Understanding Gita – 40

Second episode/adhyaya – Sankhya yoga


yadā saharate cāya
kūrmo ‘gānīva sarvaśa
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā


yadāwhen; saharatewinds up; caalso; ayamall these; kūrmatortoise; agānilimbs; ivalike; sarvaśaaltogether; indriyānisenses; indriyaarthebhyafrom the sense objects; tasyahis; prajñāconsciousness; pratiṣṭhitāfixed up.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

Like a tortoise who can withdraw its limbs inside, if one can withdraw his senses from the sense objects, then his consciousness is fixed in the supreme.

What are Indriyas(sense)? – eyes, ears, nose, tongue etc.

What are Indriya-artha(sense objects)? – form, sound, smell, taste, etc

The job of the senses is to be always immersed in sense objects.

What is withdrawing senses from the sense-objects?

Eyes are always fixed in the form. I see something beautiful. The next thought is I want it. If one can resist that temptation to have it, then you are withdrawing from the sense objects.

So if you want to be a sthitha-prajna you need to be able to control your senses naturally, like how a tortoise can naturally withdraw its limbs inside its shell, from the sense objects. 



viayā vinivartante
nirāhārasya dehina
rasa-varja raso ‘py asya
para dṛṣṭvā nivartate


viayāobjects for sense enjoyment; vinivartanteare practiced to be refrained from; nirāhārasyaby negative restrictions; dehinafor the embodied; rasavarjamgiving up the taste; rasasense of enjoyment; apialthough there is; asyahis; paramfar superior things; dṛṣṭby experiencing; nivartateceases from.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

By restrictions the embodied can refrain from enjoying sense objects, but if one experiences “param”(ultimate) then one gives up even the wish to taste(enjoy).

One can forcefully restrict oneself from enjoying the sense objects. But when one gets to experience the ultimate, even the wish to enjoy the sense objects vanishes.

When you are young, you want to eat candies all the time. You’ll be forced to not eat them by your parents. But as you grow-up the yearning for the candies naturally drops away. Similarly when one advances spiritually, he gets the taste of the Supreme; he no longer yearns for material enjoyments.

Keeping this in mind, one needs to exercise resistance to temptations.  

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