Chapter Six: 7-8
|The supreme self of him
who is self-controlled and peaceful is balanced in cold
and heat, pleasure and pain, as also in honor and
The yogi who is satisfied with the knowledge and the wisdom of the self, who has conquered the senses, and to whom a clod of earth, a piece of stone and gold are the same, is said to be harmonized.
CommentaryConquest of the senses does not mean their total inhibition. To be of the same mind does not imply insensibility. It is easy for an idiot to bear insult and injury. One who suffers from the disease known as syringomyelia does not feel heat and cold. Yet, I know from the example of my own Master, that the yogi is extremely sensible (perhaps sensitive too). It is this that enables him to sympathize with others in distress, to feel their need for a blanket in winter, and to desist from hurting their sentiments. My Master showed us that the yogi is far from being a wooden-headed, stone-hearted and insensible creature.
The first verse makes it clear that it is the supreme self that is balanced; the self-controlled yogi does not identify that self with the body undergoing the varied experiences of heat and cold, and the mind experiencing pleasure and pain. He recognizes that his abode is subject to the vagaries of the climate; he takes the necessary steps to remedy the situation, without losing his inner balance. The inner balance is lost when there is false identification of the self with the body and the mind.
Concomitant with this wrong identification is the false value that the deluded mind attaches to the objects of the world. The yogi will use a clod of earth to clean his hands, a stone to keep his papers from flying and a piece of gold to feed the hungry - but he has risen above the false sense of values. Each object's true value is its value in context.
The man who cannot distinguish gold from mud is a mad man; one who sees the difference but is not affected by it, is a sage. He knows the true value of every object in God's nature, and fulfills God's will in every way.
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