We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages.
52. When your intellect crosses beyond
The thicket of delusion, then you shall become disgusted
With that which is yet to be heard
And with that which has been heard (in the Veda).
53. When your intellect stands
fixed in deep meditation, unmoving,
disregarding Vedic doctrine,
then you shall attain Self-realization.
54. Arjuna spoke:
How does one describe him who is of steady wisdom,
Who is steadfast in deep meditation, Krishna?
How does he who is steady in wisdom speak?
How does he sit? How does he move?
55. The Blessed Lord spoke:
When he leaves behind all desires
Emerging from the mind, Arjuna,
And is contented in the Self by the Self,
Then he is said to be one whose wisdom is steady.
56. He whose mind is not agitated in misfortune,
Whose desire for pleasures has disappeared,
Whose passion, fear, and anger have departed,
And whose meditation is steady, is said to be a sage.
Notes on the Sanskrit
I’m not sure where the “in the Veda” part is coming from in verse 52. Perhaps the context of previous verses. The word is “Shrutasya” that which is heard and that is a traditional way to refer to certain scriptures.
“In deep meditation” of verse 53 is actually “Samaadhau” which I would say is something beyond just meditation! It seems that must be a form of Samadhi, which is enlightenment. That’s a very deep state to be in indeed.
In the same verse the thing that you shall attain is literally “Yoga.” Yoga usually means discipline of some kind.
What is translated as “sage” in verse 56 is “munis” which is a word I’m not familiar with.
Commentaries of Gurus
The word nirvedam means indifferent, renunciation is not indicated here. Rather it is to be understood that by spiritual intelligence in the process of acquiring wisdom one becomes indifferent to mundane pursuits. –Madhvacarya’s Commentary
With genuine concern one may ask: When will I be able to attain that eternal and everlasting spiritual world? An important question but first one must successfully circumnavigate the maze of delusion in the material existence. When one has factually rejected the conception of identifying oneself as the physical body then one will by navigating oneself out of the maze of delusion successfully escape the net of illusion which is likened to a bottomless abyss. -Sridhara Swami’s Commentary
The Supreme Lord Krishna further explains that when Arjuna’s understanding which is now bewildered by the distraction of various scriptural conclusions describing actions which lead to heaven and actions which lead to hell, as well as worldly conceptions of possessing kingdoms and riches will get his mind fixed in samadhi or transcendental consciousness, then steadfastly focused on the supreme, not attracted to anything else due to expertise in yoga permanently is ecstatically enthralled thereby attaining the fruit of yoga which is absolute realisation of the Ultimate Truth. –Sridhara Swami’s Commentary
Desire is the longing for things not obtained. One must learn to be free from this. Fear is worrying for prospective sorrow which may be caused by bereavement of what is cherished and the projection of the coming of unwanted things. One must learn to be free from this. Anger is that disturbed state of mind and irritated feelings produced of pain from others causing separation from what is cherished or giving the experience of things not cherished. One must learn to be free from this. Such a being is amuni or one of profound contemplation on the soul. –Ramanuja’s Commentary
It continues to surprise me that Krishna speaks against the Vedas. It’s really throwing me off! But the commentary gives an explanation that makes sense to me: that Krishna is saying that you can’t be distracted by promises of getting heaven or other rewards from doing this or that thing. Don’t get derailed by these rules and rituals meant to gain you some material thing.
At first it can sound bad, this “detachment” or being unaffected by things. We might think this describes a depressive state rather than a natural one. I think it takes some practice to see how one can be “indifferent” to ups and downs in life without being…boring or dull. There can be a blissful peace in letting the ups and downs of life wash over us and not be perturbed by it. That’s a big switch, though. We are usually tremendously effected!