Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter III: 33-34

March 20, 2017

™sadṛśaṁ ceṣṭate svasyᾱḥ prakṛter jñᾱnavᾱn api
prakṛtiṁ yᾱnti bhῡtᾱni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati (III-33)
™indriyasye ’ndriyasyᾱ ’rthe rᾱgadveṣau vyavasthitau
tayor na vaśam ᾱgacchet tau hy asya paripanthinau (III-34)

III/33. Even a wise man acts in accordance with his own
nature; beings will follow nature, what can restraint do?

(III/34. Attachment and aversion for the objects of the
senses abide in the senses; let none come under their sway,
for they are his foes.

Swamiji's Commentary

     Your physical body (and mind) and the senses are part of the cosmic nature of God and hence not ‘yours’. They function in accordance with the nature of the energy or power they possess. The eyes see illumined objects. The ears hear sounds. The tongue tastes. These things happen even in the case of the wisest of men, so long as there is life in the body. As long as the mind is linked with the body, the senses will function naturally.

     There is a vibratory correlation between the senses and their particular objects. It is like wavelengths and the broadcasting system. When you tune the radio, at a particular point the receiver picks up certain wavelengths (short, medium or long) and not others. The vibratory scale of light and sight, sound and ear, smell and nose, etc., are identical, and so they mutually react. This reaction is either favorable or unfavorable, in accordance with whether the sensation is pleasant or unpleasant. Up to this point, the process is automatic and mechanical. If the mind is introverted and the intelligence is united with the self, there will be equilibrium within oneself even though the senses might continue to react naturally. But if the mind (through thought) registers a pleasant experience, for example, likes it, revives it as memory and hope, and desires a repetition, the chain-reaction towards self-destruction is set in motion. (cf II:62, 63).

     The Krishna-approach should not be missed. You cannot assume what nature is, and what is natural. Man’s mind has suffered terrible pollution over thousands of years with what we call civilization and tradition. To be natural is to live as the image of God!

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