Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 64

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

@@@   @@@

Sorry, I was traveling, therefore now a rather long text for the last and the present week together.


Sloka 64


But, the self-controlled man, free from attraction and repulsion, with his senses under restraint, though moving among objects, attains peace.


Two words of note in this sloka are:
Vidheyatma and atma vashai.

Vidheyatma refers to the control over the mind, and
Atma vashai refers to the restraint over the senses.

“Moving among objects”: it refers to the result of association with life. Life is living and about association with people/objects. To live and sustain ourselves in this world we have to associate with the life around. It is all about either attraction or repulsion to the ones we get attached to. “Raga” is attachment and “dwesha” is hatred towards the individual/objects possessed.

The life will be peaceful for he, who does not experience either attraction or repulsion. The sloka is about the method of experiencing the “Peace” while living in this world. Such an individual is a “Sthitaprajna”.

How can one honestly have such a control?

We have to look at the life in the army. The army has different cadres from officers of highest rank to the foot soldiers. There is an order of living among these soldiers. There is peace abiding in the army camp. Members of every cadre carry on their duties and at the same time there is control over each cadre from the ones immediately higher rank. There is an orderly control over each cadre.

Our body has also the different cadres. We have:
The Atman.
The intellect.
The mind with “Kama, krodha, lobha, moha” in every individual.
The sense organs.

The life is understood when we compare it to the chariot.

The chariot is a means to take the rider from place “a” to “b”.
The horses run the chariot.
There is a need for charioteer to control and guide the horses.
The individual wishing to move from place “a to b” will be inside the chariot and will have to carry his tool of action.
The chariot has to pass through the busy life and take the individual to his destination.

Let us now get back to the individual:
Each one has to move from place “a to b” in our lives.
The learned elders say that the final place to reach is where there abides everlasting “Peace.”
All the stations in life before the final destination of “Peace” will have a mixture of happiness and sorrow.

The final destination of “Peace” is “Moksha”. (salvation)
The desire to reach the final destination should be “kama”;
Anger at what prevents us from reaching the destination should be “Krodha”;
Greed at wishing to attain salvation should be “Lobha”;
Delusion towards the beauty of the final destination should be “Moha.”

These are the four horses on our chariot of life.
The horses as we know can run riot. Kama, krodha, lobha and moha can run riot and destroy us if directed towards anything other than salvation.

The “reins” on the horses are to control the horses.
The sense organs are the reins in our body.
The intellect is the charioteer and
The mind is the individual on the chariot wishing to reach the destination.

In the army, the junior cadre of soldiers obey the senior cadre officers diligently. They are not allowed to run amuck. There will be no order in that camp where the rules of each cadre are not followed.

Similarly, our senses have to be under the control of the mind, the mind under the control of the intellect and the intellect under the control of antaratma.

The sloka refers to the control of the senses: “atma vashai”. Restraining the senses by the mind is implicit in this word.

The sloka also refers to control of the mind: “Vidheyatma”. The mind has to be obedient to the intellect is implicit in this word.

The self-controlled man free from attraction and repulsion:

The mind receives the impulses from the material world and keeps a store of what it likes and dislikes in its memory bank. It has the capacity to go into this bank and recollect those feelings. When it does so, it loses track of its progress to destination. By falling prey to either of these two feelings, it fails to experience the “Peace.”

Where the intellect comes into play and controls the mind from falling prey to the attractions and repulsions, the mind can carry its ordained duties and the seeker will finally experience the Peace.

The charioteer has to hold on to the reins and control the horses.
The individual has to hold on to his tool of action and carry on his duty.

The mind is the “individual” and
The intellect is the “charioteer.”

The word “Self control” used in this sloka refers to the control of the mind. The mind should be under the control of the intellect and not slave to the senses. The intellect has to say, “you do your duty and I will control the senses.”

We can also say “Be a master over yourself.” Without such self-mastery, Self-realisation is not possible. The Atman should be the guide for the seeker in his daily activities. This is the sure way to success.

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

Find out more at
Follow us on Twitter: or
Follow us on Posterous:

Posted via email from International Gita Foundation Trust