Bhagwat Geeta, Class 170 – Chapter 13 Verses 8 to 12


In verses 8 to 12, Lord Krishna is dealing with jñānam.  Jñānam is a set of virtues that indicate the level of mental health.  This mental health is useful to enjoy a peaceful mind and is required for a vedantic student.  If the mind is not healthy, the intellect will be a hostage of sick mind.  A disturbed mind will suppress intellect.  Mind is healthy when these virtues are followed.

  1. Vairāgyam:  Mastery of sense organs.  Mastering Jñānendryani, which receives input from the world and mastering Karmendrayani which transact with the world.  
  2. Indriyasthesu; Mastery form sense objects.  Controlling sense organs requires being alert all the time because these sense organs come in contact with sense objects on a regular basis and these sense organs develop attachment to sense objects.  You are allowed to enjoy pleasures without becoming a slave to those pleasures.
  3. Anahangarah:  Freedom from arrogance, vanity, pride; humility;  Different than amanithyam; Amanithyam is freedom at the thought level; Anahangara is freedom at the verbal level; Adhambithvam is at physical level.
  4. Don’t be body-oriented life:  This will lead to sorrow related to pain in birth, old age, disease and death.  This doesn’t mean neglecting the body, but remembering it is only an instrument.  Constantly remember pain related to these dosha.
  5. Asakthi:  Mental or inner detachment, avoidance of mental slavery with regard to any external objects.   Dispassion through discrimination and not by suppression.
  6. Anabishishvangaha; Absence of excessive attachment with child, spouse, house etc.; things with which we move constantly.  Attachment to these can’t be avoided, but we should avoid excessive attachment.  Attachment is mamakara, excessive attachment is when I become one with that object and don’t see any difference between that object and me. 
  7. Samacit tatvam:  Being equanimous; this is the essence of karma yoga.  Freedom from elation and depression of good and bad situation.  Don’t be carried away in good and bad situations.   Every human being will have favorable and unfavorable situations.  Spiritual growth requires suffering also. Accept every experience as eeswara prasadham for my spiritual growth. 
  8. Ananya Yogana:  Bhakti; There is no question of secular karma yoga; karma yoga presupposes faith in God or bhakti.  Prasadham means tranquility of mind; accept everything as a prasadham from lord.  This is possible only when there is devotion to the Lord.  Without bhakti and devotion, there can’t be karma yoga.