Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verse 62 & Verse 63 Print E-mail

Verse 62 - 63




When the intellect is not deployed you go down the stairway to destruction. One thing leads to another and before you know it ruin stares you in the face. Only the intellect safeguards you from this predicament.


The whole thing starts with one thought and if you do not scrutinise the thought in the beginning, it gathers momentum and leads to a bunch of thoughts flowing from you to the object of desire. This is called attachment. How do you know you are attached to a person? When the person is there, you feel comfortable, happy. When the person is not there you feel something is missing.


If you continue to invest in it, the thought flow gets strengthened. This is called desire. A desire is a consolidated thought. So first you are drawn by it, then you desire it.


From desire anger is born. When desire is obstructed by an extraneous element, the thoughts that are flowing from you to the object get diverted towards the obstruction. This diverted thought flow is called anger. Thus anger can never arise without an underlying desire. When you want uninterrupted access to the roads in your city you get angry when other cars obstruct your movement.


When you are angry you get deluded. When a teenager gets angry with his father he says things he should not say. The father also gets angry and there is chaos. Psychologists refer to anger as 'temporary madness'. If even one member keeps his head on his shoulders such a situation is avoided.


From delusion comes loss of memory. In the heat of the moment son and father forget their relationship; son forgets to show respect, father forgets to show understanding.


From confusion of memory comes loss of intellect. The emotion builds up to such an extent you lose the capacity to think. This destroys you. Thus step by step we devolve to self-annihilation.


That which has made the human being the ruler of the universe is not his physical prowess but the capacity of the intellect to think. This is what has put him in a commanding position. Otherwise, physically, even a dog can be more powerful than a human being. The intellect must be closely guarded, protected, developed. We must understand how vulnerable we are to destruction. And it all starts with one thought. Before we know it we have gone through the whole process onto total annihilation. We must think through to the consequences of our actions.


Suppose your friends plan a holiday abroad. They invite you to join them. You think, 'why not?' As soon as this thought enters the mind, the intellect should immediately consider the constraints. You know that you cannot afford it. You also have loads of work to finish. Your intellect should quickly dismiss the thought because it is not practical. It is not possible for you to pursue that thought at this point in time.


Every thought need not be eliminated. If a thought is practical for you to pursue and well within your means, by all means go through with it. If you feel you should study the Bhagavad Gita, do not dismiss the thought! But it is important that you examine every thought at the very first stage.


When one pathogenic, disease-causing, bacterium enters your system you do not feel it. You feel fine. Having firmly ensconced itself in your body it starts multiplying. 25 bacteria and still nothing happens, 50 bacteria and you are unaffected. But it multiplies at such a rate that one fine day it hits you. Then you get immobilised for a number of days even if it is a minor infection. What is a bacterium, what is its power? What sophistication does a human being have compared to a bacterium? Yet that bacterium can debilitate you. Similarly, a thought here, a like there seem innocuous and you are careless about it. You feel, 'what can that one thought do?' That thought takes root in your system and it can destroy you. Therefore, what you need in spirituality is `Thought Guard'. You need to guard every thought that enters your mind. If you do that you will be fine. If you do not, it will be very difficult to control the force of your thought flow. Imagine a car on a steep incline. When it starts rolling down gently, it is possible to apply the brakes and stop it. But as the car gains momentum, the brakes become more and more ineffective in halting the vehicle and it eventually crashes.


Thoughts come into your mind at such a terrific pace that most of the time you are not even aware of the kind of thoughts you are entertaining. And what is even more dangerous is that you are entertaining negative thoughts. As an American activist said to his son, `a person may have done many injustices to you, but never ever entertain hatred towards him. The bitterness may or may not do any harm to him, but it will surely destroy you.' If you think negatively it can only lead to negative results for you. The other person may be blissfully unaware of what is happening in your mind. Therefore you must be extra alert to make sure that you harbour the right kind of thoughts. When you entertain thoughts which are detrimental to your well being, you should be able to nip them in the bud. These two verses are highlighting the importance of the intellect in controlling such thought patterns.



Previous Next