Bhawat Geeta, Class 77, Chapter 5, Verses 22 – 24


Greetings All,

Shloka # 22:

ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते
आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय तेषु रमते बुधः।।5.22।।

Enjoyments born of objective contacts, indeed, cause pain only. Son of Kunti! They have a beginning and end; the sage does not delight in them.

Continuing his teaching of Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, from shlokas # 13 to # 21 Sri Krishna has been discussing Gyana yoga, which is the central theme of this chapter. This Gyana yoga concluded with shloka # 21. Now, the next two shloka’s # 22 and 23 respectively deal with the mental preparation required for Self Knowledge. Shloka # 24 onwards Sri Krishna discusses the benefits that one gets from Self Knowledge. While Sri Krishna discusses a variety of mental disciplines, now he is discussing two specific disciplines.

In Shloka # 22, Sri Krishna says, a spiritual seeker has to know about the existence of the basic human problem called Samsara and he should try to get out of it. All sense objects when contacted by sense organs can give pleasure and pain. And Sri Krishna calls all those pleasures born out of those sense objects as samsparshajaha bhogaha. All these pleasures are born out of contact between sense organs and sense objects. Mere presence of sense organ or a sense object does not provide pleasure. Both have to come in contact with each other. When the word sense object is used it also includes living beings. We also develop emotional contacts. Thus, all objects and situations are known as Vishayaha. While all these pleasures are wonderful they also bring along with them some pain as well.

Shastras define three types of pain. They are: 1) pain from acquisition, 2) Pain from preservation and 3) Pain from loss.

There is no such thing as pure joy as all have dukha along with it. The reason for this is that all contact born pleasures have a beginning and an end. With arrival one gets pleasure but when they depart they leave pain. All objects are a mixture of pleasure and pain.

So, what can we do about it? There are two options says Swamiji.

Option # 1: If I possess the object I should have the capacity to face the pain coming from it as well. It is when I am not prepared for it that I get pain.

Option # 2: Renounce the object. However, when one renounces, emptiness and loneliness sets in. I have to face the emptiness without the object. It is due to this emptiness that we run after objects. When I have a lot work, I complain. When I don’t have any work also I complain. When I have things, I get pain from them. When I renounce objects, I feel empty.

Thus, we have two solutions.

  • I should decide not to possess anything. I will still have the desire for saying you are mine or I am yours. However, with this decision, I will have to face loneliness. Here I must discover fulfillment in myself. If I discover it, it is the alone-ness or advaitam. I learn to be happy with myself as I discover poornatvam.
  • I like to have everything including a wife. We have to remember that all possessions will give pleasure but also give pain. Here one should have the mental strength to withstand the pain. One has to develop the strength to face pain.

If above two solutions do not work for you then you will have problems. We have to pick one solution.

How to discover the poornatvam or inner strength? For both scenarios there is only one solution and it is called Self Knowledge. Self Knowledge gives us two faculties. 1) You will be able to give up objects and 2) You will have strength of mind to face the pain.

Citing an example, King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya got Rama for a son after a lot of Yagas. Yet, when Rama had to go into exile Kaushalya felt it was better not have had Rama. Having and not having are both problems. A wise person is not carried away by the pleasure and pain of the world.

Shloka # 23:

शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात्
कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं युक्तः सुखी नरः।।5.23।।

The man, strong enough to resist in this world, before the fall of his body, the urge of lust and wrath, is integrated; he is happy.

In previous shloka value of mental preparation was pointed out. Having things and not having things both cause problems in life. This mental awareness is one value.

Second value is handling of Kama Krodha or Raga Dvesha (Likes and dislikes). Raga Dvesha are both born out of wrong notions. Raga (Likes, attachments) is born out of the misconception that the attached person will give permanent security and fulfillment. We should remember that Raga has a beginning and an end as well.

Dvesha is also a misconception. Aversion is born out of the feeling “ the world is capable of giving me sorrow”

Let us remember that Gyani’s are people who live in this world without sorrow.

Citing an example: music is played. It makes one person unhappy while others are happy. The music is not the cause of the disturbance. The world is neither source of joy or sorrow. Therefore, dividing the world into source of joy and source of sorrow, according to Vedanta, is the fundamental misconception. It is I who make the world a source of joy, and it I who makes the world a source of sorrow as well.

And as long as I do not discover this fact, I am going to blame the world. And as long as I blame the world, I will try to correct the world. Then, I will try to change the world. That is the reason you see changes in fashion often. So, my rationale for understanding the world is wrong. I cannot change the world.

Problem is not with the world. It is in me. Once I know it, immediately, I change and transform. When I look at the world through the spectacles of attachment and aversion, I am living in a private world of mine and therefore I am constantly affected. However, when I remove the raga-dvesha spectacle, I live in the objective world of God, which is neither a source of sorrow nor a source of joy;

The wise person is not affected by joys or sorrows. The world is seen as a creation of God. Until this realization dawns Vedanta will not work.

Vedanta requires objectivity. Thus, from jiva srishti we have go to ishvara srishti; from ishvara srishti alone we can go to asrishti, that is the Absolute. Another way of saying it is: from my creation to god’s creation to no creation. “No creation” is the absolute wisdom.

Sri Krishna says you have to work all your life to work out Raga and Dvesha. It is a life long project.

In chapter 3, Sri Krishna says, Raga and dvesha cannot be completely be wiped out. You can only manage and control them. Even if they rise they should not enslave me. One who can control raga and dvesha before death he is a master of himself. Such a master is called a Yuktaha. So, learn to manage my self that is the body mind thought complex. Emotional sanity is a prerequisite for Vedantic knowledge. Sri Krishna says only such a person is a human being. One who does not have self-control he is like an animal. Only such a person can progress inwardly.

Therefore, learn self-management or Raga Dvesha management. Self- knowledge can occur only in intellect. For this the emotional mind also has to cooperate.

Shloka # 24:

योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः
योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति।।5.24।।

 With joy within, sporting within, and likewise, with light within, the Yogin becomes Brahman and wins the peace of Brahman.

 In previous two shlokas mental preparation was discussed. The emotional mind was also discussed. Now, in this shloka, Gyana Phalam is being discussed. Here one has become emotionally sound.

What do you mean by emotional soundness? When things are there, you do not complain and when things are not there too, you do not complain. If so, what is emotional weakness? When things are there; you complain; when things are not there; you complain. You cry for both, your problem as well as for affected people around you. You distribute sorrow freely.

Therefore, a person who develops that emotional soundness (ability to be without things), thereafter comes to self-knowledge and because of the self-knowledge he gets that inner strength and fulfillment.

So what kind of life does such a person lead? Gyani is a person who has discovered his inner essence. All his entertainment is inside himself. I am happy with myself.

What is the benefit of self-knowledge; I am happy with myself also called antaha sukhaha. He is the one who is aware of his poornatvam all the time. He is consciousness of the Atma; awareness of his inner fullness; so he is one who does not have self-forgetfulness.

He can be, with things or without things. Even amongst people he does not lose his inner consciousness. He is a yogi or Gyani. He has discovered the fact that he is none other than Brahman (or fullness). I don’t need anything anymore. Once his body falls he becomes the un-embodied consciousness that is one with Brahman or a videha mukti.

Shloka # 25:

लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः
छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः।।5.25।।

The seers win the peace of Brahman, their sins attenuated, doubts cut through, the inner sense controlled; they are busy promoting the welfare of all living beings.

In this shloka benefit of self-knowledge is further discussed. Here Sri Krishna talks about stages of spiritual evolution.

  • Kshina kalmasha: Getting rid of mental weakness or Raga and dvesha. In tapas, one learns to be without, say, the habitual morning coffee.

Take Away:

The world is neither the source of joy or sorrow. Dividing the world into source of joy or sorrow is the great misconception. It is I who make the world a source of joy and it I who make the world a source of sorrow as well.

With Best Wishes

Ram Ramaswamy