Arjuna’s, asks in verse 32 what is the obstacle to the practice of Karma Yoga and ultimately Gyana Yoga? Why is that many people are not able to follow karma yoga? Lord Krishna’s answers that it is because of raga dwesha kama krodha or moha and delusion. This is due to confusion regarding priority of life. Artha and kama becomes more important than dharma and moksha.
Goals of humans are Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha or Wealth, Entertainment, values and spiritual freedom. On one side, we have wealth and entertainment and the other side we have values and mokshas. One who has clarity that moksha and dharma is more important is a viveki. Kama is the main problem and krodha is only kama in a different form. Struggling to complete myself with wealth, family etc. is kama. Since obstructed kama is krodha, controlling kama is required.
Solution to Kama:
- Dhamaha: Discipline of sense organs; filtering what enters mind through sense organs at every level
- Samaha: Mental discipline; Discipline at mental level; unhealthy thoughts should be nipped in the bud, like how the enemies and diseases are nipped in the bud. Unhealthy thoughts are like a terrorist or internal enemy and should be controlled.
- Vivekaha: Discipline at intellectual level. I, the finite thing, will remain a finite thing with the acquisition of any finite thing. Security and fullness must be found in myself. Mistaken I is the source of all sorrow.
They declare the sense organs to be superior to the sense objects. The mind is superior to the intellect. The intellect is indeed superior to the mind. That which is superior to the intellect is indeed that Self.
These three-fold solutions are temporary and not a permanent solution. Self-knowledge is the only permanent solution. Desire is a symptom or expression of incompleteness. It will go away only with poornatvam or the knowledge that I don’t lack anything and I don’t miss anything.
Dhayananda Saraswathi states that “converting everything around me into luxury is moksha”. When things around me are necessities, it is samsara; when they luxury, it is moksha.
Paraha (superior) Atma signifies three:
- Sukshma; subtle; a subtler thing is called superior.
- Mohanthaha: Ever pervading
- Prathyaha: Closer to you
A subtle thing (atma) controlling gross body etc.
- Sense organs are superior to sense object. Because of the existence of sense objects are revealed by sense organs.
- Superior to sense organs is the mind because sense organs can function only with mind. If the mind is not functioning properly, sense organs can’t function.
- Superior to mind is intellect. Mind has two functions: doubting and emotions. Both can be controlled by knowledge or discriminating intellectual power. Gyani is the one who is not under the grip of emotion because he can control it; note that he does have emotion, but he knows how to control it. This was very well explained in Katho Upanishad by comparing the body to a chariot, the sense organs to the horses, the mind to the charioteer.
- Atma is superior to intellect. Atma is the consciousness because of which I know the intellect. I the subject can’t be questioned, because only the subject makes the object aware. That awareness is atma.
Oh Arjuna! This knowing the Self which is beyond the intellect, and steadying the mind with the mind, conquer the elusive enemy which is in the form of desire.
The ultimate object is to know the chaithanyam or atma which is:
- Not a part or product of the body Atma
- Atma is independent of the body;
- Atma is limitless;
- Atma is eternal;
- Atma survives the fall of the body, but not available for transactions because there is no medium.
Atma is like light. When light pervades the hand, you see the hand but not the light; but the light is there. It is also there beyond the hand. Similarly, atma is not only in your body but also extends beyond your body. One should know this and own up to the fact that this formless consciousness is the real I. The real transformation is the transcending the form, that I am the formless consciousness. Body and mind are like the instruments I use to transact with the world. By claiming the new identity, we should change our orientation from physical body to formless consciousness. This new orientation if gyana nishta. The physical body is limited, but I am not limited.
Gyana Nishta is internalizing this knowledge and ready availability of this knowledge at the time of difficulty. This comes by dwelling on the teaching in any form – by teaching, writing, thinking, sharing etc.