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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 64

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 64
raga-dvesha-vimuktais tu
vishayan indriyais caran
atma-vasyair vidheyatma
prasadam adhigacchati

But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.

Beginning from this verse, for the next 8 verses (2.64-2.71) Krishna answers Arjuna's last question: "How does he walk?" which means "How does he conduct himself in life?"

An important phase used here is "regulative principles of freedom." With freedom comes responsibility – just like a free citizen is responsible for following all the rules and regulations of law. As long as he follows them, he has considerable freedom. But as soon as he violates the rules he is put into prison and there his freedom is severely curtailed.

Similarly in this world, the scriptures lay down the rules for living. As long as the living entity follows the prescribed regulations of the scriptures, he enjoys freedom. The more he violates them, the more his freedom gets restricted. An extreme form of this is the plant life, where the soul has very little freedom to do anything.

The Lord explains that it is not a fault to accept the objects of the senses, if it is done with controlled senses, with absence of attachment of the objects in the mind. Renunciation is therefore understood to be of two forms. First is renouncing the object of desire. Second is renouncing the desire for the objects. Both are good, but the second is sustainable, since then the senses could be fully used by engaging them in the service of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada summarizes, "Therefore to act or not to act is within his control because he acts only under the direction of Krishna. This consciousness is the causeless mercy of the Lord, which the devotee can achieve in spite of his being attached to the sensual platform."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

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