chanchalam hi manaha krishna pramaathi balavaddrudham |
tasyaaham nigraham manye vaayoriva sudushkaram || 34 ||

 
For, the mind is fickle, rebellious, strong and stubborn, O Krishna. To control it, I think, is as arduous as the wind.
 
chanchalam : fickle
hi : for
manaha : mind is
krishna : O Krishna
pramaathi : rebellious
balavat : strong
drudham : stubborn
tasya : it
aham : I
nigraham : control
manye : think
vaayoho : the wind
iva : like
sudushkaram : arduous
 
Arjuna further elaborates on the difficulty of controlling the mind for meditation to Shri Krishna. He says that it is as difficult as trying to harness the wind. Why is that so? The mind is fickle, rebellious, strong and stubborn. It will refuse any attempt to be controlled.
 
Shri Krishna had acknowledged the fickle nature of the mind in previous shlokas. We oursleves have directly experienced how fickle our mind is. Most of the time, our mind is jumping from one thought to another. Many analogies have been offered to illustrate this fickle nature of the mind. The most common one is a drunken monkey jumping from one branch to another. We can also tell how fickle someone’s mind is by observing their eyes. If they dart around too much, that means their mind is racing through thoughts.
 
Next, Arjuna says that the mind is “pramaathi”. It is difficult to exactly translate this world. The closest word is “rebellious”. It is like a wild horse that is being tamed for the first time. it will never let the rider stay on its back for more than a few seconds. Trying to control the mind becomes a wrestling match where the opponent does not let us get a good grip on him.
 
Furthermore, Arjuna refers to the mind as strong and stubborn. In other words, once the “mind is made up”, or the mind has decided that it wants a certain thing, it is very hard to change it. It is like a child throwing a tantrum – it will cry, yell and scream till it gets its way. The mind will resist all efforts to be controlled, and will start creating a list of desires which will throw us completely off track.
 
So therefore, Arjuna sums up the difficulty of controlling the mind by comparing this endeavour to taming the wind – something that is next to impossible. Coming from Arjuna, a mighty meditator who is said to have propitiated Lord Shiva through his meditation, makes it a valid question. Shri Krishna responds to Arjuna’s question in the next shloka.

Advertisements