Gita series – part 28. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verses–58 – 60:
Krishna continues to delineate on sthita-prajnan. “When a person withdraws all his body parts (limbs or senses) inwardly like a tortoise, his wisdom attains steadfastness. For the one who restrains from the sensual pleasures, the yearning for such pleasures does not get exterminated. But, for sthita-prajnan, after realizing the Supreme Self even such yearning ceases to exist. Arjuna! Unable to demolish bondage, the destructive senses forcibly seize the mind of a knowledgeable person” (verses 58 to 60). These three verses emphasize the importance of controlling the sensory organs. The sensory organs mean the manifestation of the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. These five basic elements of the universe manifest into ten sense faculties (five cognitive and five actions). The problem with these faculties is that they pass on the outwardly gathered information to the mind. The mind in its ordinary form, on receipt of such information from these faculties gets afflicted and again functions outwardly to gratify the inputs received.
Let us take an example. The eyes see a sweet, the nose smells it, the mouth lingers its taste. At this point the sweet is not consumed and merely kept on the table ready for consumption. These sensory organs influence the mind and the mind in turn orders hands to pick the sweet and orders the mouth to consume it. Therefore, when the mind receives inputs from these sensory organs, such inputs are always converted into desires and such desires are accomplished through other sensory organs. This is the normal functioning of the mind. In such a situation, the mind controls our functions. The body succumbs to the desires of the mind. Instead of mind exercising its control on us, we can keep the mind under our control by training and taming it in such a way that it does not respond to the influence of these sense organs, then the mind cannot execute its desire through the sensory organs. Here the prana or the breath plays an important role. If we could learn to control our prana by proper breathing exercises, the sensory inputs to the mind to a great extent can be controlled. However, this should be followed by internal exploration by way of meditation.
A good meditation can always manipulate the consciousness. There is another point that Krishna expounds emphatically here. The sensual pleasures are endowed with potential power of destruction. One may refrain from such pleasures for a certain time. This does not mean that one has conquered his senses. Refraining for shorter periods mean that the desire for such sensual pleasures does not get exterminated in totality. In other words, though such a man does not succumb to the whims and fancies of the mind, the thought of sensual pleasures still persists in his mind in a corner that could manifest at anytime. The ecstasy of being with the Self, overpowers all the activities of the senses. He enjoys the state of bliss while raising his consciousness to the highest and purest level, pushing aside his intellect and ego. Therefore, it is not enough to just stay away from the sensual pleasures, but to remove all the traces of such thoughts from the mind. What the practitioner achieves by dissociating his mind from the materialistic world and connecting it with inner Self by appropriately manipulating the level of consciousness. Jesus Christ answers this question “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward three openly” (Matthew 6:9).
This is the stage one should yawn to achieve. This stage is called ‘point of no return’. This is the point of no return because; one gets blessed by the God himself so that his level of consciousness does not melt down to the mundane physical plane. Only the lower level of consciousness is associated with inner tools such as mind, intellect and ego. The external tools in conjugation with the internal tools make a person to get colligated with all materialistic pleasures. When consciousness transcends all types of tools, the bliss is not very far off to get realized. Krishna drives home the point that renunciation has two angles. One is the physical and another is mental. These two are known as body and soul. The man of wisdom or sthita-prajnan knows how to discriminate between his body and soul. He does not get deceived by identifying both as one and the same. Therefore the subconscious mind is always powerful than most of the lower planes of consciousness. Cleansing of the subconscious mind also becomes imperative to know the Self within. (to be continued)