12 March, 2014


An ancient adage says: a man must be the master of his own world if he has to rule the entire world. All men-of-wisdom recognize self-control as the first step towards self-realization.


tani sarvani samyamya yukta asita mat-parah
vase hi yasyendriyani tasya prajna pratisthita

Having restrained them all, he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose sense are under control.

EXPLANATION : Since the sense organs are thus the saboteurs in the kingdom of the spirit who bring the disastrous downfall of the empire of the soul, Arjuna is warned here that as a seeker of Self-perfection he should constantly struggle to control all his sense organs and their mad lustful wanderings in their respective fields. Modern psychology certainly would look down with a protruding squint eye upon this Geeta theory because, according to Freud and others, sensuousness is instinctive in man and to curb it is to suppress the sensuousness in man.

According to the West, to control is to suppress, and on science of mental life can accept that suppression is psychologically healthy. But the Vedic theory is not pointing to any mental suppression at all they are only advising an inward blossoming, an inner growth and development, by which its earlier fields of enjoyments through the senses drop out of the fuller grown man who has come to the perception of a newer field of ampler joys and more satisfying bliss.

The idea is very well brought out here in the stanza when Lord Krishna, as though in the very same breath, repeats both the negative and the positive aspects of the technique of self-development. He advises not only a withdrawal from the unhealthy gutters of sensuousness but also gives the healthy method of doing so by explaining to us the positive technique in Self-perfection. Through a constant attempt at focusing our attention "One me, the Supreme," he advises the disciples to sit steady.

In this simple-looking statement of half-a-stanza, Geeta explains the entire technique of Self-development. Immortal impulses and unethical instincts that bring own a man to the level of a mere brute are the result of endless lives spent among sensuous objects during the infinite number of different manifestations through which the embodied soul--the ego--in each one of us had previously passed. The thick coating of mental impressions that we gathered thus in our pilgrimage is humanly impossible for one solitary individual to erase or transcend in one's own little lifetime. Naturally, this is the despair of all the promoters of ethics, the teachers of morality and the masters of spirituality. The rishis of old, in vivid experience, have discovered for themselves a technique by which all these mental tendencies can be eradicated. To expose the mind to the quite atmosphere of meditation upon the All-perfect Being is to heal the mind of its ulcers. By this process, he who has come to gain a complete mastery over his sense organs is called the one who is `steadfast in wisdom'.

The concealed suggestion in the stanza is quite obvious: nobody who with excessive force controls his indriyas by the sheer strength of his will and sense of abstinence has any chance of flowering himself into full-blown spiritual beauty. When the sense organs have, of their own accord, come back tamely to lie surrendered at the feet of one who has come to rediscover the Infinite Perfection in himself, he is called `a Man of Perfection'. Neither has he ruined his instruments of cognition nor has he closed down the arches of knowledge in him. A Perfect One is he whose sway over the animal in him is so complete that the inner Satan has become, for the sage in him, a tame cannibal to run errands and serve him faithfully.

1 comment:

  1. The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.”