Gita series – part 31. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verses–66-68:
Krishna continues his sermons. “The one who could not control his mind and senses will never have preternatural intelligence. The person with such intangible intellect shall never have professed mind that never leads to peace. A man without mental peace can never have happiness (comforts).” Krishna himself cites an example in the next verse. “As a boat in waters sweeps away by the wind, so a man’s mind succumbs to one of the drifting senses, that particular sense sweeps away that man’s intellect. Therefore, mighty armed (Arjuna), whose senses are subjugated from the sensory objects, his intellect becomes steadfast”. Krishna repeatedly stresses the importance of sense control. If senses are controlled, mind automatically gets controlled. Mind functions on the basis of sensory perceptions. Influence of senses on the mind normally is very strong. The mind becomes happier when it gets influenced by the senses. Mind acts through the organs of actions (karmendriyas) when it gets its necessary inputs through the organs of perception (jnanendriyas).
When the mind functions under its refined form called ‘intellect’, mind decouples itself from both karmendriyas and jnanendriyas. Preternatural intelligence is the more refined form of intellect. Only this type of intellect is capable of associating with consciousness in higher planes. When the consciousness ascends to higher levels, the preliminary impact is the mental stability. When the mind is stabilized, it does not wander and at the same time tries to explore internally to focus on the Self. When the mind is allowed to wander externally, it never recognizes its Creator. This happens on two counts. First, that the mind is so created, that it always wants to get itself entangled with materialistic pleasures primarily to unfold the effects of karmas of the soul. Secondly, the mind does not have genetic mutation to look within. Therefore, it is imperative that the practice alone can smother the mind to get rid of its afflictions by the materialistic pleasures. That is why meditation is prescribed as a tool to tune and refine the mind to transform itself into intellect, by destroying ego.
Intellect is nothing but the superior knowledge whose sole aim is to pursue the path of knowing the Brahman or the Creator. Intellect is not something new that we create and it is only the primordial mind that modifies itself into intellect by proper taming. As long as the mind continues to exist in its original form, it never realises peace and always remain agitated. An agitated mind can never focus as its concentration is diffused like light passing through a glass pyramid. Such a situation never leads to happiness. The happiness that Krishna talks about here is not the happiness derived from the carnal pleasures that are temporary in nature. But He refers to the eternal joy that transforms into bliss. Even forgetting for a moment about the eternal happiness that Krishna talks about, for attaining materialistic happiness we always need amalgamated mind and thought to earn the materialistic wealth. The concentration on the job we perform becomes paramount for proper execution. You cannot find a successful professional who does not possess such amalgamated mind with its by-product thought. In the next verse (67) Krishna further explains this phenomenon by citing an example. When a boat is sailing, a strong wind sways the boat in the direction in which it blows. The other factors being conducive for sailing, the boat gets swayed by only factor called the wind. In the same way, if any one of the senses is not controlled, that sense manifests and afflicts the mind and keeps the peace at bay. Therefore, it is important to control all the senses without exception.
When we talk about senses, it always refers to jnanendriyas (ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose) and its products called tanmatras or perceptions. Only the jnanendriyas make karmendriyas to function, as the former is only capable of perception and the latter executes the perceived actions. For example if ear alone functions, the mind gets addicted to the melody of music. If the music is not made available to the mind, it starts wandering looking for the music from all sources, which leads to desperation, anger, etc one after another finally leading to imbalanced mind affecting his intellect. Krishna also says that senses should be decoupled from the sensory objects. For example, if the ear is disconnected from the music itself, then there is no question of the mind wandering elsewhere searching for the music. The senses can be brought under control, only by delinking the source of perception (tanmatras) from the sensory objects. If this is achieved, one’s intellect becomes steadfast and incapable of intrusion by any sensory influence.