Gita Daily Readings

20th February
Chapter II:5
The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing behind: but this longing also turns away on seeing the supreme.

Commentary

Which shall we restrain first - the mind or the senses? If we starve the senses, they temporarily lose their keenness for sense-enjoyments. But the complacency is deceptive and often dangerous; for the taste is still lurking unperceived in the mind! Unless the mind is also controlled, we are not out of the woods. But the mind cannot be controlled unless and until the senses are under control! The two must go hand in hand for success to be achieved.

Cravings,desires, hatred, fear, anger, etc., are all deep-rooted habits formed in the chitta or the subconscious mind. This throws up ripples (vrittis) which manifest on the surface as thoughts and emotions. When the vritti arises, we should endeavor not to act upon it but to let it drop back into the chitta itself. At the same time, we should discover and deal with the real cause.

Cravings give birth to evil actions. But the craving (and the wrong mental attitude to life) itself springs from distorted exaggerated values of worldly objects and enjoyments. Let us never forget that neither indulgence nor rejection can help us in getting complete mastery over the mind; the mind will run after only that which it has been taught to value. Hence Krishna asks us to become "mat-parah" (that is, we should regard God as the only stable value in our life worth seeking). When God is seen thus, even roots of cravings die. The world and its pleasures will then lose the glamour that tempts the worldly man and repels the ascetic. They will drop away as valueless factors in the life of a sage of steady wisdom. The mind and even the senses will seek only God and rest in him. It is then that one becomes a true devotee, directing the functions of all his senses and mind towards the realization of God's indwelling omnipresence. It is then that daily life becomes divine life.

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