यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्यविपश्चित: |
वेदवादरता: पार्थ नान्यदस्तीति वादिन: || 42||
कामात्मान: स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम् |
क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति || 43||
भोगैश्वर्यप्रसक्तानां तयापहृतचेतसाम् |
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धि: समाधौ न विधीयते || 44||
yāmimāṁ puṣhpitāṁ vāchaṁ pravadanty-avipaśhchitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
kāmātmānaḥ swarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśheṣha-bahulāṁ bhogaiśhwarya-gatiṁ prati
vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate
yām imām—all these; puṣhpitām—flowery; vācham—words; pravadanti—speak; avipaśhchitaḥ—those with limited understanding; veda-vāda-ratāḥ—attached to the flowery words of the Vedas; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; na anyat—no other; asti—is; iti—thus; vādinaḥ—advocate;
kāma-ātmānaḥ—desirous of sensual pleasure; swarga-parāḥ—aiming to achieve the heavenly planets; janma-karma-phala—high birth and fruitive results; pradāṁ—awarding; kriyā-viśheṣha—pompous ritualistic ceremonies; bahulām—various; bhoga—gratification; aiśhwarya—luxury; gatim—progress; prati—toward
bhoga—gratification; aiśhwarya—luxury; prasaktānām—whose minds are deeply attached; tayā—by that; apahṛita-chetasām—bewildered in intellect; vyavasāya-ātmikā—resolute; buddhiḥ—intellect; samādhau—fulfilment; na—never; vidhīyate—occurs
O Arjuna! The unwise utter flowery speech, taking pleasure in the laudatory words of the Vedas, and say that there is nothing else but pleasures and enjoyments either here or in Heaven.
They are full of desire, with heaven as their highest goal, leading to new births as the effect of their own Karma, and they engage themselves in a multiplicity of specific works for the purpose of acquiring enjoyments and prosperity.
The mind of such men who are drawn away by attachment to pleasure and wealth, cannot be concentrated to remain fixed in the ecstasy of divine contemplation.
Flowery speech:- Some flowers appear attractive to the eye, but they do not bear fruit, and as such, they are finally useless. The works prepared with a desire do not bear the fruit of Moksha, which should be the aim of all spiritual seekers.
Utter:- This word, is used to show that these men loudly proclaim that enjoyment in heaven is the highest aim of man. They are men of little knowledge. Naturally, empty vessels make much noise.
Ignorant men:- These are unwise men. Those who perform rites and rituals for the sake of enjoying the pleasures of heaven are spoken of as unwise men. So, however, learned and versed in the ‘Vedas’ a person may be, he is still an unwise man because he is not able to know the truth and fix his mind on the Supreme Reality. The verse is intended to open the eyes of such persons who have learned much but whose mind dwells on the lower levels of desires, pleasures, and enjoyments. The Lord condemns at every step sense-pleasures either here or in heaven.
Those who take pleasure in the laudatory words of the Vedas:- In the Vedas, the first part is Karma Kanda which deals with rites and rituals for the fulfillment of earthly or heavenly pleasures. “If you perform this ceremony or this sacrifice, you will get this reward”. This part of the Vedas is all-absorbing to worldly men. They cannot think of anything higher. So they declare that Karma Kanda alone is the highest among the Vedas. There are three parts in the Vedas (I) Karma kanda (2) Upasana kanda, (3) Jnana kanda. The unwise cling to the first part, act neglecting the other two which are of higher and higher value. The teacher of the Gita declares that this is a wrong attitude because it is not conducive to spiritual enlightenment.
Minds filled with desires:- Those whose minds are filled with desires are kamatmanah. They are slaves to a hundred desires, for wife and children, for name and fame, for power and position. Whether these are fulfilled or unfulfilled, their minds are restless. How can divinity find a place in the hearts of such people? Desire (Kama) leads to Anger (Krodha) when frustrated. Only when the heart is purified of all this foul and filthy stuff, will God reveal himself in the sanctuary of the human heart.
Desirous of enjoyments in Heaven:- Those who consider heaven (svarga) as their highest goal are svargaparah. The spiritual seeker sets no value on svarga and all that it offers by way of pleasures and enjoyments. On the other hand, those who discard them as worthless stuff are alone qualified to attain freedom and perfection. Of course, the luxuries of Heaven may be more beautiful and captivating than what we find here. But they are subject to the same laws as we find here. They are subject to death and dissolution. They end in time, Heavenly pleasures are worthless, from the point of view of spiritual realisation also. It is foolish to think that heaven is the highest goal of mankind. The highest goal for man is to know and realise the Eternal Truth. Everything that comes short of it is of no consequence to the spiritual aspirant. Heaven is not the goal, for, when the (Punya) good done by man is exhausted, down he falls from heaven to the earth.
So there is nothing that should draw mankind towards the pleasures of Heaven. They are also intended to satisfy the animal instincts of man, like food and sex. Of what use are they for the aspirants? An understanding of earthly pleasures will help us to know what heavenly enjoyments would be like, and how short-lived and wretched they are to satisfy the man. It is the height of folly to spend a whole life merely for the sake of attaining Heaven by performing elaborate sacrifices, at great cost and labor. There the main aim of spiritual realisation was forgotten. Therefore the Lord directly attacks heaven seeking ritual-ridden religious men and teaches them that they are slaves to their own desires, and with such distracted minds, they can never hope to remain fixed in the ecstatic contemplation of the Self which alone confers immortality and eternal bliss.
Leading to births as the result of their works:- The present birth is the result of past work (karma) and the work one does now leads on to the next birth. So, endless the cycle goes on. This is samsara. The aspirant hopes to reach a state when the cycle stops forever and he attains to a condition of supreme blessedness from which there is no fall. To attain this state, the Lord prescribes the law of nishkama karma as the rule of conduct in this world.
Having innumerable rituals to obtain enjoyment:- The Karma Kanda in the ‘Vedas’ mentions various rites and rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices, which yield different enjoyments here and in Heaven. Men who are bound by desires are simply drowned in the ocean of Karma Kanda. They cannot come out of it. One desire leads to another, and at no time will these desires end, for they are almost infinite. This is what we find in man’s limited experience or worldly life. So the spiritual aspirant should cut at the root of desires and burn it up into cinders. He has nothing to gain from Karma Kanda. The aim is to root out desire from the heart, and to become pure so that the sanctified heart is at once filled with the blessedness of the Lord. Then alone is man fully satisfied. There is nothing more for him to seek for Eternal Contentment; Eternal renunciation comes to such a man.
But frail indeed are those rafts of sacrifices, conducted by eighteen persons, upon whom rests the inferior work; therefore they are destructible. Fools who rejoice in them as the Highest Good fall victims again and again to old age and death. (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.7)
Drawn away by that:- Almost the whole of mankind with the exception of rare personalities, are absorbed in the task of getting some reward or enjoyment from their wordly activities. The spiritual seeker should keep away from such men. He should associate himself with men of renunciation, purity, and knowledge.
Cannot be concentrated in Divine Contemplation:- Such men whose minds are disturbed by desire cannot get one-pointed concentration on the Eternal. Desires crop up and draw the mind off its balance. Pleasures and pains upset the mind constantly, like a lake when a storm blows over it. It is agitated, waves rise and fall and the whole lake to its very bottom is in a state of commotion. Such will be the mind of a man who is obsessed with thoughts of worldly enjoyment. He can never hope to get the necessary serenity and concentration to fix the mind on that which is the ever-blessed Reality. So ‘give up desires’ is the Lord’s command.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“Know, Arjuna, the mind that succeeds is the mind that is concentrated. The minds that are taken up with two thousand subjects (have) their energies dispersed. Some can talk flowery language and think there is nothing beyond the Vedas. They want to go to heaven. They want good things through the power of the Vedas, and so they make sacrifices.” Such will never attain any success [in spiritual life] unless they give up all these materialistic ideas. That is another great lesson. Spirituality can never be attained unless all material ideas are given up. … What is in the senses? The senses are all delusion. People wish to retain them [in heaven] even after they are dead — a pair of eyes, a nose. Some imagine they will have more organs than they have now. They want to see God sitting on a throne through all eternity — the material body of God. … Such men’s desires are for the body, for food and drink and enjoyment. It is the materialistic life prolonged. Man cannot think of anything beyond this life. This life is all for the body. “Such a man never comes to that concentration which leads to freedom.”[Source]