Since Brahman is the same in all and free from defects, therefore, having realized himself as identical with That,–

न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् ।
स्थिरबुद्धिरसंमूढो ब्रह्मविद्ब्रह्मणि स्थितः ॥ २० ॥ (5.20)

With a steady intellect, undeluded, knowing and abiding in Brahman, one should neither be elated when gaining the pleasant nor shrink when meeting with the unpleasant.

The first half of this verse stands already explained in verse 2.56 “The monk whose mind is unpreturbed in sorrows, who is free from longing for delights..”

The लिङ्ग् suffixes in न प्रहृष्येत्, (should not get delighted), and न उद्विजेत्, (should not become dejected) are used in order to state that the natural behaviour itself of those who are जीवन्मुक्त should be followed and deligently practised by seekers of Liberation. The idea is that, since for one absorbed in the realization of non-dual Self there is no other such thing as acquisition of the desireable or the undesireable, apart from the Self, therefore, there is no happiness or sorrow consequent on them (coming as they do from objects).

The Lord expounds the realization itself of the non-dual Self: स्थिरबुद्धि:, one whose intellect is steady, unwavering, free from certainty, with regard to Brahman, on account of being devoid of all doubts as a result of perfection of विचार on the Vedaantic texts, preceded by renunciation; i.e. one who has acquired the fruits of श्रवण and मनन.

Even though such person is free of all असम्भावना, still, direct experience may not occur owing to the obstacle of विपरीत-भावना.

Hence Lord Krishna speaks of निदिध्यासन:, profound and repeated meditation.

असंमूढ:, one who is not deluded, one who is without the delusion called विपरीत-भावना, as a result of of the maturity of निदिध्यासन, which is characterised by a flow of similar ideas uniterrupted by ideas of a different kind; ब्रह्मवित्, a knower of Brahman, one who has the direct realization of Brahman as a result of removal of all obstacles thereby (ie. following the preceding achievements); and after that, स्थितः ब्रह्माणि, estblished in Brahman alone, and not anywhere else, as a consequence of perfection in समाधि; ie. a man of steady wisdom, who is a जीवन्मुक्त.

It is but proper that for a man of this kind there should be no exultation or anxiety, because there is no perception of duality. However, even though the perception of duality persists in the case of one undergoing spiritual disciplines, exultation and anxiety should still be eschewed by him through the observation of the defects of objects. This is the purport.

It may be asked: “Since the liking for external objects is very strong owning to their having been experienced over many lives, how can a mind engrossed in them become established in Brahman, which is super-mundane and devoid of all tangible pleasures?

And even if we try to explain it as because Brahman is supreme Bliss by nature a further objection can be raised as follows:

Since that supreme Bliss of Brahman has never been experienced, it cannot be the cause of steadiness of the mind.

Brihadaaranya Vaartika puts it as follows:
“Even the Bliss that has merely been heard of, but has not been made an object of direct experience through the means of valid knowledhge, is not enough to weaken the desire for tangible joy.”

In answer to the above Krishna says:
बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत्सुखम् ।
स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥ (5.21)

The sage whose inner sense is unattached to objective contacts wins bliss in the Self; his inner sense is united with Brahman; he enjoys inexhaustible bliss.

स्पर्शा: are those that are contacted by the organs, i.e. sound etc; and they are external (बाह्य ) because they are the characteristics of the non-Self. असक्तात्मा, one whose mind (आत्मा) is unattached (असक्त) to them; he, by becoming dispassionate on account of the absence of craving, विन्दति, gets; आत्मनि, in the internal organ (mind) itself, through a modification of the mind that is made of pure सत्त्व; सुखम्, Bliss; यत्, which is independent of external objects and is of the nature of tranquility.

So it has been said in Mahabharata, “The happiness in the world which is derived from lust, and that which is the great heavenly happiness–these two do not compare with one sixteenth part of the happiness derived from the elimination of desire.”

Or, that very Bliss itself which is natural to the inmost Self implied by the word “thou” which is experienced in deep sleep, and which is not attained by one due to the obstruction of attachment to the external objects, is experienced in the absence of that obstruction.

Sri Krishna says that, not only does he (the sage) attain the Bliss that exists in that which is implied by the word “thou” but also the full Bliss by virtue of experiencing identity with the purport of the word “That”; सः, he, the desireless man; ब्रह्म योग युक्त आत्मा, who has his आत्मा, the internal organ viz. the mind, युक्त, fixed, in योग, in self-absorption, in Brahman, the supreme Self; or, one whose आत्मा, Self, the real nature of the import of the word “thou” has become युक्त, identified with Brahman, the import of the word “That” through योग, through self-absorption in the form of realization of the meaning of the sentence तत् त्वं असि (That thou art); अच्नुते, acquires; अक्षयम्, undecaying, सुखम्, Bliss, which is his own naure.

The idea is that he, the sage, becomes for ever one with the experience of Bliss itself.

Although the object of Bliss (आनन्द) is eternal (अनन्त), still, the verbal sense in अच्नुते (acquires) is used in figurative way to imply the removal of ignorance as आनन्द being अनन्त cannot be acquired as such acquisition would indicate a beginning for the beginningless one.

Therefore one should, by becoming desirous of experiencing eternal Bliss in oneself, withdraw the organ from the transcient love for external objects which leads to a great hell.

And by that much alone comes steadfastness in Brahman. This is the import.

It may be argued as follows: (a) When the love for external objects cease, there follows eternal Bliss in oneself;

(b) When that occurs there follows from its favor itself, the cessation of love for external objects;

(c) Thus, on account of mutual dependence, not even either will result.

Having this objection in mind Krishna states the solution, saying that this love ceases only by observing the defects in objects:

30. He goes to emphasize this in the next stanza.


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