इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते |
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि || 67||
indriyāṇāṁ hi charatāṁ yan mano ’nuvidhīyate
tadasya harati prajñāṁ vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi
indriyāṇām—of the senses; hi—indeed; charatām—roaming; yat—which; manaḥ—the mind; anuvidhīyate—becomes constantly engaged; tat—that; asya—of that; harati—carries away; prajñām—intellect; vāyuḥ—wind; nāvam—boat; iva—as; ambhasi—on the water
As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away the discrimination.
The seeker should have dispassion towards sense objects like color, sound, form, etc. If the senses are allowed freely to wander in the wilderness of the objective world, there is a great danger. The mind functions through the senses which are constantly in contact with material objects. The mind by its own impurities prompts the senses to seek enjoyment in the objective world. The mind follows the senses and is carried away in various ways. A simile is used to illustrate the idea. The gale carries away the ship on the waters. The ship may capsize by the gale or otherwise be damaged and lost. Likewise, the mind is driven away from Atma and wrecked on the rocks of sensual pleasures. Even a single sense-organ is capable of pulling away the mind from the spiritual goal. If all the senses rebel, what should be the fate of the man?
Therefore the mind should be trained to think of the Self and to discriminate between the real and the unreal. If the mind is trained in this way, it can resist the temptation caused by the senses. Otherwise, the mind runs after the senses. The eye sees an attractive object and the mind thinks of it. The power of discrimination is lost. When the intellect yields to the glamour of the mind, man becomes a slave to the material world. So the seeker should carefully preserve his power of discrimination and spiritual attitude, by shutting out the objective world as much as possible. We come across instances of spiritual aspirants suddenly lapsing into sense-pleasures and ruining their chances of ultimate victory. By some amount of practice, they acquire a little steadiness of mind and experience a little peace, but then, by their own negligence, they allow the senses to touch some material object, and the whole process of degradation starts. The mind is like a rubber ball. If the ball is let down on the top of the staircase, it rolls down step by step till it falls on the ground. The seeker therefore should not relax his vigilance even for a moment till the final goal is reached.
Question: What is the harm if the senses and the mind wander through worldly objects?
Answer: They destroy the discrimination, spirituality, and Godliness of the aspirant.