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Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 9

Shrotram chakshuh sparshanam cha rasanam ghraanameva cha;
Adhishthaaya manashchaayam vishayaanupasevate.

Presiding over the ear, the eye, touch, taste and smell, as well as the mind, he enjoys the objects of the senses.

Interpretation

After talking about the soul carrying the information of the previous births into the next birth, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the objects of the senses and their influence on the mind. He says that Lord presides over the five sense objects like ear, eye, touch, taste and smell. Then these five senses are connected to the mind which is controlled by senses. This is how a person enjoys the objects of the senses, says Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation on Mankind’s Life!

We have discussed in the previous shlokas that it’s the senses that rule the mind and the soul inside will have no control over the senses. It’s totally the mind that controls the senses. So, if the soul wants something it has to be given only by the mind. When the mind is unable to recognize what the soul wants then it will never be able to fulfil the wishes of the soul. I would like to explain this today with an example that will make you to think bit more. Some of us would have heard about Sant Tulsidas. He was the one who wrote Ramayana in Hindi. We know about him as a saint but there is a story that we need to know about Tulsidas, like Valmiki who wrote the original Ramayana. 

Tulsidas in his younger days was very attached to his wife. He could not stay away from her even for a day. Once it so happens that she goes to her father’s place leaving Tulsidas alone. Tulsidas unable to bear that separation even for few days also decides one night to visit her and sets out to his father in law’s place. On the way, he comes across a river and since it was nightfall, he couldn’t see any boat nearby. Plus since it was raining, there was nobody near the river. Still, Tulsidas wanted to meet his wife. Then he sees a dead body floating on the river coming near him. It was a rotten body fully bloated with water. He mistakes it for a wooden log and climbs on it and crosses the river.

As he reaches the home of his wife which is just on the banks of the river, he sees that it is a two-storied building and his wife was on the second floor. He didn’t want to disturb his father in law by knocking the door, so he climbs the tree nearby and tries to enter the balcony of the room where his wife was sleeping. On his way to the balcony, there was a snake hanging to the tree, he mistakes it for a rope and reaches the balcony, holding the snake. Finally, when he sees his wife he felt very happy. His wife asks him how he was able to come to her home in spite of the heavy rain, he tells about the wooden log and the rope through which he came to meet her. 

Surprised, his wife goes to the balcony and sees the snake. And when she looks at the wooden log she realises that it was a dead body. She shows him both and says if he had shown the same desire on knowing God instead of bodily pleasures, he wouldn’t have taken birth again. That hits Tulsidas hard and he realises his mistake. From then on he starts getting detached from the worldly pleasures and starts to concentrate on God and subsequently, pens Ramayana in Hindi. I would also like to quote one shloka from Tulsidas Ramayan which goes like this: “kamihi naari piari jimi lobhihi priya jimi dama, timi raghunatha nirantara priya lagahu mohi rama“, which means “As a lustful man desires a beautiful woman, and as a greedy person desires wealth, may my mind and senses constantly desire Lord Ram.”

So, the only way this mind can get over senses and their influences are only by focussing on God.