Shri Bhagavaan uvaacha:
prajahaati yadaa kaamaansarvaanpaartha manogataan |
aatmanyevaatmanaa tushthah sthitaprajnastadocchyate || 55 ||
Shri Bhagavaan said:
When an individual gives up all desires that enter the mind, O Paartha, and is self-satisfied in his own self, that individual is called a person of steady wisdom.
prajahaati : gives up
yadaa : when
kaamaan : desires
sarvaan : all
paartha : O Paartha
manogataan : that enter the mind
aatmanaaa : self
eva : only
aatmani : by his own self
tushthah : self-satisfied
sthitaprajna : person of steady wisdom
tada : then
ucchyate : called
Just before entering a forest when hiking, there usually are signs posted at the entrance that say “beware of these poisonous plants”. Similarly, from this shloka onwards, Shri Krishna lists all the factors that can destabilize our state of equanimity. If we keep track of these factors, and remain alert and aware when we encounter them, then we will never lose our mental balance and equanimity. This portion of the chapter is a very practical summary of the entire teaching of the Gita.
In this shloka, Shri Krishna advises us to monitor our material desires, i.e. track how many are arising, how many we have fulfilled, and so on. As we saw earlier, continual harbouring of material desires has the effect of destablizing our mental balance, and takes us further away from state of equanimity. Therefore, a man of steady wisdom is one who has learned to give up all such desires.
Now this is especially true when we have predisposition to some object, situation or person. This predisposition is also known as “vaasana”. Predispositions are the seeds of thought and desire. For instance, let’s say we have a sweet tooth. Then, anytime we see a piece of chocolate, that desire will enter the mind, and we will begin thinking of how we can acquire that chocolate. If we are performing some work, the constant thinking of the chocolate will destabilize our mind and prevent us from focusing on the task at hand. So this shloka asks us to closely examine our predispositions as well as our desires.
Since this person of steady wisdom has extinguished all his desires, he is always content and does not need to rush out into the world of material objects. This is because he has realized his association with the eternal essence, which pervades the entire universe and therefore is always complete and content. Therefore, he will be “self-satisfied in his own self”, as this shloka points out.