dhyayato vishayaanpumsaha sangasteshoopajaayate |
sangaatsanjaayate kaamaha kaamaatkrodhobhijaayate || 62 ||

krodhaadbhavati sammohah sammohaatsmritivibhramaha |
smritibhramshaad buddhinaasho buddhinaashaatpranashyati || 63 ||

When a man constantly thinks about objects, attachment for those objects arises. From attachment is born desire, and from desire is born anger.

From anger comes delusion, from delusion comes loss of memory, from loss of memory comes destruction of intellect, and once the intellect is destroyed, he perishes.

dhyayataha : thinking
vishayaan : objects
pumsaha : individual
sangah : attachment
teshu : to those
upajaayate : is born
sangaat : from attachment
sanjaayate : is born
kaamaha : desire
kaamaat : from desire
krodhah : anger
abhijaayate : is born

krodhaat : when anger arises
bhavati : happens
sammohah : delusion
sammohaat : from delusion
smritivibhramaha : loss of memory
smritibhramshaad : from loss of memory
buddhinaasho : destruction of intellect
buddhinaashaat : from destruction of intellect
pranashyati : he perishes

Earlier, Shri Krishna touched upon the topic of continually thinking about material objects when we do not contact them physically. In this shloka, he goes into great detail as to why it is to be avoided. These two shlokas are sometimes referred to as the “ladder of fall”. They illustrate how one simple thought can lead to the downfall of an individual. 

Here is the entire sequence of events as mentioned in the 2 shlokas:

Constant thinking of material objects -> attachment -> desire -> anger -> delusion -> loss of memory -> destruction of intellect -> individual perishes.

Let’s first examine the sequence of events from constant thinking all the way upto desire using the Ipod example from earlier :
A person has thoughts about ipod on sale -> gets attached to that ipod deal -> desire to buy ipod on sale is created.

Now, at this point, he has purchased the Ipod and is extremely attached to it. Even without going forward in the sequence, we can see that the material desire to procure an Ipod has taken the person away from performing his svadharma. His equanimity has already been disturbed. He is dragged back into the material world, and has taken one step backwards from moksha or freedom.

Let’s move forward in the sequence:
Ipod breaks down -> he is angry that it has broken down -> he completely loses his equanimity -> takes anger out on his wife -> family environment is agitated.

Here, not only has he completely lost his equanimity, but has also caused pain to other members of his family. So the message here is that constant pondering and thinking about objects eventually leads to moving away from equanimity, hence it is to be avoided, or at least minimized to the extent possible.

An interesting point seen here is around anger. Per the shlokas, anger is caused when one’s desire gets obstructed. Also, attachment to a concept such as one’s job title or position causes continual waves of thought, anger and delusion, in other words, stress.  Therefore, these shlokas provide an ancient but relevant analysis of anger and stress.

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