Shrimad Bhagwat Gita : : 2.14

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मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदु: खदा: |
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत || 14||

mātrā-sparśhās tu kaunteya śhītoṣhṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās tans-titikṣhasva bhārata

mātrā-sparśhāḥ—contact of the senses with the sense objects; tu—indeed; kaunteya— the son of Kunti, Arjun, śhīta—winter; uṣhṇa—summer; sukha—happiness; duḥkha—distress; dāḥ—give; āgama—come; apāyinaḥ—go; anityāḥ—non-permanent; tān—them; titikṣhasva—tolerate

2.14: O son of Kunti, the transactional presence of happiness and distress, and their absence at another time, is like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. These perceptions are transient, and arise from an interaction between the senses and the world around us. O descendent of Bharat, one must learn to tolerate them without feeling disturbed.

The five senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing –  play a critical role in determining the mental state of being. The mind experiences happiness and sorrow based on the perceptions the five senses convey.

We shall overcome

These perceived sensations are transient and do not stay forever. Thus, happiness, anxiety, sorrow, and distress, all come and go. The state of mind changes constantly like the seasons and if we allow ourselves to be deeply affected by them we will always be in a state of flux, or uncertainty. A person blessed with equanimity lives through these experiences without being perturbed by them. 

In other words, do not allow moments of happiness and success make you complacent, nor should experiences of unhappiness and sorrow overwhelm you or break your spirit. None of these is permanent, and like changing seasons, shall sooner or later give way to another experience.  

The Gita’s philosophy and teachings have helped me understand much of what otherwise lay in the realm of the unexplained. More importantly, it has helped me come to terms with the finite nature of life on this earth, and simultaneously draw solace from accepting the infinite existence of the soul. It is reassuring to understand the significance of following one’s dharma (duty), performing good karma (deeds), while being engaged in the quest for gyan (knowledge) as one walks on in the hope of attaining moksha (salvation).

Shared here is a brief documentation of what this shloka of the Gita says to me.

Vandana R Singh
New Delhi, June 2020

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