereby renouncing all the desires.

Every desire arising within, before it is put into action, has to be submitted to its high command, the intellect.

The picture of Gitopadesham has to be recollected at this point. It depicts Lord Krishna holding on to the reins and Arjuna standing behind Krishna is ready to fight. Lord Krishna represents the pure intellect and Arjuna the mind.

The next lesson to learn for the mind:

The mind has to realise that it has a duty to fix its sight on the Atman inside. Forgetting this rule, makes the mind turn into the demon “Ego.”

He who fulfils these two criterion,
> controlling constantly all the desires,
> fixing the mind constantly on the Atman,
makes the individual a “Sthitaprajna.”

###  will be continued further  ###

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