Lurking right behind you...ha! ha! made you look! (lurkitty) wrote in gita_talk,
Lurking right behind you...ha! ha! made you look!

Chapter 2, 2:60 - 2:65


2:60 "The restless violence of the senses impetuously carries away the mind of even a wise man striving towards perfection."

So much is said in one little sentence! Sense themselves can be violent, and lead the mind astray. Even the man striving for perfection is at their mercy. In one way, it is a caution. In another, it says that we not uniquely at risk of succumbing to our senses.

2:61 "Bringing them all into the harmony of recollection, let him sit in devotion and union, his soul finding rest in me. For when his senses are in harmony, then his is a serene wisdom."

This is a very important verse to the Krishna conciousness movement. Swami Prabudhapa, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement (International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKC) translates it: "One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence." In the verse, Krishna is saying that sitting in devotion and fixing the mind on Him will help bring about harmony of the senses. It is interesting to note that Mascaro uses the term wisdom where Prabudhapa uses intelligence.

This is also more generally a verse supporting Bhakti, or devotional yoga.

But Krishna does not stop at defining the yoga of devotion. Over the next few verses, he give practical instructions.

2:62 "When a man dwells o the pleasures of sense, attraction for them arises in him. From attraction arises desire, the lust of posession, and this leads to passion, anger."

2:63 " From passion comes confusion of mind, then loss of remembrance, the forgetting of duty. From this loss comes the ruin of reason, and the ruin of reason leads man to destruction."

See the Second Noble truth: the root cause of suffering is desire.

2:64 ""But the soul that moves in the world of the senses and yet keeps the senses in harmony, free from attraction and aversion, finds rest in quietness."

The third Noble Truth: the end of suffering. Suffering ceases when a man rids himself of desires.

Neither Buddhist doctrine nor the verses here are advocating ridding oneself of senses or avoiding them by retreating from the world. It is desire that is faulted.

2:65 "In this quietness falls down the burden of all her sorrows, for when the heart has found quietness, wisdom has also found peace."
Tags: arjuna, krishna, wisdom, yoga
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The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering

Where do we read these Truths first?
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Vedanta were read by early Buddhists. Some consider Buddhism a "revision" of Hinduism. While the Four truths are very much extant in the Gita, some disagreement occurs with respect to the Eightfold Path.

Krishna has argued that a man's actions are not inherently "right" or "wrong". Even killing is justifiable when it is done in accordance with path of the soul. Where Krishna counsels to become devoted, Buddhism shuns devotion to any God, rather, it counsels devoting attention to the improvement of self.

As an aside, what I have gleaned from the teachings of Thich Naht Hanh (I am, by no means an expert) is that the First Truth can be stated "There is suffering in life" rather than "life is (or means) suffering". It is one thing to accept suffering as natural, yet another to generalize all life as suffering. Releasing yourself from attachment or desire for the highs and lows of happiness/suffering is far more important than perseverating. As to the terms "desire" and "attachment", I have seen both used in stating the Second Truth. These are debates that take lifetimes!

In any case, our purpose here is to compare and contrast as well as discuss, so your comment is quite welcome.

Thank you, and welcome aboard!