तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ |
पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम् || 41||
tasmāt tvam indriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣhabha
pāpmānaṁ prajahi hyenaṁ jñāna-vijñāna-nāśhanam
tasmāt—therefore; tvam—you; indriyāṇi—senses; ādau—in the very beginning; niyamya—having controlled; bharata-ṛiṣhabha—Arjun, the best of the Bharatas; pāpmānam—the sinful; prajahi—slay; hi—certainly; enam—this; jñāna—knowledge; vijñāna—realization; nāśhanam—the destroyer
O Arjuna! Therefore, having controlled the senses in the beginning, kill surely this kama, the sinful destroyer of knowledge and Self-realisation.
Kama (lust) functions by first enslaving the senses, then deluding the mind, and then confusing the intellect. In the actual act of enjoyment, no one can make the division. But sadhana consists in analysing the mechanism of the body and mind. The Lord insists on sense-control as the first step to get rid of kama. The senses are like the main gateway of a fort. If the enemy is attacked and repelled at the gate, he cannot enter the fort. The senses should not be allowed to possess the mind by filling it with sense objects of pleasure. So the senses should be controlled first. The enjoyments derived through the senses should be given up by the practice of discrimination and dispassion. This is the starting point of spiritual advancement. The Lord says to every seeker “Whatever other obstacles and difficulties there may be, look to this first. Control the senses. Other things shall follow later.” Therefore let every seeker examine the outgoing senses, and find out the objects towards which they are running. Then let him turn away from them by examining and understanding their filthy nature.
Sinful: The nature of kama is sin. It is all-sinful mahapapma. The most heinous sins are committed by man under the pressure of Kama. Thoughtful men know the cursed crimes that men commit by this horrible demon of kama. Blinded by kama man forgets what is right and wrong. All the sastric injunctions are violated, all common moral principles are set at naught, and shame and fear are lost, when the demands of kama press for immediate satisfaction. The desire for lust and gold, position and power, have undone the best and wisest men even, and the world has suffered serious disasters in consequence.
Destroyer of knowledge and realisation: Jnana means knowledge acquired by the study of the `Sastras ‘Vijnana’ means direct knowledge of the Self. The first is indirect knowledge (Paroksha Jnana) and the second is direct knowledge (Aparoksha Jnana) – practical experience of the Self. Both are destroyed by kama. What little knowledge is acquired, what little experience is acquired by the sadhaka, all this is cancelled and nullified by the virulence of kama. We see highly learned men and gifted people yielding to common temptations like the most unlearned and ignorant. Such is the overwhelming power of kama. But its power, like the gravitational pull off the earth, can work only up to a certain radius. Those men who pass beyond its range are free and the perfect. Kama cannot do anything to them. They are the jivanmuktas – the living free-blessed men who live in the Self, and have absolutely no relish for the foul and filthy enjoyments of earthly life.
The Lord never for a moment says that kama cannot be conquered. That is not the import of these verses. Only the evil power of kama is explained in full, in order to inspire the aspirant with greater zeal and enthusiasm to overcome this deadly foe.
Prajahi: Conquer, that is the watchword, the war cry of the seeker. The Lord is behind every seeker, every sincere devotee. Therefore no man need be disheartened by thinking of the power of the inimical forces.
Question: What is the first duty of the Sadhaka?
Question: How will sense-control help?
Answer: It destroys Kama.
Question: How does the evil power of kama work?
Answer: It destroys both spiritual knowledge and experience.