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BG 2.54-72

Sthita prajña – Fight! Become fixed in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness (2.54-72)
After giving Arjuna instruction about buddhi-yoga, Kṛṣṇa describes the sthita-dhir muni to illustrate what a person fixed in buddhi-yoga is like.

Main Theme:
One who is fixed in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is beyond the disturbances of
external, material phenomenon. They can experience transcendence
even while in this body.

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A. Satisfaction is the fundamental symptom of one fixed in the understanding of their constitutional position.
1. One does not need to look out to the material world for pleasure, as they are experiencing the happiness of Kṛṣṇa consciousness within. Thus they rise above the mental plane of selfish acceptance and rejection and remain fixed in devotional service despite their external environment (2.55-57).
B. A devotee stays aloof from the entanglement of sense objects.
1. The analogy of the tortoise – A devotee utilizes their senses only for devotional service. When there is no service to be performed by the senses, they withdraw them like the tortoise withdraws his limbs into his shell. In this way the devotee is in full control of their senses, although they engage them in activities (2.58).
2. The main way that a devotee controls their senses is through the experience of a higher taste. One naturally gives up mundane attachments as they taste the higher pleasure found in spiritual life (2.59).
3. The senses are strong and impetuous. They can drag down even a “man of discrimination” who is endeavoring to control them.
a) In this case a “man of discrimination” refers to a jñānī, who endeavors to curb their senses simply on the strength of their own philosophical understanding and mental conviction.
b) Kṛṣṇa contrasts this kind of struggle with the simplicity and ease by which a devotee remain aloof from sensual entanglement.
(1) In devotional service the senses do not become frustrated by inactivity because they are engaged in regulated devotional duties.
(2) Kṛṣṇa conscious activities bring true peace and lasting happiness (2.60-61, 64-68).
C. One who does not engage the senses in Kṛṣṇa’s service eventually falls
down into material consciousness because the mind and senses are not satisfied by mere repression (2.62-63).
1. Kṛṣṇa describes the gradual descent of one’s consciousness. It begins by meditating on material sensual pleasure (dhyāyato viṣayān).
2. Due to prolonged meditation one becomes attached to the objects they are meditating on (saṅgas teṣupajāyate).
3. From this attachment they desire to acquire those objects and thus make a plan to do so (saṅgat sañjāyate kāṁaḥ).
4. This lust inevitably leads to anger; because lust, like fire, can never be satisfied. (kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate).
5. Anger is an intoxicant that clouds the consciousness. In this state one becomes blind to the consequences of their actions, which leads to delusion (krodhāt bhavati sammohaḥ).
6. In delusion one forgets their actual situation both spiritually and materially (sammohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ).
7. Thus one’s whole paradigm of reality, which is a product of their buddhi, becomes distorted (smṛti-bhraṁśād buddhi-nāśo).
8. Finally one falls into the material pool (buddhi-nāsāt praṇaśyati).
D. One who is fixed in buddhi-yoga actually lives in a different world then the
materialist; although situated in the same physical environment, the buddhi-yogi views reality in a completely different way. This change in perception is brought about by directing their intelligence towards self-realization instead of sense gratification (2.69).
E. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the ultimate plane of selflessness (2.71).
1. By recognizing Kṛṣṇa’s supreme propriety and one’s own position as His servant, one will not stray from the path of transcendence because of worldly desire.
2. Therefore, for Arjuna to attain peace he must give up the material attachments that disrupt his execution of dharma.
3. Acting purely in Kṛṣṇa consciousness allows one to enter into the spiritual world even during this life (2.72).


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