Equanimity – GITA 2: 41


|| Shree Hari ||
Ram Ram
II 2:41 II

vyavasayatmika buddhir, keha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca, buddhayo ‘vyavasayinam

“O Joy of Kurus (Arjuna), in this blessed path (attainment of equanimity), the intellect is determinate and one-pointed; whereas the intellect of the undecided (ignorant man moved by desires) is divided endlessly in many diverse directions.”

Equanimity is attained by the one who has only one and single goal. Many goals are due to the presence of desires only.

From Gita Prabodhani in Hindi pg. 45 by Swami Ramsukhdasji


Chapter 2, Verse 41 is as follows;

Vyavasaayaatmikaa = resolute
BuddhiH = determination / intellect
Ekaa = single
Iha = here
Kuru-nanadan = O joy of Kurus! / O Arjuna!
Bahu-ShaakhaaH = many branched
Hi = indeed
AnantaaH = endless
Cha = and
Buddhayah = thoughts
A-Vyavasaayinaam = of an irresolute
English translation:-
O joy of the Kurus! For the one who is resolute in mind and intellect, there is only one decision to make, which is gradual progression to the realisation of the Self. However, many branched and endless are the thoughts of an irresolute.
Our science teacher, while performing an experiment in Optics, had once demonstrated us that by focusing of Sun-rays through a convex lens one can burn a piece of paper. Then he suddenly made a startling but a very subtle comment, “If you focus your mind and intellect, then see what you can achieve in life.” It had a lasting impression on many of us.
Later on, I came across a matching verse 37 in chapter 4 in Shreemad Bhagawad Geeta, wherein Lord Krishna has advised Arjuna, “As a blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.”
Knowledge and ignorance seem to co-exist in every human being. When knowledge is invoked, ignorance automatically recedes. `Sattvaat Sanjaayate Gnyaanam’ i.e. from `Sattva’ Guna knowledge arises. The awakening of the knowledge of the Self completely eradicates ignorance. Thus knowledge destroys all unfulfilled residual desires and all actions driven by unending desires in search of earthly acquisitions and enjoyments.
A person, who is competent with many skills but is not outstanding in any one, is treated as `A jack of all trades, but master of none’. He is normally called as a `handyman’ i.e. a man who does odd jobs or various small tasks but nothing so concrete and praise-worthy.
Due to his extra-ordinary ability to concentrate on any object and on any given task, Arjuna is renowned to be the best archer and the best disciple of Guru Dronaachaarya. Lord Krishna reminds Arjuna of his brilliant track record. The use of word `Kurunandana’ in this verse implies that Arjuna would lose the very joy of his life, if all his future actions are motivated by the unfocussed irresolute mind rather than being propelled by the well focussed resolute intellect.
In essence, Lord Krishna communicates to Arjuna that all his actions should no longer be dictated by the whims and fancies of his mind. The unfulfilled desires of his mind will certainly drive his physical body to action; however, every such action initiated by Arjuna must have a prior sanction of his intellect, otherwise it is bound to result into unpredictable, undesirable and unpleasant consequences for him.
In Upanishad there is a nice illustration in the following verse;
“Mano Hi Dvividham Proktam, Shuddham Cha A-Shuddham Eva Cha;
A-Shuddham Kaama-Sankalpam, Shuddham Kaama-Varjitam”
It means, a human mind is of two types. One is pure that is devoid of any selfish desires, while the other one is impure that is in constant pursuit of ad infinitum desires.
Such a pure mind devoid of any selfish desire is a pre-requisite for the activation of well focussed resolute intellect. Obviously the intellect cannot be focussed on any mundane goal.
Then how to focus your intellect? This has been nicely illustrated in verse 8 of chapter 8, wherein Lord Krishna has clarified, “With the mind not wandering after anything else, made steadfast in the constant practice of unity with the Self, he who meditates on the Resplendent Supreme, Being, finally reaches Him.”
Thanks & Best Regards,
Shrikant Joshi
Is it important to learn by rote the Bhagavath Geetha? I think that is meant for a practice. It is verily the user manual of our life. I have not seen anyone learning any user manual by rote or even try to do so; however expensive the item may be. What you say Sadhaks?

In response to the above question, I have the following observations;
In ancient times, when there was no Internet, no mobile telephones, no wired land-line telephones and no printed books, the only way to communicate and pass on the accumulated knowledge from one generation to the next, was by means of Shruti i.e. by carefully listening and Smruti i.e. by memorising. Therefore, learning by rote was the only option in those times.
The obvious question is, `Do you need to learn anything by heart in the 21st century’?
Certainly it is no longer mandatory. However, it does not negate memorising. A song that you like and enjoy listening to, you end up in memorising it. Why? Simply because it gives you immense pleasure and it enriches your life. It goes without saying that the poem, on which the song has been composed, has to be an outstanding one.
In contrast, a User Manual or a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is written by a supervisory level person, who is not expected to motivate or energise a user beyond basic information and utility of the device.
From my personal experience, I can guarantee that the Song of Lord Krishna is indeed worth memorising. A verse well recited with `Shraddhaa Bhaava’ certainly acts like an amplifier that generates the deep `Bhaava’ intended behind the written text and offers you an elevated understanding that is coupled with a satisfaction much beyond words.
What I want to communicate, has been very nicely conveyed in a famous Marathi song sung by Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, “Shabdaa Vaachuna KaLale Saare, Shabdaanchyaa Pali Kadale” i.e. I have understood all that is beyond description of words from you, without you spelling out a single word to me.
I hope and trust that it helps to remove the stigma and blemish of learning by heart and may God bless all of us!
With Best Wishes,
Shrikant Joshi

About dhavalrajgeera

Physician who is providing free service to the needy since 1971. Rajendra M. Trivedi, M.D. who is Yoga East Medical Advisor www.yogaeast.net/index.htm http://www.yogaeast.net/index.htm Graduated in 1968 from B. J. Medical College, Amadavad, India. Post Graduate training in Neurological Surgery from Charles University in Czechoslovakia. 1969 - 71. and received Czechoslovakian Government Scholarship. Completed training at the Cambridge Hospital and Harvard University in Psychiatry. Rajendra M. trivedi is an Attending Psychiatrist at Baldpate Hospital. He is the Medical Director of CCA and Pain Center in Stoneham, MA where he has been serving the community since 1971 as a Physician. OTHER AFFILIATIONS: Lifer of APA - American Psychiatrist Association Senior Physician and Volunteer with Massachusetts Medical Society and a Deligate of the Middlesex District. www.massmed.org Patron member of AAPI - American Association of PHYSICIANS OF INDIA. LIFE MEMBER OF IMANE - Indian Medical Association of New England. Member of the Board of Advisors "SAHELI, Boston,MA. www.saheliboston.org/About1/A_Board Dr. Trivedi is working closely with the Perkin's School for the Blind. www.perkins.org. Dr. Trivedi is a Life member and Honorary Volunteer for the Fund Raising Contact for North America of BPA - Blind People Association of Amadavad, India. www.bpaindia.org Dr.Trivedi is the Medical Advisor for Yoga East since 1993. He is a Physician who started Health Screening and Consultation At Shri Dwarkami Clinic in Billerica, MA. https://www.dwarkamai.com/health-and-wellness

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