|Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized|
yatato hy api kaunteya
haranti prasabham manah
The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.
In the previous verse Krishna gave two possible ways of sense control. First was by forcibly restricting the senses from their object – the kind of renunciation seen in jnanis and yogis. The second was by developing a higher taste – keeping the senses fully engaged in the service of the Lord. Krishna had explicitly glorified the later, since the senses are easily controlled when they are experiencing a higher taste. In this verse He brings forth the inherent danger of one who is endeavoring to forcibly restrain the senses. The senses, Krishna states, do not just mislead the weak or ignorant. "A man of discrimination" is one of who realizes the importance of controlling the senses, and "endeavoring to control" implies that he is actively attempting to act on this understanding. Even so the senses are strong enough to delude such a person. Srila Prabhupada gives the example, "Even Vishvamitra, a great sage and perfect yogi, was misled by Menaka into sex enjoyment, although the yogi was endeavoring for sense control with severe types of penance and yoga practice. And, of course, there are so many similar instances in the history of the world. Therefore, it is very difficult to control the mind and senses without being fully Krishna conscious." This verse is a direct admonition to Arjuna. Krishna is telling Arjuna, "Do not give up work. Do not become a jnani, a man who simply discriminates between matter and spirit. Perform your duty in buddhi-yoga." Krishna is showing Arjuna the defect of jnana in order to propose the superiority of bhakti-yoga.
Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.
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