Chapter II, Verse 62
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
THE FALL OF MAN
If one muses on the objects of the senses, there arises attraction (or attachment). From such (mental) Attraction springs desire. This desire flames into wrath (if anything or anyone comes in the way).
Entertaining ideas about the senses creates an expectation. The expectation of a specific result from the senses (desire) causes a longing for fulfillment. Frustration arises when expectations are not fulfilled. Prolonged frustration inevitably builds to anger.
The wise cannot entertain the senses and remain wise. The wise interact with the senses in the same way that an actor gets drunk from the non-alcoholic tea which has been placed in the prop whiskey bottle.
In the previous verse, Krishna stated that the wise are focused on Him alone. In this verse, Krishna explains what happens if one’s attention is transferred from Him to the senses.
When one’s intention is directed at the senses, the object or desired experience becomes attractive. If anyone or anything thwarts the desire, then frustration and anger arise. Once anger is expressed all wisdom is lost in that moment.
Here are the steps of the downfall of consciousness:
- 1- Turning some portion of attention from God to matter, matter becomes more desirable than God.
- 2 – Even one “innocent” desire creates an ungodly attachment for the fruits of fulfillment.
- 3 – Inevitably, due to the cyclic nature of duality, some or all of the action taken to fulfill a desire will be blocked.
- 4 – When the actions to fulfill a desire are blocked, frustration arises.
- 5 – Frustration is the spark of anger. Anger explodes.
- 6 – The explosion of anger destroys the connection to wisdom and intuition.
In short: Intention leads to desire. Desire leads to attachment. Attachment leads to action seeking the fruit. Actions are thwarted. Blocked actions lead to frustration. Frustration breeds anger. Anger hides intuition and disconnects the soul from wisdom.
Many sincere people are led astray by those who claim to express the highest wisdom. One who preaches hatred and judgement is not wise. A self-proclaimed spiritual leader who must have any thing (make a donation) or person (become my disciple) is not wise. The wise simply exist in the context of the life they have arrived at. Self-seeking is no longer part of living for the enlightened person.
Each person must learn to follow their own intuition to fulfill their role and to find the path to freedom. Cultivate conscience with concentration. Develop understanding with meditation. Introspect daily to evaluate whether or not personal actions are aligned with personal goals. Self-correction is the fastest way to personal improvement. A coach cannot play the game for you. A teacher cannot learn your lessons for you. An enlightened person cannot remove your ignorance, though their example can awaken your inner potential.
With minimal effort, even the worldly human can see that obsessive behaviors are not healthy and that lasting improvements require personal effort.
Anger is always a misdirected emotion.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
When using the Bhagavad Gita as a primer for the creation of Sanskrit mantras, this verse is a warning to those who would use mantras for selfish gain.
Download a PDF copy of this post.