Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 5, sloka 17, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 17


Intellect absorbed in “That”, Self being “That”, established in “That”, “That”
being the supreme goal, they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled
by knowledge.


Tad Buddhaya: buddhi/intellect absorbed in “That.”:

Intelligence/intellect is the God’s gift and privilege to the mankind. It is
important that we learn the art of making proper use of this special gift. For
what good we may have done in the past, we are blessed with the birth as humans.
We have to climb up from the plane of “stone man to animal man,” from “animal
man to man man”, from “man man to God man”. This is possible when our intellect
is totally absorbed in “That.” The role of the intellect in our body is
“Reasoning capacity.”

The reasoning capacity can be either good or bad. If it is bad it is due to the
ego/ahamkara and it is then known as “Durbuddhi”. Selfishness predominates in
all the reasoning tasks.

If it is good, it relates to the Atman within in all its reasoning tasks. It
will then take the individual on towards the upward path in spiritual progress.
Such buddhi which has no ego in it is “Subuddhi.” “Intellect absorbed in That”
refers to “Subuddhi.”

It does not mean that we forget our role in the society. Every act we conduct
has to be in the spirit of “Working for our Master.” We should continue to
discharge our duties to repay the debt to the society and at the same time be
humble servants of the Divine Master. “Intellect absorbed in That” implies
remembering this advice from the spiritual masters.

“Tad Atmanaha”: their self being That:

This refers to the “Mind.” It is not the Atman but “Jivatma”. The Jivatma is the
Atman that has developed contact with the outer world and forgotten its true
identity. “Tadatmanaha” means the mind has to remember its connection to the
Atman, ever pure and in constant bliss. Keeping in memory the true identity of
oneself is “Tadatmanaha.” It simply means that one should not have the “Ego” in
their thoughts, actions and speech.

“Tan Nishtaha”: established in That:

It refers to the state of the mind in relation to the impulses received from the
sense organs. Despite receiving the various impulses from the world around, the
mind should never forget the union with the Atman within.

The search light from the mind focussed externally through the sense organs
should be directed towards the Atman within and,
The mind at the same time must remember that it should be under the control of
the intellect.
Meeting these two conditions is “Tan Nishtaha.”

*** will be continued ***

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