kaamakrodhaviyuktaanaam yateenaam yatachetasaam |
abhito brahmanirvaanam vartate viditaatmanaam || 26 ||

One who is free from desire and anger, one who is has subdued the mind; for that seeker who has realized the eternal essence, ultimate liberation exists from all sides.

kaamakrodha : desire and anger
viyuktaanaam : free from
yateenaam : seeker
yatachetasaam : one who has subdued the mind
abhitaha : from all sides
brahmanirvaanam : ultimate liberation
vartate : exists
viditaatmanaam : one who has realized the eternal essence

With this shloka, Shri Krishna concludes the teachings of the fifth chapter. In this shloka, he provides the last set of attributes of the person who has attained liberation by establishing himself in the eternal essence. He says that such a person is free from desire and aversion due to his control of his mind and intellect.

Like we saw in the previous shloka, ignorance of the true nature of oneself is the critical defect of the mind. It is this ignorance alone that creates desire and aversion. We do not find pleasure within ourselves, so we rush outside with desire. If the desire is not obtained, we get irritated and angry. This is the life of an ignorant person in a nutshell. It is the constant seeking of pleasure, and getting annoyed when pleasure is not obtained. So the wise person, having removed his ignorance, is free from desire and anger.

So then, to conclude the chapter’s teachings, Shri Krishna says that such a wise person – one who has identified with the eternal essence – obtains liberation from all sides. In other words, such a wise person is liberated while he is living, and remains liberated after he dies.

The Gita prescribes a step-by-step approach to liberation,  which is elaborated in various chapters throughout the text. It begins with karma yoga, where a seeker follows his svadharma to purify his mind and prepare it for instruction. Next, he receives instruction and knowledge on the eternal essence through shravana (hearing), manana (clearing doubts through self-inquiry) and nidhidhyaasana (internalization). The last step of internalization is accomplished through dhyaana yoga or meditation, which is the topic of the next chapter.

But before we begin the next chapter, Shri Krishna provides a preview of dhyaana yoga in the next and last three shlokas of this chapter.

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