Gita Daily Readings

17th February
Chapter II:56
He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.

Commentary

This is a vital teaching of the Gita, repeated by the Lord over and over for emphasis and clearer understanding. The yogi should greet pleasure and pain, prosperity and adversity and such pairs of inseparable (or complementary) opposites with unshakable equanimity. Obviously, he, too, becomes their target in due time, and he, too, is human enough to know what is what!

He should also be free from "attachment, fear and anger." Raga is inordinate liking. Bhaya is fear. Krodha is anger. These three are relative and depend entirely on our mental attitude or conditioning. The "object" does not demand attachment, evoke fear or rouse us to anger. But our attitude generates these emotions.

Our attitude is the product of the sum-total of our tendencies or the past impressions left in our mind by our own past actions and experiences. All people are not afraid of rats nor does everyone feel attracted by sweetmeats! The tendencies are different. However, these tendencies can be altered, slowly but steadily and surely. That is the purpose of yoga. We do not readily see the hidden springs of these tendencies in the subconscious. We are aware only of their peripheral manifestation in the conscious mind. When, through meditation, we quiet the conscious mind, the subconscious sources will be revealed.

First sublimate these emotions. Be attached to God and a holy life, fear sinfulness, and be "angry" with the veil of ignorance that hides the self. When thus the sensual tendencies are crushed, even these sublimated emotions will be merged in their own goal, which is God-realization. We shall then shine as sthitaprajnas, sages of steady wisdom.

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