Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter III: 42-43

March 25, 2020

™indriyᾱṇi parᾱṇy ᾱhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parᾱ buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas
tu saḥ (III-42)
™evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvᾱ saṁstabhyᾱ
’tmᾱnam ᾱtmanᾱ jahi śatruṁ mahᾱbᾱho
kᾱmarῡpaṁ durᾱsadaṁ (III-43)

III/42. They say that the senses are superior.
Superior to the senses is the mind. Superior to
the mind is the intellect.  One who is superior
even to the intellect is the self.

III/43. Thus knowing him who is superior to
the intellect and restraining the self by the self,
slay thou, O Arjuna, the enemy in the form of
desire which is hard to conquer.

Swamiji's Commentary

     The subtle has greater power over the gross which cannot limit the former, even as the prison-wall cannot limit one’s thoughts. The senses, the mind and the intellect are like the brick, mortar and plaster of a house in which the master (the self) dwells. They have no freedom to act and they depend on one another and ultimately on the self or pure awareness.

     We are not really slaves of the external world. All the beauty in the world is nothing to a blind man. The most delightful orchestra is silent pantomime for the deaf. The senses are superior to the objects.

     What can the senses do if the mind switches off the inner controls? When you are intently listening to a soft whisper of your beloved, you do not see the person standing in front of you. The mind is superior to the senses.

     Husband, wife and child walk past a department store. The man remembers only an amazing new piece of electronic equipment – he is an engineer. The wife remembers only a new dress, and the child saw nothing but a toy! The intellect provided the scale of values; the mind, acting on this, directed the senses to ‘work on’ the scene in front. The intellect is the governor!

     Behind even this ‘light’ that illumines our inner world, there is the light of lights, the self or spark of God, in whose borrowed light the intellect shines. If we learn to appeal to him in meditation, he will so illumine the intellect that it will present the divine scale of values for the mind and senses to act upon. The self restrains the self on account of its indivisibility.

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