Ch 2 VERSE 62
ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते ।
सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥६२॥
dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate
dhyayataḥ—while contemplating; viṣayān—sense objects; puṁsaḥ—of the person; saṅgaḥ—attachment; teṣu—in the sense objects; upajāyate—develops; saṅgāt—attachment; sañjāyate—develops; kāmaḥ—desire; kāmāt—from desire; krodhaḥ—anger; abhijāyate—becomes manifest.
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate
“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.”
So again, in leading up to this verse, and understanding where it fits: Arjuna became overwhelmed by seeing the people that he must face on battle. Some of them he considered even worshipable, and the idea that he may have to kill some of them was totally freaking him out. He was so distraught from it.
And it now opens up this deeper understanding of the path of self-realization, how exactly, I, the eternal spiritual being, am situated within two coverings, a gross material body, the sthula sarira, and a subtle body called the linga sarira, and how the consciousness of the living being, the eternal spiritual being, becomes clouded and contaminated by material conception and material conditioning, and from that arises then a mind which becomes very powerful and often leads people in their life. The content of the mind, the stuff that’s going on there, the emotions, the desires that all arise within the mind, are what pretty much controls and directs people in their life. And so understanding the process by which, when one becomes materially entangled through the way the mind deals with things, and how it results then in activity and desire, or desire first, and then activity which then binds the living being perpetually to material existence, it’s really important to appreciate how this is taking place.
So first of all karma, or action, we should understand, is performed on the basis of ignorance, the idea that I am the body, the body, and the mind, this is who I am, which is ignorance. The reality is you are an eternal spiritual being, and of course, karma, or activity, action, binds one to the material world. One becomes bound by this endless chain of action and reaction. We need to appreciate that desire, frequently if not almost always, precedes actions. I mean if actions are what’s binding me what’s the source of them? What’s driving it? And it is desire.
I think I mentioned earlier how in—when I run the meditation classes, our mindfulness, and meditation program in prison, the first thing I do with a new class is ask the guys, “So, how many of you had a plan to be here in prison on this particular day, at this time? This was your plan?” Of course, they generally laugh, because it’s a ridiculous idea. So I ask them, “Well if it wasn’t a plan, then doesn’t that indicate that somehow you’ve lost control of your life? Because you’re in a deplorable situation that you would have tried to avoid by all means. But now you’re in this situation, and it’s resulted from something that’s happening that you didn’t plan on, so it indicates that you’ve somehow lost control of your life.” So I think that sort of deals with this idea of how desire precedes action.
The other thing that we become increasingly aware of is how controlling the content of the mind is central to the undertaking or the performance of yoga. And I’ve specifically stated controlling the content of the mind.
Some people feel that through some mechanical process, through determination and heroism I will come to control my mind, and when I kick out all of the thoughts, and I will just become focused on this thoughtless mind in this space and not allow any thoughts to come in. And of course, people think that this is a high form of meditation, whereas in reality these attempts were known in yogic practice as pre-meditation. And the problem with it is that even if you achieve the state of having a thoughtless mind, mind free from all thought, and you could hold it there, you cannot hold it there indefinitely. And as soon as you relinquish that control, the thoughts come flooding back in. And so the idea that meditation, or the yoga process, is about developing a thoughtless mind, a mind free from thought, is just absolutely not accurate or true at all.
It becomes about determining what is going to be the content of the mind. It is possible for a person to exist in a state of spiritual consciousness where every thought that is in the mind, all observation, desire is spiritual in nature; and this is really what the process of self-realization is all about.
So in two verses, preceding this one that we just read, it states:
“The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.”
So wow, we’ve got this whole new picture developing. And there is this frequent use in the Vedas of the analogy or the metaphor of a chariot to the body, where the five horses pulling the chariot are considered the five senses, and then the reins that should be used to control the horse is the mind, the driver of the chariot is the buddhi, or the intelligence, which is actually able to control the mind, and the living being is sitting within the chariot (the chariot being the body), and is along for the ride.
And of course, in this analogy, the understanding is, if one does not hold the reins very tightly then the horses are free to run wherever they want to, at whatever speed they want to, and that becomes a very precarious situation so that we will see that, as I’ve stated, it’s desire that precedes action, and we’ve mentioned about controlling the content of the mind. So this verse very much deals with it—or at least points to the need for this, by explaining the sequence of events. It says:
“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment, lust develops, and from lust anger arises.”
Of course, I always smile when I read this, because in advertising, or sales, more specifically, they understood in the late 40s and 50s, and then it became very focused in the 60s in America, it spread around the world very quickly, that if you’re trying to sell something it’s critically important to engage a particular buyer in engaging with the product. You—they have to touch and feel the product, whether it’s somebody selling a car, and you’ve convinced them to sit in it and take the wheel, and just smell the new car smells. So I mean some people like that. They associate that with some upward possibility of enjoyment. And you encourage them to take it for a drive. If it’s in a store somebody will get you to feel the fabric or touch the object and talk to them about visualizing, I mean, “Could you just see this in your home, this piano? It would probably be beautiful, I mean…” And what they do is just get people engaged in this process of contemplating upon the objects of the senses. Without the salesperson—this is what advertising is all about—or just in general, the cultivation of the desire for things.
And it describes that how when you begin this process of contemplating on something, then one will automatically begin to develop an attachment for that. As one continues to contemplate, with this growing mood of attachment, then it says here, and I’ll just read again:
“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment, lust develops…”
The reference to lust here (in Sanskrit, kama, not karma, but kama – K long A; K A M A), so this word while it is most frequently applied in—lust—in the Western world at least, to sexual desire, it’s understood in a much deeper way in the yoga system, where it is referring to intense selfishness, or self-centeredness, where this sense of, “I want it, I want, I need this,” where this growing sense of me, and me wanting this becomes very— when it becomes very pronounced, one is understood to be deeply influenced by this state or condition of kama or lust.
Then it goes on to say, that “from lust, anger arises,” and this is a really extraordinary idea. A lot of people, I think most people understand that anger is not a good thing. When I say “anger”, I’m talking about when a person loses their discernment, when a person begins to act in ways and say things which are hurtful, quite often, where a person begins to lose control of their mind, control of their mouth, control of their life, this is what I’m referring to with “anger.”
Many people have this idea or thought, “Oh, that person made me angry,” or, that situation, or whatever, made me angry, whereas what has been presented here is a far deeper idea; and this idea is that anger actually will reside, if I can put it this way, within the heart of someone, and when a person or a situation comes along and touches, boop. [miming poking] Suddenly that anger manifests. It’s not caused by what someone did. It’s not caused by a situation, because there are a myriad of ways that you can react to any situation. It’s not required that one react with anger. And the fact that somebody is reacting with anger, is because that anger is residing within. And it clearly indicates that a person is not living a very balanced or spiritual life.
Why does anger arise from lust? And to explain that, there’s going to be two reasons why this will happen. One is that a person may be frustrated in their desire, that they wanted something, or someone, or whatever. There was this great desire and this hankering that had come from all this contemplation and built-up attachment, and when one is not able to get what they want, that frustration will manifest as this anger.
But there is also a deeper understanding where, even if a person is able to fulfill their desires, they will have an experience, whether they’re aware of it or not, there will be this experience that that didn’t really fulfill me, that that didn’t really satisfy me, because now that same desire is back with a vengeance, so it didn’t remove the desire. It may have temporarily quenched it, temporarily, or quelled it, pushed it down, but now it’s back again.
And so what they’re explaining, or what their understanding was, is that if we go down this process of constantly contemplating on the objects of the senses, the things that excite us, that excite desire, whether we get what we want, or we don’t, it will result in this growing presence of anger. And so, you know, you can see that there are some people that are just mad at the world. They’re just constantly angry. They’re just snapping at everything. Other people are just so mellow, and nothing seems to move them, and they’re touched by compassion for others, even those that do something wrong to them. So there are different ways in which people can react. But this presence of anger, they say, arises from this situation.
And what is the problem then, with lust and with anger? Well, it will indicate—not indicate, it clearly demonstrates that we’ve lost control of our life, that the mind has now taken over, and the mind is in control. In these states, lustful states and angry states, there is a complete lack of awareness that I am an eternal spiritual being.
When we use pronouns in anger, “I,” “You!” it’s used in this state of complete ignorance where we are accepting the body and the mind as the self. And then, of course, the biggest problem with lust and anger is that it induces action, an action that binds us to the world and makes it so we are forced to consume, to experience the bitter fruit of our karma. This is explained wonderfully by Patanjali and in the Yoga Sutra, in the second pada, or chapter, the 15th sutra, or verse he states:
“To the discriminating yogi, all the fruits of past actions (both pleasurable and painful) are considered sorrowful because they all result in further bondage and suffering through…”
and then he states three things that perpetuate further bondage and suffering, the first being:
“…the anxiety and fearfulness from losing what has gained…”
and the second which I’m drawing your attention to:
“…the resulting latent impressions left on the mind which lead to renewed material desires, and third, the constant stimulation from the three gunas (or the modes of material nature) which control the mind.”
So I won’t talk on that last part. It’s a new thing that’s being raised here, and we’ll speak about it going forward, but I thought it’s very interesting and wonderful how Patanjali says that the yogi perceives the fruits of all past actions, both pleasurable and painful, they consider them sorrowful, a cause for sorrow. It’s a pretty different sort of perspective from the conventional materialistic ideas that the whole society is controlled by.
So in closing out this verse I would just like to read from a commentary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad where he speaks about how one is controlled by what, at the onset becomes stimulation for the senses. And he states:
“The senses require real engagements, and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord they will certainly seek engagement in the service of materialism. In the material world everyone including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma—to say nothing of other demigods in the heavenly planets—is subject to the influence of sense objects, and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is to become Krishna conscious.”
So what does he mean by Krishna conscious? The material conception is that I’m the centre of everything. It’s all about me. The false notion, then, of the body and the mind as being who I am, I make the objective of my life to fulfill the desires that manifest in the senses and the mind. This is a state of perverted self-consciousness, and I say “perverted” because it’s not the real self. It’s not the pure spiritual being, it’s the material consciousness, the material conceptions.
Srila Bhaktivedanta would often use this term Krishna consciousness, and it requires some reflection in order to avoid misunderstanding it as being an action, or a process that one can mechanically engage in. It’s speaking about a different type of consciousness where the Supreme Soul, Lord Sri Krishna is on the pinnacle, on the highest status in the order of things, and I am completely captivated by this mood of extraordinary spiritual love, and my whole being is given over to seeking to act in a way that is pleasing to my Lord. This is what this term means, and this becomes the essential point for actually understanding and appreciating the Bhagavad-gita.
Thank you very much.