Gita's secret of self-control
As we know Gita's philosophy is known for its spectacular realities and rationale of life; which is well admired throughout the globe. Gita is a well-known holy scripture and this beautiful epic has more than just religious values and mythical stories. Lord Krishna had given valuable practical life education on “karma”, “bhakti” and “Gyan yoga” i.e behavioral, emotional, and intellectual values; which have been stated in the epic Gita. Encountering with Gita can help a person to see life from a very different perspective, Lord Krishna has taught almost about every aspect of life to Arjuna through verses, and cleared all the conflicts and dilemmas that Arjuna was facing. Gita is all about the ideology to understand and facilitate life in a better, practical and rational fashion. It describes the enlightening practices through the verses which were taught to Arjuna by Lord Krishna at the time of Mahabharata. Every chapter of Gita deals with one critical problem faced by Arjuna related to life and Lord Krishna as an expert Psychologist has given the most appropriate guidance and counseling to Arjuna about how to resolve the problem. Through this hermeneutic process, we can derive our own proper practices of coping with stresses and resolve our almost daily life-related problems.
Chapter three of GITA basically deals with the doctrines of self-control and self-regulation, where Arjuna put forward his dilemma asks Lord Krishna about why he cannot focus on his work and what is stopping him from focusing on his aim and duties; which at the time is the sole purpose as well as duty. Krishna then comes up with a solution and describes to him how one can get distracted from their assigned work; lose their control and deviates from their duties they actually ought to fulfill in order o reach their highest potential. He Called those disrupting elements '𝑘a𝑎𝑚𝑛𝑎' i.e. desires or lust. According to Lord Krishna, desire is the “strong longing for something which may cause a distraction to our real goal”, it might be the smallest or the most dangerous factor such as, desire to sleep for one more hour, procrastination of the set goals related tasks, desire to eat one more sweet which may affect your health, desire to rest and not exercising or drugs abuse or alcohol consumption to feel euphoria, breaking positive humanly societal norms just for own sake of happiness, doing evil things like harassment for own pleasure, having sex without consent and so on. Lord Krishna preached also about the desires that function like terribly dangerous elements in human lives and if those are not controlled in time; they have significant potential to ruin even the most intellectual individual; these, in short, turn the gold into dust. The majority of the above-mentioned portion through which I came up about how to control desires are described in verses 39, 40, and 41 of chapter 3.
The conversation starts with the verse:
आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा।
Aavritam gyanmeten gyanino nityavairina,
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च।।
Kamruped kauntey duspuredanlen ch.
According to Lord Krishna, the above verses mean that the desires are the toughest enemies of the intellectual humans who have some dreams to achieve. Desires come as anything which can make an individual crave and seek instant gratification, cause an unstable mind, and deviates the individuals from their sole purposes. Desires or lusts simply drift the person’s intellect and focus away by causing harm to the perseverance and tenacity for the aspired goals and duties of the person. Moreover, Lord Krishna states that, once the person falls into the trap of desires and lust, they tend to go deeper and want frequent pleasure. A person trapped in desires and lust emphasizes more on instant gratification because these desires and lust form a spiral of distortions and cause terrible impacts to one’s intellect. The person tends to be craving for more and more yet keeps on feeling unquenched fiery thirst which can never be satisfied. On the other hand, it increases rapidly, turns finally to be irresistible and less tolerant (just like some intoxicating drug). Till here we have come to know about the alienating and distracting element for human beings.
Next are the verses in which Lord Krishna describes more about the onset of the desires in humans attention and focus by playing a continuously lit fire on the human mind.
इंद्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठान मुच्यते
Indriyadi Mano buddhirasyadhisthan muchyate
एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम्।
Aetervimohayesh gyanmavriyatya dehinam
According to Lord Krishna, the desires enter slowly into our minds (𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑎) and occupy it all over time, by slowly it traping our senses (𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑟𝑖𝑦𝑎) in. Finally, it covers the whole of our intellect (𝑏𝑢𝑑𝑑ℎ𝑖). We can also divide them based on consciousness, for example, sense function at the unconscious level, mind on sub-conscious, and intellect on conscious levels. So talking of senses, we know there are 5 primary senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. That is from there we are affected by what we see, hear, talk, and feel. What types of books we read, what type of content we watch on TV and nowadays on social media, what types of friends and colleagues we are surrounded with, what we drink or eat, etc. leave a deep impact on our persona. Thus, everything which is inscribed deeply through and into our senses, soul, and mind will influence us in every possible manner. It will overlap our intellect and ability to think rationally if whatever is entering our mind is unhealthy for our sole purpose of life.
So till here, one will understand that how do our senses, mind, and intellect been occupied by our desires and lust. In the next verse, Lord Krishna tells Arjun that how can he control his desires and focus on the sole purpose of his life, He tells Arjuna about the first step of self-regulation and self-control.
The next verse is:
तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्न भरतर्षभ
Tasmatvamindriganyaduo niyaman bharatarsahb
पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्नेनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम्
Papmanam prajahi hnonm gyanvigyannasham
According to Lord Krishna, if these desires can't be controlled, they have the potential to destroy all the intellect, knowledge, and skills acquired by the person for long; alongside there will be more probabilities that the person may perform sins and wrong deeds for the quick gratification and pleasure. Therefore, to save oneself from all these sins and deformation, the person should first start control, screen, evaluate and refine everything which comes in contact with one’s senses. Each and everything which comes into contact of our any of the five senses should be controlled first to become a self-regulated person. According to Him, the human mind is impatient, restless, and unstable. It roams randomly here and there just for pleasure and one needs to control this tendency by doing a proper regulation of the senses. The person must follow some self-regulation by some discipline to keep his/her mental health intact too. People have to surround themselves with positivity and virtuousness which relates to and facilitates the sole purpose of their lives. This is Gita's secret of self-control, so what are you waiting for!? We can now start regulating everything which our senses come across with and it will ultimately help us to regulate our mind and intellect.