Gita Series 66: Chapter V: Verses 22-25

“When senses and sensory organs interact, they become the cause for pleasures for those who are attached to materialistic life. Surely they are the cause for grief. Further they have beginning and end. Therefore Arjuna, wise men do not indulge in them. The one, who is able to resist the temptations of desire and anger, becomes a yogi. He is indeed a happy man. A resolute person who feels the beatification and elucidation within is a samkhya yogi and attains the everlasting peace of the Brahman, who is in the form inner light. Whose sins and incertitude are obliterated by acquiring knowledge and whose minds are conditioned and firmly established in the Brahman and actively engaged in service to humanity attain the everlasting peace of the Brahman.”

Senses belong to mind and sensory organs belong to body. Their interaction is a typical example of how mind and body depend on each other. The one without the other cannot exist. Senses are the source of stimulations which leads to perceptions. Perceptions are formed based on the quality of information gathered by the mind. Knowledge is the basic necessity to comprehend what is real and what is unreal or illusionary. An object can be perceived either as real or illusionary. By acquiring knowledge, he will know all that are impermanent and illusionary are not worth to be associated with. Perishables cause pleasures that are only temporary in nature. He knows that if he gets attached to such impermanent things, he will be subjected to pain and misery. Impermanent things cause desire and attachments that ultimately lead to grief. Death is a natural phenomena and anything that lives today, bound to be extinct at a later date. If one grieves everlastingly for the death of someone who is associated with him for long, it tantamount to exhibition of ignorance. Only the Brahman is eternal. That is why Patanjali (Yoga Sutra III.44) underlines the importance of real modifications of the mind. It implies that all perceptions are only imaginations. So what is not imagined is reality. He proceeds to say that truth can be realized outside the body. This happens only at the highest level of consciousness. The lower level of consciousness is always associated with worldly pleasures and consequent miseries. If one indulges in worldly pleasures, attachment and desire are bound to be present that invariably lead to miseries. The miseries, sufferings and pain arise only if one fails to understand the reality due to want of adequate spiritual knowledge.

Temptations, desire and anger arise only if one is not able to attain what is desired. Temptation leads to desire and un-satiated desire lead to frustration and anger, which spoils the harmony between the mind and body. The disharmony between mind and body leads to a situation where mind stands inflicted making it impossible to understand the reality. This is because the dawn of reality happens only if the mind is pure with awareness fixed in higher planes. Fixing awareness in higher planes mean, not associating with and succumbing to sensory inflictions, a situation where thoughts are not influenced by sensory objects. If the mind is not shammed by illusionary and temporary objects, he becomes truly happy. Sorrow or misery is caused only if one is associated with temporary objects. When his mind is free of desires, it becomes pure and attains the stage of beatification. Let us take a simple example. Someone has planted a plant. He carefully nurtures it and it grows by day. One day someone has cut that plant and when he sees the plant next morning, the plant is dead. He gets upset over the condition of the plant. His mind is affected and he is not able to concentrate. The cause for such a situation is desire and attachment. Had he nurtured the plant on behalf of the Brahman leaving the fruits of actions to the Brahman he would not have been affected by the condition of the plant whether it is good or bad. After all his position was to simply nourish the plant. The growth of plant is decided by its own karma, the law of the Lord. The lack of this understanding is known as ignorance. Anyway, the plant is to perish one day.

Sins and incertitude are obliterated by acquiring knowledge as knowledge imparts eternal truth. Eternal Truth means that all living beings are the reflections of the Brahman or the Brahman is present in all living beings. Sins accrue only if actions are performed with ego. There is no room for egotism in spirituality, as all the actions are surrendered unto Him. When one acts on behalf of the Brahman, no sins accrue to him. Bu this stage is reached only when one’s consciousness is firmly fixed with the Brahman. Krishna asks only those who have surrendered themselves unto the Brahman to serve for the humanity. Not everyone can serve the humanity. One cultivates the habit of service to others only if he is able see the Brahman in all living organisms. Self-realization is not only to avoid the pains of rebirths, but also to derive true happiness by serving the creations of the Brahman. His mind when devoid of attachment, desire and ego becomes tranquil. Mundaka Upanishad (II.ii.8) explains this situation thus “If a person can realize Brahman, the cause and Brahman, the effect as his own self, all the peculiarities of his character disappear and all his doubts are dispelled. The fruits of his work also get destroyed.” When one develops this attitude, the Brahman starts revealing His True form, the internal illumination.

This teaching of Krishna is not difficult to achieve. Only a few things are to be realized. First thing is to destroy ego, which is the cause for desires and attachments. Secondly, one has to develop firm faith in Him. During pains and miseries, one tends to lose his faith in God. One should understand the cause for his miseries is his own actions. Thirdly and most importantly one should develop universal brotherhood. If the attitude of universal brotherhood is developed, one automatically becomes service oriented. He cannot tolerate the sufferings of others because he does not consider others as different from his own self.