Chapter III, Verse 28
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
But he, O Mighty-armed, who has true insight into the essence of things, knows that the objects of the sense and the senses are of the same nature, and knowing it, controls the senses and does not get attached to the sense-objects.
The spiritual warrior sees the connection between the senses and their objects. He identifies these as a result of the three qualities and chooses to enjoy them all without attachment.
Christmas celebrations are a special time for children, especially in Western Civilization. Most communities celebrate with gifts and treats, many of which come from Santa Claus. When kids begin attending school with other children, they compare notes and question the existence of Santa Claus. They wonder who brings the gifts that magically appear under the Christmas tree. Eventually, each child learns that Santa Claus is a mythological being and the gifts are bought and wrapped by thoughtful relatives.
The ignorant man is like the child who believes in Santa Claus. He believes that sensual experiences born of taste, touch, sight, sound and hearing are magical gifts that appeared out of nowhere. The ignorant one does not make the connection between sense objects and their source.
The one who becomes enlightened understands the source of the senses and how the objects of sensual experiences are created. This “spiritual warrior” is like the adult who no longer believes in Santa Claus, but also doesn’t destroy the child’s fantasy.
On the physical level of creation, the source of all sensual experiences is love. Human love and it’s opposite human hate create the pleasure and pain matrix that appear “magically” as objects to be experienced. There are many who argue against the idea that love is the sole substance of the physical universe, but those who meditate deeply experience that love before it is conditioned by the three qualities (gunas). It is only through repeated direct experience of unconditional love that a human becomes enlightened.
As a child matures and understands the how Santa Claus works, so also the adult who advances in understanding realizes incrementally over time and with supreme effort that only Love creates every sensual experience. Whether a sensual experience is perceived as either good or bad is entirely based on the perspective of the beholder.
When someone argues that unconditional love is a myth, even like Santa Claus, the wise remain silent. If that spiritually immature person is receptive, the wise will advise them to lead a considered life with daily contemplation, meditation and deep prayer.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
Mahabaho – A general epithet of warriors that is applied to both Krishna and Arjuna at various points in the Bhagavad Gita. One with omnipotent arm strength.
The deeper meaning relates to the anatomy and physiology of the
nerve/nadi/chakra systems of energy and consciousness and must be
examined by specific usage.
gunas – The three qualities are: positive (Sattwa), negative (Tama) and neutralizing
(Raja). Additional notes about each quality follows:
Existence, truth, bears witness to the truth; illumines, ascertains,
soothes, and uplifts by causing an equilibrium. Makes real happiness
devoid of excitement. Has no motion of its own. Gives the power to will
and to know.
Activates, produces motion, causes change in anything it influences. Gives matter its force and impetus; causes desire and endeavor in the mind.
This quality covers or hides “neutral” qualities and obstructs “positive” qualities.
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