Wednesday, October 21, 2009

II: 58

Chapter 2, Verse 58

“Tortoises draw in their legs.
Those with steady wisdom
Draw in their senses.
I call them illumined.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

“It may appear that those of steady wisdom referred to in these verses are only those who are in a state of meditative Samadhi (super-conscious trance) for in this state alone are the senses completely withdrawn from objects. But ‘draw in their senses’ does not necessarily mean that the senses are not experiencing outside objects. The senses may be involved with outer experiences and yet not be engrossed in them to the extent that impressions are transferred to the mind deeply enough to become the seeds of future desires requiring gratification. It is vital to understand this point; otherwise, those of steady wisdom would have to for ever remain outside the domain of sensory activity which is not the case at all.”

Srila Prabhupada:

“The test of Yogis is that they are able to control their senses according to plan. Most people are servants of the senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses. There are many injunctions in the scriptures. Some of them are do-nots, and some of them are dos. Unless you are able to do the dos and not do the do-nots, it is not possible to be firmly fixed in Krishna consciousness. The senses of Krishna conscious persons are used only in service of the Lord. Krishna is teaching Arjuna here to use his senses for the service of the Lord, instead of for his own satisfaction.”

[The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Thoughts have positive power when they help me make positive changes on the path in the sense of doing the dos that Prabhupad talks about and not doing the do-nots. Many of these injunctions require deep-seated re-conditioning which is where the deep feeling, the deep longing to come into alignment with the higher power and devotion to that ideal helps big-time.]

Daniel Clark:

“Serving Krishna with devotion sets the standard for life fully lived. Studying the Gita provides the knowledge of what is real and what is illusory in life. But neither one nor both together can factually finish off my taste for material life. To whatever extent I've developed distaste for my non-Krishna life, it's because of the pain it's given me. Suffering is the third horse on the troika of spiritual advancement. Bhakti (devotion), Gyan (knowledge), and Dukkha (suffering). Prabhupad used to say, ‘You want to enjoy? Just try to enjoy!’ Of course, I try. It works for a while. But then it turns sour. Or, at least dull. Neither devotion nor knowledge gets permanently fixed in my heart without the annealing fire of suffering – personally suffering the results of my apparent enjoyment. Paraphrasing your Prabhupad quote, only when I've experienced enough pain from the do-nots, and have stopped doing them, embracing only the dos, will I be firmly fixed in Krishna consciousness. This is not an attractive message. But it's true.”

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