Yogasadhanas in the Gita
Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna, “You are experiencing grief, depression and this deluded state of mind, because you are not thinking straight. If you can think straight, then these mental conditions will not affect you.” Arjuna says, “What do you mean I am not thinking straight?” Sri Krishna replied, “You are forgetting what your primary commitment and duty as a part of society is. In war a warrior has to fight, in a hospital a doctor has to heal, in an ashram the sadhu has to work for the upliftment of others. In each place there is a defined role, known as dharma. You are forgetting the role which is defined for you in this situation.
You cannot negate your karmas. Keep in mind what your obligations, duties and karmas are and where they lie at present. Do not renounce karma, do not say I am not going to do this or I am not going to do that.” Do as the situation demands, just as when the weather changes, you wear your clothes accordingly. In winter you put on sweater, muffler, hat, socks, and gloves. As the winter cold increases the layer of clothing also increases, and as summer comes the layers of clothing decrease. One does not wear hat, coat, sweater, muffler, socks and gloves in the summer or walk around bare-bodied in winter. There is a natural inclination to do the right thing in the right manner at the right time.
Restraint of the senses
Yet when intellect plays a role, many times the right thing is not done at the right time, and the realisation dawns later. When attachment is there, intelligence is clouded, and therefore awareness of dharma is lost. At that time, one must remember one’s responsibilities, commitment and duty and engage the senses in the appropriate action. The senses must be engaged under control within defined limits and parameters. Right now the senses are running amok with nothing controlling them, they are guiding your attention, attraction and you are simply following their line of sight.
The senses are attracting you because you believe that following the senses will lead towards pleasure. Sensorial pleasure is what everyone is looking for. Mental, physical and emotional pleasure is what everybody is craving. Social pleasure is what somebody will cherish. The senses are pulling our attention towards pleasure, but the experience of pleasure is impermanent. The experience of happiness is impermanent because desires do not allow that experience to remain permanent. If you have one, you want two, if you have two you want three, if you have three you want four. An increase of desire, expectation and dependency will always take place. So engage yourself in physical karma, and by engaging the senses restrain them from running wild on imaginative trips and not allowing you to fulfil the demands of the situation.
Sri Krishna says, “There is no question of avoiding the karma, engage yourself in karma and at the same time try to stabilise your mind.” There are three things which disturb the mental behaviour, attachment, fear, and anger. Attachment represents connection, association, relationship. Fear represents insecurity, whether financial, personal, family, or social. “Society is not safe, my family is not safe, I don’t have financial resources to buy my food tomorrow or maybe after a month, I don’t have enough to pay the bills this month.” Such thoughts indicate fear and insecurity. Anger is the third disturbance of mind – aggression and high anxiety. Anything that stimulates and brings in the state of high anxiety in your nature and character is included in the word anger. The instruction that Sri Krishna gives in order to manage the mind is to reduce desire and restrain anger, fear and attraction. Practise these four things and the mind will become stable.