एवं बुद्धे: परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना |
जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् || 43||
evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvā sanstabhyātmānam ātmanā
jahi śhatruṁ mahā-bāho kāma-rūpaṁ durāsadam
evam—thus; buddheḥ—than the intellect; param—superior; buddhvā—knowing; sanstabhya—subdue; ātmānam—the lower self (senses, mind, and intellect); ātmanā—by higher self (soul); jahi—kill; śhatrum—the enemy; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; kāma-rūpam—in the form of desire; durāsadam—formidable
O mighty-armed Arjuna! Thus, having known what is greater than the intellect (i.e.) Atma, and restraining the mind by the intellect conquer the foe (kama) in the form of desire which is indeed hard to overcome.
The cause of all sorrow is the ignorance of man of his real Self. Thinking that he is the body, the senses, and the mind, he attributes to himself all their distractions, disturbances, agitations and sufferings. This identification with the material body and the world is the root cause of all sorrow and suffering. So the Lord exhorts all mankind, “Know that you are the Self which is beyond the intellect You are not the body. So take refuge in the Self and conquer the indomitable foe – Kama.” This is the Lord’s inspiring message to suffering humanity.
In fact, it is Atma that impregnates all material things with consciousness, power and activity. Whatever power is displayed by the bodily organs, the senses, and the mind, all that power is derived from Atma which is One indivisible ocean of power and blessedness. But as we see, these insentient instruments have acquired the appearance of reality by the interpretation of Avidya. They have, as it were, become the real, and what is real (i.e.) Atma is covered up by them. People have, so to say, realised the unreal, and unrealised the real. Now, therefore, the seeker has to make the hard distinction between the apparently real, and the really real. He should distinguish the unreal which is appearing as the real. If the Reality, Atma is experienced the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect – would immediately be subdued and brought under control. Thus Kama is conquered, the bonds of ignorance are broken, the Power of the Supreme is realised.
Therefore, discrimination – persistent discrimination – between the real and the unreal is the first and foremost practice for the aspirant. By this he would know that the various actions and functions of the senses, the mind and the intellect, have no absolute reality at all. Atma is separated from Anatma. Then all that is not Atma loses its mysterious power over the individual. Man then feels the freedom of the Self-the state of the jivanmukta. The ignorant man has tied a strong knot between Atma and Anatma. This knot should be cut so that insentient matter is clearly distinguished from the life and light of Atma. To the realised man, Atma alone appears everywhere, as the immovable, unchanging, imperishable, substratum of all that exists. Then these senses and the mind remain under his control and become servants to carry out the command of the master, the Self.
If the brake is applied, the fast-moving train comes to a standstill. If the connecting link is cut, the fast whirling wheel of the vast machine stops rotating. Thus the mighty wheel of birth and death comes to a stand-still, when the Self is realised. There is no other way to stop the wheel of samasara. If the phenomenal world is cut off from its deluding connection with the Self, the whole of it ceases to have any meaning or life or significance. The delusion banishes by the knowledge of Atma. The external world will be known as a mirage and no one would run after a mirage when he knows it to be such. The senses do not run after material things, the mind does not hanker after pleasures and enjoyment, and the intellect has no more any part to play in the scheme of things. There is no further quest for this or that. The Self alone shines as the eternal Truth. It is this grand and inspiring idea which is presented to us in this magnificent verse.
One should naturally feel the power of the inspiring words – ‘Oh ! mighty – armed Arjuna ! conquer the foe (jahi satrum mahabaho).’ Arjuna is addressed as the mighty-armed warrior. True. The aspirant should be like Arjuna, a hero who knows no defeat, who is ready to sacrifice his life for attaining the highest. His motto should be ‘Conquer’. But what kind of foe is he to conquer? The foe to be conquered is hard indeed to overcome (durasadam). It is no use to underestimate the power of the enemy. The enemy (Kama) is powerful because it has sent its roots deep into the heart of man and has developed into a mighty many-branched tree. It should be cut and the roots pulled out of the solid earth. The sword that can cut this mighty tree of Kama is detachment from the unreal and identification with Atma. This is the axe which would cut the mighty tree.
Knowledge of the Self is the last word of the Lord in this Discourse, Karma Yoga, the Yoga of action. We understand that Karma yoga demands detachment and desirelessness and this is possible only when man understands Atma. So knowledge is the foundation of Karma yoga. Nishkama Karma leads to Jnana, and Jnana makes Nishkama Karma possible. So those who desire to cross the ocean of sorrow, those who aspire to conquer Kama, those who seek for liberation, should understand their real nature, that they are Atma and not dead matter, the body, etc. When they know this, whether they are in cities or forest, whether they are young or old, whether they work or cease to work, they would enjoy the supreme peace of Atma, and the world has no power to bind them again.
Question: How can one conquer Kama?
Answer: If he knows that he is Atma, higher than the intellect, and if he is firmly established in the self-state, kama is conquered.