Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Bringing back the much enjoyed open discussion on the Gita, for general public. Proceeds Chapter and verse wise. For the keen student seeking a deep understanding of Krishna’s counsel! Registration necessary.
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Bringing back the much enjoyed open discussion on the Gita, for general public. Proceeds chapter and verse wise. For the keen student seeking a deep understanding of Krishna’s counsel! Registration necessary.

Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:19 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

Thanks Umaji for the nice explanation with equally beautiful example.

* sorry I am little tied up for past two three days..I will write my reflection in a day or so.

Dear Shefali, we all learn here from each other. The most important thing about this forum is we are watched over by our Sadguru. He keeps guiding us in His misterious ways.
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:03 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

Reflection on 55-57:

Verse 55 - If we look at how sthitaprajna(man of steady wisdom) carries out all actions. We find

- Wise man is desire less.
ignorance of the Self ==leads to==> Desire. Absence of Desire ===indicates===>No ignorance

- Wise man is blissful in his own experience of Self.
Positively comes to enjoy the Bliss of the Self. self-satisfied in the Self.

Verse 56 - If we look at Sthitaprajna(Stable being) as bearer of body-afflictions. We find

-Equanimity in pleasure and pain.

- Free from attachment, fear and anger
Attachment to object ===leads to =====> fear for non winning the object
Attachment to object ===when satisfied =====> fear for security of the acquired object
Attachment to object ===when not satisfied =====> anger towards obstacle between us and the object


- not distressed by 3 calamities (seen, unseen and within)

Verse 57 -

- Not mere avoidance of adverse and bad
- No striving to linger in experience of good and favourable
- Experiences best and the worst in life with equal detachment
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:51 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

My Reflection on:- 15. Life, by its very nature, is a mixture of both good and bad, and to live ever adjusting ourselves ___ avoiding the bad and striving to linger in the experience of the good ___ is to live unintelligently. The Perfect-One experiences the best and the worst in life with equal detachment because he is ever established in the True and the Eternal, which is the very Self. (2.57)
=========================================================================================================

Muruganji has already explained beautifully how good and bad are part of the creation and going through bad experience with acceptance exhausts our karmas. Umaji has explained nicely how good and bad is 'relative' to an individual. Even though all this is understood, we really can't bring ourself to 'not avoiding bad' and 'not striving to linger in the experience of good' because we want to stay in joy. Joy seems to be continuously running away from us. We keep running after it persuading it to stay with us. We try to get rid of things that come in the way of us and joy. It's an ongoing never ending quest. We try one change after another with the same end results. Why is this?

I don't know exactly which Maharastrian Saint has said this but He says - Tuze aahe tujpaashi, pari tu jaagaa chukalaasi (what you are looking for is with you, you are looking for it in the wrong place). There is a story of an old woman who lost her needle in her home but since she had no light at her home she went under street light looking for her needle. We are looking for joy in sense objects, beings, experiences in this world like that because we don't know joy is our own Self. We look for it at every place other than our own heart. World by very nature is changing like colors on the bubble. If we try to grab a bubble it bursts and we go after another bubble. What will free us from this?

Only Knowledge and right evaluation of our experiences will free us from this so we need lots of Satsang, open ness and honesty. Also, we need to increase our tolerance by control of our sense organs, we need to discipline our life otherwise we won't be able to even sustain the thread of our noble thought. We will 'given in' too soon to our old ways. Strong faith in what we learnt, tenacity and persistence in trying to live what we learnt, courage and patience to hold through in difficult looking situations will ultimately give us conviction in the Knowledge. Once we know 'I am THAT joy' with conviction, then "desires won't rise in our heart". When something is "desirable" we call it good and when something is "undesirable" we call it bad. If there are "no desires" then both will look same to us and we will experiences the best and the worst in life with equal detachment because of Knowledge that joy is my very own Self.
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:59 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

Here are a couple of practical questions. Kindly give your answers. Thanks.

1. If you are suffering from any of the below, please write what you will think.

- distressed pain
- elated in pleasure
- avoiding bad
- striving to linger in favorable experience
- fearing something
- getting angry on someone

2. From characteristics given by Lord Krishna will you be able to identify 'Perfect Man' from 'Pretend - Perfect Man' ?
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby uma » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:48 pm

Hari Om.

Pranam to all.

Trying to answer practical questions.


Distressed Pain
1. “ This too shall pass”
2. I have to learn from this experience, accept the situation and become stable minded
3. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin, so when the pain comes, pleasure is not far behind
4. Pain has been inflicted so that I remember Him all the time

Elated in pleasure

1. “ This too shall pass” and no state is permanent
2. I have to learn from this experience, not let it go to head and become stable minded
3. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin, so when the pleasure comes, pain is not far behind
4. This pleasure has been granted upon me by Him and I should be grateful and reverent


Avoiding bad

1. Life is nothing but a series of experiences. One is born to learn from different experiences and evolve himself. Sticking to only a particular kind of experiences is not going to further the education or learning
2. Bad experiences teach one more and also in a bad situation, one turns more towards Him than during the good ones.
3. One cannot control the situation but one can always control one’s response to the situation. So even in a bad situation one can choose and stay unaffected.

Striving to linger in favourable situation

1. Time waits for none and situation is bound to change.
2. The situations are due to the outside world and thus ephemeral
3. One is missing out on the present, by trying to linger in the past

Fearing something

1. We all have Him within us and as such we shouldn’t be afraid of anything as He is constantly with us.
2. The outside world and our own emotions are just a play of our mind, everything is essentially Self and hence, where is the need to be afraid of Him ?

Getting angry with someone

1. As He resides within me, similarly He resides within the other person too.
2. Emotions such as anger negatively impact my body, which is actually a temple of Him
3. I am viewing the situation only from my own perception, there can be a different perception varying with other people
4. I am reacting just because the situation did not proceed as per my desire, but maybe this situation has been created to teach me something
5. Behind anger, there is some desire….which is making me act and respond in this particular manner. I should be neutral and try to face the situation as it comes.


2. Yes, as per the characteristics given by Lord Krishna, a sthitapradnya stays that way at all times and under all circumstances. A pretender may be able to carry himself off when all is well, but in adverse situations or when the things do not go as per his whims and desires, the pretend perfect man is bound to lose his peace and get enraged or affected.




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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:05 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

Wow Umaji...amazing answers ! Thank you very much. So many nice pointers to learn from.
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:37 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

1. Since Umaji has so nicely put all the thoughts, I won't repeat those. I will tell myself couple of stories.

This small story I had heard in Swami Shantanandaji's discourse few years ago -

In Mumbai local passenger trains there is one special compartment for putting heavy load and goods. It has cabinets on both walls to put the load and the middle section is empty for standing. One has to pay additional tariff to use that compartment. One lady with a big heavy load on her head was standing in the middle section. One man asked her "why are you carrying such a heavy load on your head? why don't you put that in the cabinet over there?" Lady replied "Because I haven't paid additional tariff".

So, the train was carrying all the load but she was thinking the load on her head she was carrying. This is how we think 'we are doing this and that'. The world will run just fine with or without us. Before we were born the world was running. The objects, experiences, people that we are attached to were not there in our life when we were small child and we existed just fine without those.

Another small story (...I made this one up.. ;-) )

Two roosters were fighting with each other. One was of shiny black feathers and other was of reddish colour. Two little children who were friends of each other, were passing by there happily chatting and laughing with each other. They saw it. First boy said "Hey..look..the shiny black rooster.. I like him. He is mine. I want him to win !" The other boy said "Red one looks better. He is mine. I want red one to win !"

Now as the fight proceeded the boys got involved in it too..shouting loud.." rooster...rooster..go go..bite him". Their hearts were pounding with a thought that their rooster might lose. Finally the black rooster won and red one fell lame on the ground. The first boy cheered loudly with joy and the second one got very angry and said "From today you are not my friend. I am not going to talk to you any more." and he walked away stomping his feet. The first one stayed there much longer trying to figure out how to carry the rooster with him, how to persuade his mother to let him keep it as a pet and where to get the food for him etc. till mother came looking for him and made him drop the rooster. He then went home crying.."my rooster..my rooster.."

Just like the boys took ownership of the roosters and invited trouble, we take ownership of our BMI, our thoughts, our emotions, our ideas and divide the world. Then we have worries, anxieties, fear, anger and all kinds of sorrows.

*** note how I took ownership of the story above. It is an inspiration that came to me. Just like a bird can land on a tree or a roof, inspiration can come to anybody. So, I shouldn't claim it as mine.

2. From characteristics given by Lord Krishna will you be able to identify 'Perfect Man' from 'Pretend - Perfect Man' ?

The pointers given by Lord are very helpful but still this is a difficult one because if we are wearing yellow glasses then the world will look yellow to us. The only way we will be able to tell those apart is if we purify our mind. Also, we can only observe actions but not the intentions and attitudes that inspired those so our judgement will be guesswork of our mind. So the best thing will be to use Lord's pointers for wise man as goal of our sadhana and strive to be like that.
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby akore2000 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:06 pm

Hari Om and Pranam

I really missed a long discussion. I went for long holiday of 45 days, attended year end camp at Chinmaya Vibhuti -- the meet of Shiva and Jeeva was really great -- prayer to the Lord to make it happen all the years for all of us. Padamajaji , I will be regular from now onwards. I took one week to go thr all the posts to update myself.

Hari Om

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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby murugans61 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:18 pm

Hari OM

Welcome back Abhayji. Thank you Umaji for comprehensively covering all aspects. Lady with the head load in the train compartment and the rooster stories of Padmajaji clearly bring out the essence of answers to the question.

Although I have nothing much to add, I would like to write about one example Swami Dayanandaji explained in his talk. Actor A (For eg Amitabhji) playing the role of Begger, knows that he is not the real beggar. He is fully aware that - Only in that movie, for a stipulated period he is playing that beggar role. Before he accepted the role, he was a rich man. While playing the role also he is rich. After completing the role, he will become richer due to the fat remuneration for the film. With this knowledge, he plays the role with his best ability, even better than a real life beggar.

The Beggar and the Actor are one and the same in TIME and SPACE. But cognitively, they are different. So long as the sacred SPACE between him and the role is recognized by the Actor, he will not get affected by the trials and tribulations of the beggar role.

In our life, we play different roles as son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, parent, spouse, colleague, manager, neighbor, citizen etc etc. When we get entangled with the roles that we play, when we wrongly identify ourselves as our Roles, and when the roles overlap with one another, we get bruised by all kinds of emotions as given in the list. When we know who we really are, i.e the Actor ( Atma), the emotions of the role of Beggar ( BMI) do not affect us. We get fitted with an emotional shock absorber; we get coated with an intellectual Teflon coating.

Pranams
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby murugans61 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:35 pm

Hari OM

While the concepts are all fine, are we able to live it in our daily life.

Why are we getting affected ( postively or negatively) by various emotions.

May be the answer is, the Gnanam is yet to be digested and assimilated fully. Upasana and Karma yoga is to be practised more consciously to achieve clarity of mind.

When I go to a satsang hall where men and women are sitting separately, with out any thinking I go to the men side and sit. I do not have to think for a while, where i have to go and sit. In this case, my Gnanam i.e I am a man, has become Gnana Nishta. Till such time, I get Atma Nishta ( not BMI Nishta), I need to work on the Karma, Upasana and Gnana Yogas.

I also heard - Fake it till you Make it. If we keep pretending that we are sthitha pragna, may be in the initial stages we may fail, but after some time, we may really become sthitha pragna, due to conscious practice.

Pranams
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby murugans61 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:50 pm

Hari OM

Like the way we observe fasting on a Pradosham day or Amavasya or Ekadasi day, we can try to observe / practice Sthitha pragna state ( Samatvam, Poornatvam and Muktatvam) one day in a month. On that day, when we face situations like ,
- distressed pain/ pleasure
- avoiding bad
- striving to linger in favorable experience
- fearing something
- getting angry on someone
we can consciously tell us that we are not going to be affected by these pairs of opposites. May be by conscious practice, we can improve.

Pranams
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:45 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

Muruganji, thanks for sharing wonderful insights !

Welcome back Abhay ji. We missed your presence and contributions too. You are really lucky to be able to attend Pujya Guruji's Yoga Vasishta discourses in Vibhuti. I went there for a day and had to return back. By the way, we now have a new member join us in category two. Her name is Shefali.
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:57 am

Hari OM. Pranams.

Let's now take up Shlokas 58 to 61 for our study. We will learn about 'control of senses' in these verses.

Please post verse, word meaning and brief explanation from Pujya Gurudev's Gita commentary book for the assigned verses.

58 - Umaji
59 - Padmaja
60 - Muruganji
61 - Abhayji

Holy Gita Ready Reference:

Terms and Definitions: Q. 22, 23, - Umaji
Thoughts and Concepts: Q. 25, 30, 31, - Padmaja
Selection for Reflection: - 16, 17 - Muruganji
Verses for memorisation: 58, 59 (All) - Padmaja
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:26 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते २.५९

visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ’pyasya param drishtva nivartate (2.59)

विषयाः - the objects of senses, विनिवर्तन्ते - turn away, निराहारस्य - abstinent, देहिनः - of the man, रसवर्जम् - leaving the longing, रसः - longing (taste), अपि - even, अस्य - of his, परम् - the supreme, दृष्ट्वा - having seen, निवर्तते - turn away

59. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man leaving the longing (behind) ; but his longing also leaves him on seeing the Supreme.

Arjuna doubts that, even in a Yogin, the capacity to withdraw from the temptations of the sense-world, may be temporary and that, under favourable or sufficiently tempting circumstances, they may again raise their hoods to hiss and to poison. His doubt is answered here.

All sense-objects ultimately reach those who are courting them with burning desires. From one who is completely abstinent, sense-objects must necessarily get repelled. But even though the sense-objects may, temporarily, seem to turn away from him who is abstinent, the deep taste for them, ingrained in his mind, is very difficult to erase completely. Here Krishna, in his Supreme Wisdom, assures the seeker that these mental impressions of sensuous lives, lived in the past by the ego, from the beginning of creation to date, will all be totally erased, or at least made ineffective --- as roasted seeds --- when the seeker transcends the ego and comes to experience the Self.

The objects of sorrow and occasions of tragedy in one plane-of-consciousness are not available in another. The ego, existing now through the waking, dream and deep-sleep states, has gathered to itself a dung-heap of impressions, all purely sensuous. But these cannot be effective when the same ego, transcending these three planes, comes to experience the plane of God-consciousness.

Holy Gita Ready Reference:

Thoughts and Concepts:

Q. 25 Briefly explain the theory of perception

A. In the Vedantic theory of perception, the mind, bearing the consciousness, goes out through the sense organs to the sense objects, and there it takes, as it were, the shape of the sense objects, and so comes to gain knowledge of the objects perceived. (2.58)

Q. 30 The simile of a tortoise withdrawing its limbs is used to describe ---------.

A. A wise person withdrawing his sense organs from sense objects (2.58)

Q. 31 How does a Vedantin gain 'sense-withdrawal' (pratyahara or uparati)?

A. To a Vedantin, 'pratyahara' (uparati or sense-withdrawal) comes from his well-developed and sharpened discriminative faculty, with which his intellect makes his mind understand the futility of licking the crumbs of joy and happiness in the wayside ditches of sensuousness, while he, in his Real Nature, is the Lord of the very store of Bliss Infinite. (2.58)

Verses for memorisation:

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता २.५८

yada samharate chayam kurmo’nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyastasya prajna pratisthita (2.58)

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते २.५९

visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ’pyasya param drishtva nivartate (2.59)
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby uma » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:41 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

Posting the verse :

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोsङ्गानीव सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || २.५८ ||

yadaa samharate chaaym koormogaaneev sarvasha :
indriyaanidriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnyaa pratishtitaa

यदा - when , संहरते -withdraws , च -and , अयं -this (Yogi ), कूर्म: -tortoise, अंङ्गानि -limbs, इव -like , सर्वश: -everywhere, इन्द्रियाणि -the senses, इन्द्रियार्थेभ्य : -from the sense objects , तस्य -of him , प्रज्ञा -wisdom, प्रतिष्ठिता -is steadied

58. When like the tortoise which withdraws on all sides its limbs, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.

After explaining the characteristics of the perfect one - ever satisfied in the self, perfect equanimity in pleasure and pain and complete absence of attachment, here is another one. A man of steady wisdom has the knack of withdrawing his senses from disturbing field of objects, just as a tortoise withdraws all its limbs at the slightest signs of danger. Mind perceives through senses and dwells on the outside objects. This perception has to be avoided by perceiving only him everywhere or by understanding that such perception is only illusionlike and hence discriminating. A bhakt can do it by perceiving Lord everywhere with all his senses and a Vedantin can do by understanding the futiltiy of the sensuousness and revelling only in which that is eternal.


Terms and Conditions

22. What is "pratyahara" in Yog Shastra ?
The capacity in an individual to withdraw his senses at will from the fields of objects is called "pratyahara" in Yoga shastra (2.58)

23. What is the equivalent of "pratyahara" in Vedantic terminology ?
Uparati (2.58)

Regards

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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby murugans61 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:53 pm

Hari OM

Verse 60

Yatato hyapi kaunteya pursasya vipascitah
Indriyani pramathini haranti prasabham manah
Yatatah – of the striving; hi – indeed; api – even; Kaunteya – O Kaunteya
Purusasya – of man; vipascitah- ( of the) wise; indriyani – the senses; pramathini – turbulent;
Haranti- carry away; prasabham- violently; manah – the mind.

The turbulent senses, O Arjuna ( Kaunteya), do violently carry away the mind of a wise man, though he be striving ( to control them).
In this verse, the Lord, states that this happens to highly evolved seeker. He is warning the seeker in Arjuna that he should not, on any score, let his objective mind take hold of and enslave his subjective intellectual personality.

Selection for Reflection:

16)Even though the sense objects may temporarily seem to turn away from him who is abstinent, the deep taste for them ingrained in his mind is very difficult to erase completely ( 2.59)

17)To expose the mind to the quiet atmosphere of meditation upon the All-perfect Being is to heal its ulcers.(2.61)

Pranams
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby akore2000 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:57 pm

Hari Om, Pranam

Welcome to Shefaliji and many thanks to Padmajaji, Umaji and Muruganji for so many important pointers.

Verse 61

Tani sarvani samyamya yukta asita matparah
Vase hi yasyendriyani tasya prajna pratisthita

Tani – them, sarvani – all, samyamya – having restrained, yuktah – joined, asita – should sit, matparah – intent on me,
Vase – under control, hi – indeed, yasya – whose, indriyani – senses, tasya – his,
prajna – wisdom, pratisthita – (is) steady.

Having restrained them all, he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; the one whose senses are under control, his wisdom is steady.

Arjuna is thus warned in this verse that as a seeker of Self-perfection he should constantly struggle to control all his sense organs and their lustful wanderings in their respective fields.
The idea is well brought out in this verse when Lord Krishna, as though in the very same breath, repeats both the negative and the positive aspects of the technique of self-development. He advises not only a withdrawal from the unhealthy gutters of sensuousness, but also gives the healthy method of doing so by explaining to us the positive technique of Self-perfection. Through a constant attempt at focusing our attention “On Me, the Supreme,” he advises the disciples to sit steady.

Hari Om

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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby skdasigi » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:08 am

Hari Om!
I am Suryakumari, joined this discussion group just now. I am a member of the Chinmaya Mission Hyderabad and will be completing my founadation Vedanta course in a couple of months/
Regarding the query on how to measure progress in spirituality, recently Swami Swaroopanandaji answered this question during his discourse. He said the progress in spirituality of a person can be measured by "how lovable one becomes". He further explained that when the mind gets purified due to the regular practice, the seeker becomes dearer to the ones around (due to the positivity emanated).
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:50 am

Pranams Suryakumari ji. Hari OM.

So true...

Thank you for sharing these valuable words of wisdom of Pujya Swamiji. Looking forward to your contributions...
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Re: Gita Study Group:Chapter 2:Sankhya Yoga

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:52 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

Here are the Verses for our discussion. Please post your thoughts, your study notes, reflections on these verses.

Offering this garland of verses to you O Krishna with Love and prostrations from all of us, please help us in our studies.
==========================================================================================================

Verse 58:

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोsङ्गानीव सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || २.५८ ||

yadaa samharate chaaym koormogaaneev sarvasha :
indriyaanidriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnyaa pratishtitaa

यदा - when , संहरते -withdraws , च -and , अयं -this (Yogi ), कूर्म: -tortoise, अंङ्गानि -limbs, इव -like , सर्वश: -everywhere, इन्द्रियाणि -the senses, इन्द्रियार्थेभ्य : -from the sense objects , तस्य -of him , प्रज्ञा -wisdom, प्रतिष्ठिता -is steadied

58. When like the tortoise which withdraws on all sides its limbs, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.

After explaining the characteristics of the perfect one - ever satisfied in the self, perfect equanimity in pleasure and pain and complete absence of attachment, here is another one. A man of steady wisdom has the knack of withdrawing his senses from disturbing field of objects, just as a tortoise withdraws all its limbs at the slightest signs of danger. Mind perceives through senses and dwells on the outside objects. This perception has to be avoided by perceiving only him everywhere or by understanding that such perception is only illusionlike and hence discriminating. A bhakt can do it by perceiving Lord everywhere with all his senses and a Vedantin can do by understanding the futiltiy of the sensuousness and revelling only in which that is eternal.

Verse 59:

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते २.५९

visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ’pyasya param drishtva nivartate (2.59)

विषयाः - the objects of senses, विनिवर्तन्ते - turn away, निराहारस्य - abstinent, देहिनः - of the man, रसवर्जम् - leaving the longing, रसः - longing (taste), अपि - even, अस्य - of his, परम् - the supreme, दृष्ट्वा - having seen, निवर्तते - turn away

59. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man leaving the longing (behind) ; but his longing also leaves him on seeing the Supreme.

Arjuna doubts that, even in a Yogin, the capacity to withdraw from the temptations of the sense-world, may be temporary and that, under favourable or sufficiently tempting circumstances, they may again raise their hoods to hiss and to poison. His doubt is answered here.

All sense-objects ultimately reach those who are courting them with burning desires. From one who is completely abstinent, sense-objects must necessarily get repelled. But even though the sense-objects may, temporarily, seem to turn away from him who is abstinent, the deep taste for them, ingrained in his mind, is very difficult to erase completely. Here Krishna, in his Supreme Wisdom, assures the seeker that these mental impressions of sensuous lives, lived in the past by the ego, from the beginning of creation to date, will all be totally erased, or at least made ineffective --- as roasted seeds --- when the seeker transcends the ego and comes to experience the Self.

The objects of sorrow and occasions of tragedy in one plane-of-consciousness are not available in another. The ego, existing now through the waking, dream and deep-sleep states, has gathered to itself a dung-heap of impressions, all purely sensuous. But these cannot be effective when the same ego, transcending these three planes, comes to experience the plane of God-consciousness.

Verse 60:

यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः .
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः .. २.६०..

Yatato hyapi kaunteya pursasya vipascitah
Indriyani pramathini haranti prasabham manah


Yatatah – of the striving; hi – indeed; api – even; Kaunteya – O Kaunteya, Purusasya – of man; vipascitah- ( of the) wise; indriyani – the senses; pramathini – turbulent; Haranti- carry away; prasabham- violently; manah – the mind.

The turbulent senses, O Arjuna ( Kaunteya), do violently carry away the mind of a wise man, though he be striving ( to control them). In this verse, the Lord, states that this happens to highly evolved seeker. He is warning the seeker in Arjuna that he should not, on any score, let his objective mind take hold of and enslave his subjective intellectual personality.

Verse 61:

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः .
वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता .. २.६१..

Tani sarvani samyamya yukta asita matparah
Vase hi yasyendriyani tasya prajna pratisthita

Tani – them, sarvani – all, samyamya – having restrained, yuktah – joined, asita – should sit, matparah – intent on me, Vase – under control, hi – indeed, yasya – whose, indriyani – senses, tasya – his, prajna – wisdom, pratisthita – (is) steady.

Having restrained them all, he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; the one whose senses are under control, his wisdom is steady.

Arjuna is thus warned in this verse that as a seeker of Self-perfection he should constantly struggle to control all his sense organs and their lustful wanderings in their respective fields.
The idea is well brought out in this verse when Lord Krishna, as though in the very same breath, repeats both the negative and the positive aspects of the technique of self-development. He advises not only a withdrawal from the unhealthy gutters of sensuousness, but also gives the healthy method of doing so by explaining to us the positive technique of Self-perfection. Through a constant attempt at focusing our attention “On Me, the Supreme,” he advises the disciples to sit steady.

Holy Gita Ready Reference:

Terms and Conditions

Q. 22. What is "pratyahara" in Yog Shastra ?

A. The capacity in an individual to withdraw his senses at will from the fields of objects is called "pratyahara" in Yoga shastra (2.58)


Q. 23. What is the equivalent of "pratyahara" in Vedantic terminology ?

A. Uparati (2.58)

Thoughts and Concepts:

Q. 25 Briefly explain the theory of perception

A. In the Vedantic theory of perception, the mind, bearing the consciousness, goes out through the sense organs to the sense objects, and there it takes, as it were, the shape of the sense objects, and so comes to gain knowledge of the objects perceived. (2.58)

Q. 30 The simile of a tortoise withdrawing its limbs is used to describe ---------.

A. A wise person withdrawing his sense organs from sense objects (2.58)

Q. 31 How does a Vedantin gain 'sense-withdrawal' (pratyahara or uparati)?

A. To a Vedantin, 'pratyahara' (uparati or sense-withdrawal) comes from his well-developed and sharpened discriminative faculty, with which his intellect makes his mind understand the futility of licking the crumbs of joy and happiness in the wayside ditches of sensuousness, while he, in his Real Nature, is the Lord of the very store of Bliss Infinite. (2.58)

Selection for Reflection:

16)Even though the sense objects may temporarily seem to turn away from him who is abstinent, the deep taste for them ingrained in his mind is very difficult to erase completely ( 2.59)

17)To expose the mind to the quiet atmosphere of meditation upon the All-perfect Being is to heal its ulcers.(2.61)

Verses for memorisation:

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता २.५८

yada samharate chayam kurmo’nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyastasya prajna pratisthita (2.58)


विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते २.५९

visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ’pyasya param drishtva nivartate (2.59)
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