Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 61

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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TAANI SARVANI SAMYAMYA YUKTA ASEETA MATPARAHA
VASHE HI YASYENDRIYANI TASYA PRAJNA PRATISHTITA

Having restrained all the senses, he should sit steadfast intent on Me. His wisdom is steady, whose senses are under control.

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The Lord has given two steps towards attaining perfection in sadhana.
a)  Restraining all the senses.
b)  Sitting steadfast intent on Him.

Restraining all the senses means controlling all the five sense organs, the jnanendriyas. This has been discussed by us in detail already.

We are now advised about the intention of such an act. The wise man is he who remembers why he is carrying out a particular task. In this instance, it is the sadhaka in the process of attaining perfection in the art of total concentration on the Lord and attaining Moksha.

Let us remember about the meaning of the word “Upasana.” The upanisads, Gita being the summary of the upanisads, are about sitting near the feet of the master, at a lower level than that of the master and keenly listening to his teaching.

The second step given in this sloka refers to the art of upasana. Just sitting in front of the master does not in itself give the final end result. When the Lord says “sit steadfast intent on Me”, it means the mind of the seeker has to be diverted towards the thought on the Lord. The mind should not be wandering. Apart from controlling all the senses, the seeker has to think of the Lord. Keeping the mind blank and controlling the senses does not help in achieving the Moksha. “Sitting steadfast intent on Me” does not mean just sitting down in front of the master. The mind should not dwell on its stored vasanas or recollect events from the past. It should meditate on the various aspects of divinity and enjoy the art of contemplation. The mind should be sitting and not wandering.

 “Tasya prajna pratishtita” refers to the seeker’s intellect. The intellect, master over the mind has to contemplate on the divinity.

The intellect of the sthitaprajna, the Lord says, fulfils this criterion and so the sthitaprajna should be considered as “Jivanmukta.” He is a liberated soul while still living in this world.

What we see in the outer world is known as the “objective world.” It is “Drishya”.(seen)
The “Atman” which the seeker is contemplating on, is the “subjective world.” It is the “Drashta.” (seer)

Controlling the senses on their own does not make the seeker “a man of knowledge.” If it were true, all of us would be “men of knowledge” during our sleep. The mind should not be blank but should with joy seek the Atman within. The “shoonya” (voidness) philosophy of the Buddhists is not totally achievable. Apart from the rare few great men, we, the ordinary mortals need a point of concentration.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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