Gita 05.26 explained

Bg 5.26

yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām
abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ
vartate viditātmanām

Word for word: 

kāma — from desires; krodha — and anger; vimuktānām — of those who are liberated; yatīnām — of the saintly persons; yatacetasām — who have full control over the mind; abhitaḥ — assured in the near future; brahmanirvāṇam — liberation in the Supreme; vartate — is there; viditaātmanām — of those who are self-realized.


Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.


So Sri Krishna is repeatedly using brahma-nirvāṇaṁ over here, so spiritual liberation, so what are required for that? kāma-krodha-vimuktānāṁ, one is freed from Kama and Krodha, vimuktanam, mukta is liberated Vimukta is thoroughly liberated. Sri Krishna has talked about that Kama and Krodha are inner enemies in 3.37, in 3.36 when Arjuna asked what is that which impelled us to do wrong things then Sri Krishna replied that Kamaesha, Krodhesha so Kama and Krodha were coupled together at that time, of course before that also in 2.62, 2.63 Sri Krishna talked about how Kama when frustrated leads to Krodha,

Bg 2.62

dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgas teṣūpajāyate
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate

Word for word: 

dhyāyataḥ — while contemplating; viṣayān — sense objects; puṁsaḥ — of a person; saṅgaḥ — attachment; teṣu — in the sense objects; upajāyate — develops; saṅgāt — from 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.


There also Sri Krishna has talked about how they are connected, when we have desire, the desire becomes strong it becomes lust, when lust is obstructed and frustrated it become anger of wrath.

Sri Krishna has referred these again in 5.23. In 5.22 was that understand that sense pleasure leads to misery, duḥkha-yonaya eva te … na teṣu ramate budhaḥ…Therefor in 5.23 he said therefore tolerate, what we have to tolerate? 

śaknotīhaiva yaḥ soḍhuṁ
prāk śarīra-vimokṣaṇāt

lkāma-krodhodbhavaṁ vegaṁ
sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ

So again Kama – Krodha were coupled together, so coupling of Kama and Krodha is important because many people are able to control Kama but they cannot control Krodha. In Srimad Bhagvatam it is said the gyani they cross over the ocean of lust but they fall and drown in puddle of Krodha, so nobody will drown in puddle, as puddle is supposed to be very small, so the point is when someone controls Kama if Kama is not purified it is just suppressed that means there is a constant battle of wills going on, No I wanted no I will not do it, no I wanted, no I don’t do it, so there is a battle going on this battle creates an inner hardness and harshness and also because it is self-centered, I will do it and I will not do it , I will do it and I will not do it. The Bhaktas are focusing Sri Krishna, I wanted to love Sri Krishna, I wanted to serve Shri Krishna, I wanted to please Sri Krishna therefore I do what will please Him and therefore I won’t do this, so the focus for devotee is not I the focus is Sri Krishna, so the desire to Please Sri Krishna crowded out (is prominent) the desire to enjoy or the desire to renounce, so if we as a devotee are inclined by the desire to renounce rather than the desire to serve then what will happen is there will be volcano like eruption of anger on others, because what will happen is when we deny our own material desire, I am giving up this I am giving up this still so many things are going wrong, still this is happing that is happening and sometime or other that anger will explode like a volcano and hot lava coming out can break our relationships, break Bhakti also. In scriptures we see that when Vishvamitra Muni was doing meditation first he was tempted by Kama, Menka came and used him and then he fell prey to her, after this he again did austerity and that time he was determined and he thought now I will not fall prey again then when Rambha came along what happened when he saw her coming, first time when Menka was coming he was so captivated by her that he forgot who he was and what he was doing, he become attracted by her started living with her and united with her, but when Rambha came he understood what she was doing and he understood that she has been sent by Indra and she is plotting his fall, so when she came that way he felt a rush of wrath coming over him and he cursed her, now what happened when he did that, through that also he lost his power, so ultimately we wanted to direct our emotions to Sri Krishna so Kama and Krodha both direct our emotion away from Sri Krishna, so both in that sense can be obstacles, So Krodha or anger is called Kama+anuja, anuja means younger brother, so KamaAnuja means when kama comes sooner or later Krodha will come, Ja is to take birth Anu is inferior or lower, later, one who will is born later after Kama. When one has to become spiritually advance one has to become free from Kama and Krodha. kāma-krodha-vimuktānāṁ, if one is free only from Kama, of course that is also challenge, if one is free only from Kama but not Krodha that means the desire is not getting redirected towards Sri Krishna the desire is getting redirected in the same material arena. We wanted to take our desire from material level to the spiritual level but when we don’t redirect our desire to spiritual level then the desire simply shift from one material object to another material object, it is like some people wanted to give up alcohol addiction and he was told that you eat something or drink something that taste good to you, you take chocolates this is called substitution therapy then those people become addicted to chocolates, chocolates may not be as harmful as alcohol but that is really no solution just going from one material urge to another material urge it may be lesser of the two evils but still it is an evil, so as devotees we don’t want this kind of substitution one material things to another material things, we want purification, purification means replacement of material with spiritual and this is not replacement but it is reversion, reversion means we revert to what we were originally, all of us are souls and as souls we are meant to delight spiritual reality so we simply revert back to spiritual level of reality by the practice of spiritual life by purifying ourselves to Sadhana Bhakti, so kāma-krodha-vimuktānāṁ, you become free from Kama and Krodha by the practice of Sadhana Bhakti and yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām, cetasa, means consciousness or it can mean mind also, so here Sri Krishna is telling that if we have to control Kama and Krodha, Kama and Krodha are primarily internal, If we have to control them it is not enough to control them externally we have to do that internally, I may see that I am not indulged in lust or I will not vent out my anger but that won’t purify me that certainly good to control it at least at physical level but beyond that we have to remove anrthas at mental level as long as they are at mental level they will be pushing us, goring us, punching us, pinching us, , in various ways they will be tormenting us to act to act on physical level also kāma-krodha-vimuktānāṁ, yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām, yata-cetasām means controlling the mind, that is why it is so important for us to remember Sri Krishna, when we remember Sri Krishna we will redirect our desire from material to spiritual then abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ, abhito means assured in the near future, this is another time in BG when Sri Krishna is talking about soon not very far in 4.39 he said. Krishna doesn’t refer Mam much here because now He is not talking about Bhakti Yoga directly, He is building the BG thoughts to Bhakti Yoga, now all these verses the principal can be applied in Bhakti Yoga but these are generic spiritual principals that means understanding we should not pursue outside pleasures and we should pursue inner pleasures these are generic principals applied to Karma Yogis, Jayana Yogis and Bhakti Yogis, the means by which one will try sense control will be different, we are talking about controlling senses from Bhakti perspective by fixing mind on Sri Krishna, the Jayani will talk from different way Nati-Nati, the Karma Yogis will talk on a different way but the generic spiritual principle are talked about. Srila Prabhupada said what to speak of impersonalist and mayavadis even those who are outside the vedic fold like the sunyavadis, Buddhist and the Jains, Srila Prabhupada doesn’t talk so much about Jains but Buddhist he said, even the Sunya Vadi he said all three agree that entanglement in material desire is the cause of suffering and one has to give up that entanglement, the method of giving up entanglement is based on one’s goal, when the goal is the positive spiritual reality when the goal is a loving and loveable person whom we can serve even with our senses in this world then the process of becoming free from our material desire become much easier so abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ, vartate viditātmanām, vartate, that is there for them, those who are self-realized ātmanām, those who have turned to the level of atma.


Srila Prabhupad has talked about this beautiful verse how one can become yata-cetasām:

The Bhāgavatam (4.22.39) confirms this fact as follows:

karmāśayaṁ grathitam udgrathayanti santaḥ
tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo ’pi ruddha-
sroto-gaṇās tam araṇaṁ bhaja vāsudevam

“Just try to worship, in devotional service, Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even great sages are not able to control the forces of the senses as effectively as those who are engaged in transcendental bliss by serving the lotus feet of the Lord, uprooting the deep-grown desire for fruitive activities.”


This is actually Prithu Maharaj section and the conclusion is to Worship Vashudev, Bhaj Vasudevam what is the rational why to worship Lord Vashudev that is described prior to that absolute truth that Vashudev
yat-pāda-paṅkaja-palāśa, the lotus feet of the Lord pāda-paṅkaja-palāśa, -vilāsa-bhaktyā, Vilasa means to delight, one who delights in the lotus feet of the Lord, that is the devotees delight in chanting, dancing, hearing – telling the pastime of the Lord and devotees delight in that, sometimes some devotees think that renunciation means we should not feel happiness, if we chant and dance they say we should not chant and dance for our pleasure, well it is not that we are chanting and dancing ONLY for our pleasure, but it is not that we are meant to not feel pleasure that means that we should chant and dance in a graceful way not in sensual way not in obnoxious way, Srila Prabhupada told not to dance in sensual way when one incidence happened in USA on Lowery Side by one lady. But we should get pleasure in chanting, hearing, dancing etc. but the test for our devotion is that even when we don’t experience the happiness we continuing doing the activity, someday when we chant we feel it is to tiresome so boring but still I continue, why I continue because I know that this is the way I experience happiness, this is the way I will make spiritual advancement so this I will do, so vilāsa-bhaktyā, devotee should delight in the practice of Bhakti, when that happens karmāśayaṁ grathitam udgrathayanti santaḥ, karmāśaya -> the forces of Karma, the desire of fruitive activities the residual impression in mind which impel us to do fruitive activities are grathitam they are deeply bound but they become udgrathayanti, uprooted. santaḥ, the saintly people, they uproot them like that and this there is no other way to do it. What is the other way? tadvan na rikta-matayo, those who tried to empty their mind, don’t think of that, don’t think of that, those who try to do that ,yatayo ’pi ruddha-, even if they tried to empty their mind they cannot do that because sroto-gaṇās tam araṇaṁ bhaja vāsudevam, sroto -> refer here is waves, if someone is at costs and he desired that I wanted to make cost dry, how is that possible, we will dry costs by throwing water in the ocean but again after some time some waves will come and the cost will become wet. Again we dry again the waves come and it will make the costs wet. So actually how it is possible, if we try to empty the mind what will happen is, waves are going to come waves of sensual desires will come from outside world when we perceive sense objects or from inside worldly things from our own memory, our past recollections of sensual indulgence become aroused some way or other so they are like waves they will keep coming and keep flooding our consciousness, so if we try to empty our mind it is not possible as thoughts will come up because impressions are there, the sense objects are there externally and impressions are there internally, so the solution is not to make mind empty but to make the mind full, make the mind full with Sri Krishna, so if I have a glass by default glass will be filled with air, if I don’t want it to be filled with air, what I do? I will tell go away the air will not go away, I will turn the glass down the air will not go away, I will bring the vacuum machine pull it out I make a vacuum inside the glass but how long I can keep the vacuum as soon as little exposer comes the vacuum will be filled by air, so it is practically impossible to make the glass empty in vacuum like that it is impossible to make our mind empty Rikta Mataya is impossible, so what is to be done you should fill the glass with water, if I fill the glass with water there will not be any room for air to come inside, like that if I don’t want sensual desire in my mind rather to pull sensual desire from our mind we need to fill our mind with spiritual desire like devotional inspiration, devotional thoughts, fill our mind with Sri Krishna then there is no room left, probably no lust is far off dream but no time for lust is possible, achievable, if we are busy in service to Krishna, so many fulfilling activities we can do and we start engaging in those activities then the constant craving which is there will go in the back ground, it will stay in background and eventually it will go out of the ground only. It may take a long time but we can keep it in the background there is no need to let it come in the foreground. So if we keep thinking about it sometimes thinking so much that I will not do it makes us do it. If we think I will not do it, I will not do, I will not do…I am thinking about it I am not thinking about Sri Krishna, so even if I am thinking about something in negative that I shouldn’t do it what happens is my thoughts are going towards it and this will contaminate our thoughts and we can do that by the force of mind’s obstinacy  therefore, yat-pāda-paṅkaja-palāśa-vilāsa-bhaktyā, we delight in Krishna Consciousness, if we delight in Krishna Consciousness then whatever is talked here we will be able to apply.

What will happen by delighting in Krishna Consciousness is mentioned by Srila Prabhupada below:

svāny apatyāni puṣṇanti
tathāham api padma-ja

“By vision, by meditation and by touch only do the fish, the tortoise and the birds maintain their offspring. Similarly do I also, O Padmaja!”


This is vedic understanding, we know that birds sit on their eggs this way they will keep it warm and they hatch the eggs and new baby birds come out of it, so birds nourish their offspring just by touch, similarly the fish look upon their offspring and the tortoise do meditation, actually looking and meditation is something which is not observable, how can science know whom someone is meditating on, and there may be specific kinds of fish and tortoise which may do this. So even today’s scientific evidence doesn’t support this idea, it doesn’t mean that this principle is impossible, there are certain kinds of living beings which may be capable of doing these things so for e.g. swan is capable of separating milk from water, is it that all the birds which are called swans are able to do that not necessarily just like we have lotuses, all lotuses are as fragrant as it is talked in the vedic scriptures why because there are different kinds of lotuses there are different kinds of swans, there are different kinds of fish there are different kinds of tortoises also, so here it is mentioned about special kind of fish, tortoises so the point here is these kinds of example are given not based on factual understanding but on the principles which is taught through that example because the factuality is based on our relative perception, what we don’t consider fact today may be our limited perception and how much can we actually observe, so when these examples come up we should not focus on the fact but the principle, the principle is something is growing, so the offspring is growing because of benevolent care of parent, so Lord is saying similarly do I also, so what is the point? When are meditating on the Lord the Lord is also meditating on us, so Lord is actually always there with us in our heart and is always thinking of our well fare, but when we don’t think of Him we don’t allow Him to think of our well fare, it is like a Dr. wants to treat a patient but the patient doesn’t want to be treated so doctor really can’t do much, Dr. needs patient cooperation, so when we start thinking of Sri Krishna we start cooperating and Sri Krishna is able to help us more and more, so we need to understand that when we are practicing spiritual life it is not that we alone are struggling to fix our mind on Sri Krishna, actually Sri Krishna is also striving to help us fix our mind on Him. And He is helping us to move closer to Him in that way. So this Srila Prabhupada explanation how Brahma Nirvana takes place, Brahma means Sri Krishna and Nirvana is liberation from material existence.


Now in next verse Sri Krishna will give a brief explanation about how one can attain liberation by the practice of Astang Yoga.

Author: Bhavin Kataria

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