Chapter 2 Verse 34 – Samkhya Yoga

Sloka

Yaanishaa sarvabhootaanaam tasyaam jaagarti samyamee;
Yasyaam jaagrati bhootaani saa nishaa pashyato muneh.

Translation

That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake;
when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.

Interpretation

In this verse Lord Krishna is telling the difference between a person who has discovered self and the person who is still living in senses. He compares the knowledge of self as day and senses as night. The sage who lives in the Self, this is day to him. He is unconscious of worldly phenomena, this is like night to him. So, here day and night are like self and senses. After that he talks about the life of an ordinary man. He says ordinary man is unconscious of his real self. So life in the Self is like night to him. He only experiences sense-objects, this is day to him.

Extending interpretation for Mankind’s Life!

You know the day and night of the nature. But what is this day and night of mind? It goes like this. Knowledge is day, ignorance is night. Knowledge can only be acquired by aligning the self or soul with it. That means the real fruit of knowledge is when you allow the light of it to fall on your soul. Then it illuminates your soul like how sun’s rays illuminate the whole earth. This we call it day. When it is day, you cant see darkness which is night. In the same way, the person whose soul is lit up with knowledge experiences the feeling like a day. For him, senses become useless and remain dark and it is like a night. So, in short for a wise person or a self controlled person is the one who has his soul active it is like a day and his senses are asleep like how we sleep in the night.

Now, lets take the reverse scenario. Lets take an ordinary man who is enjoying himself with senses. He loves music so pays all kinds of songs, he watches lot of movies and plays games. He loves good food and alcohol so drinks and eats well. Such kind of person can never open the doors of his self or soul. So, the senses which are active for such kind of person is like a day. But when the senses are active the soul is sleeping, like how we sleep in the night. So, his self is in the night. Such kind of person can never acquire knowledge and wisdom but will always enjoy things that are connected to his senses. Such kind of people are called ordinary people.