yaaimaam pushpitaam vaacham pravadantyavipashchitaha |
vedavaadarataaha paartha naanyadastiiti vaadinaha || 42 ||
kaamaatmaanaha svargaparaa janmakarmaphalapradaam |
kriyaavisheshabahulaam bhogaishvaryagati prati || 43 ||
bhogaishvaryaprasaktaanaam tayaapahyatachetasaam |
vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhihi samaadhau na vidheeyate || 44 ||
The unwise utter flowery statements. They are only interested in the Veda-related topics, O Paartha, saying that “there is nothing else”.
Those who harbour material desires, and hold heaven as the ultimate goal, perform actions that result in rebirth. They describe various actions for obtaining pleasure and power.
But, those who are extremely attached to pleasure and power, who are attracted to these (flowery words), do not possess a determined intellect, and will never achieve samaadhi.
yaam : those
imaam : like this
pushpitaam : flowery
vaacham : words
pravadanti : who speak
avipashchitaha : unwise
vedavaadarataaha : topics from the vedas
paartha : O Paartha
na asti : does not exist
anyata : anything else
vaadinaha : they say
kaamaatmaanaha : those who harbour material desires
svargaparaaha : those who hold heaven as the ultimate goal
janmakarmaphalapradaam : those actions which result in rebirth
kriyaavishesha-bahulaam : those who describe lots of actions
bhogaishvaryagatim prati : for obtaining pleasure and power
bhogaishvarya : pleasure and power
prasaktaanaam : extremely attached to
tayaa : those (flowery words)
apahyatachetasaam : attracted towards
vyavasaayaatmikaa : determined
buddhihi : intellect
samaadhau : samaadhi
na vidheeyate : not possible
Shri Krishna explained the importance of focus in the prior shloka. Here, he describes the tendencies that will prevent someone from having that focus. In essence, what he is saying here is that any individual who only thinks about one material desire after another, will never reach the state of absolute equanimity. The word used in this shloka to describe that state is “samaadhi”.
Most of our youth is spent in gaining worldly knowledge. In the Gita,”Vedas” can be interpreted as “all worldly knowledge” from our standpoint. This knowledge is useful for performing our svadharma through our chosen profession. But most of us end up using this knowledge as a means to fulfill a never-ending stream of material desires, that will give us more and more pleasure and power. Our goal is never svadharma itself, it is material desires. And with each material desire, the shloka says that we are reborn.
The word rebirth here has a specific meaning. Each time you harbour a new material desire, you are “reborn”. This is because each new material desire prompts you towards a whole new set of selfishly motivated actions, taking the focus away from your svadharma, and in doing so, moving you away from the ultimate goal of maintaining equanimity. For example, if you want a new car, you are reborn as a “car desiring individual” who will put in extra effort to earn money for a new car. But by the time the new car arrives, several new desires have sprung up, resulting in new “rebirths”.
Now, the shloka also mentions that such individuals hold heaven as the ultimate goal. The word “heaven” also has a specific meaning here. It does not refer to some place up in the sky. It refers to a future state where you will be happy after you fulfill your desire. But by shifting your focus towards heaven i.e. the future, you make your present moment unhappy. This kind of thinking also prompts you towards selfishly motivated action.
Therefore, these shlokas reiterate the importance of keeping a focused attitude towards maintaining equanimity, and one does that by not harbouring endless material desires.