When a man dwells on an object of sense, attraction to that object is born. From attraction, a desire to have it is born, and from this desire anger is born. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 62.
Desire is generated when a man dwells on an object of sense. Inherent in the attraction of a sense object is the desire to have it—you see it, you like it, you want it. The verse goes on to say that for this man anger arises, and that the source of his anger is this desire.
The Sanskri for ‘attraction’ means ‘worldly or selfish attachment, clinging, addiction, desire, greed’. These desires are called ‘desires of the mind’ because they have been acquired by the senses and placed in the mind. That is the job of the senses—to provide us with information. The sense organs (ears, eyes, skin, tongue, nose) are responsible for this indirect perception of objects that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled.
The ‘desires of the mind’ are the desires we have been warned about as being the culprits that keep the mind active and make deep meditation and samadhi impossible. A desire in the mind alone would just be an idea in the mind, but along with a desire comes a feeling, the experience of a moving configuration of energy in the body. The mind however, is constructed of a subtler energy called citta, the energy of consciousness. This energy connects the mind with the feelings even though they are different things—you know it in your mind, you feel it in your body.
It is not desires per se that disturb the equilibrium of the mind, but the agitation of the energy of the mind (chitta) caused by the the intensity of feeling that accompanies desires.
It is the nature of nature to move.
Energy is a part of nature, ergo, it is the nature of energy to move.
The key to understanding this phenomena is in the words ‘desire’ and ‘anger’. Both desire and anger have one thing in common: passion.
The Sanskrit word for desire also means lust and passion.
The Sanskrit word for anger also means wrath and passion.
Passion is defined as an intense, uncontrollable feeling, or emotion.
Passion is intensely moving (rajas) energy.
The verse is describing how things transpire to cause the mind to become disturbed, but liking something does not have to mean that the desire to have it is inevitable. In fact, indifference to the object is what will allow it to come to you. As an old sage once said,
Do not do what you want
and then you may do as you like.
Or as someone I once knew used to say, “When you can give it up, you’ll get it.” Sage advice for getting what you want without trying.
It is interesting to note that the word for ‘man’ in this verse specifically means a male person as opposed to the more common word for ‘man’ used in the Gita that would be more universal. I do not believe this is artistic license. Could this be because the verse is making a point of directing it specifically to men? And that the reference to anger is directed to men in the situation it describes? I will let you contemplate this for yourself:
For a man (puḿsaḥ, male person) dwelling on (dhyaa, thinking or meditating on) an object of sense (vishayaa, objects of sense as influential), an attachment (sanga, clinging) to them is born (jaa, born, produced); from attachment, desire (kaama, passionate desire) is born; from desire, anger (krodha, passionate anger) is born.
It is a known fact that scriptures were written by men for men, so women must take this into consideration as they read them. Women were considered to be only half human (unless they were married), not entitled to enter heaven when they die (unless they were married), or were merely ‘children’ and therefore untrustworthy, and were excluded from most groups teaching yoga sadhana. But the great sages knew better. For many of them, their closest disciples were and are women. I include Padmasambhava, Jesus Christ, and Sadguru Swami Shri Kripalvanandaji in this, to mention a few.
This very text, the Bhagavad Gita, is the central feature of the Mahabharata, which was written by the sage Vyasa as an ‘epic poem’ as if to say, anyone, even women, could read it. Very clever. But there was one hitch: only women of the highest cast would be educated and able to read it. But this was in another age, although we are still in a similar age—the kali yuga, or dvapara yuga, depending upon whom you talk to.
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