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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 71

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 71
vihaya kaman yah sarvan
pumams carati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankarah
sa santim adhigacchati

Translation:
A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego — he alone can attain real peace.

Explanation:
This is the last verse in Krishna's response to Arjuna's question about how does a transcendentally situated person conduct himself. There are three important points that Krishna's makes here.

First, that the person gives up the desire for sense objects – not the sense objects themselves. Krishna repeatedly makes this distinction to discourage external or false renunciation where the senses are artificially restrained from their objects but the mind continuously meditates on these objects. This is condemned because it is only a matter of time before the intelligence follows the mind and the senses begun to actively engage with their objects.

The second point is to give up the sense of proprietorship. This can only be achieved by recognizing that Krishna is the true proprietor.

Finally Krishna recommend being free of false ego. By definition, ego gives us the sense of our self-identity. It is the subtlest part of our subtle body, and through the ego the living entity identifies himself. When asked the question "Who am I," the ego either answers "You are the enjoyer and controller," or it answers "You are the eternal servant of Krishna." In the first case the answer bewilders the mind of the living entity because it is not true – which is why this ego is called "false ego." In the later case the answer situates the person in his constitutional position and is called the "true ego," or simply ego.

In this summary verse Krishna succinctly summarizes the three essential characteristics of the stitha-pranja – he does not desire personal sense gratification, he understands that he owns nothing and every thing factually belongs to Krishna and finally he understands that his real position is to enjoy with Krishna and not separately from Him. Srila Prabhupada summarizes, "This understanding of Krishna consciousness is the basic principle of real peace."

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

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