|Chapter 2||The Eternal Reality of the Soul's Immortality||Verse 55|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Now it is revealed what are the means to knowledge for an aspirant and what are the natural characteristics exhibited once one has attained transcendence. Hence by merely relating the characteristics of one possessing spiritual intelligence the means of direct knowledge are simultaneously transmitted as well throughout the conclusion of this chapter. Now the answer to the first question in the previous verse is given in this verse and the next. When a person gives up all desires of the mind, relinquishing them completely, which results when by determination one has perceived the Ultimate Truth by strength of one's individual consciousness. Then and only then one delights in the inconceivable joy of communion with the Ultimate Consciousness whose eternal nature is supreme bliss. Experiencing the delight of this supreme bliss one automatically loses all desire for even the most equisite material pleasures and thus by this possessing this characteristic one can be understood to be a person of steady wisdom.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Before illuminating the characteristics of those situated with spiritual intelligence who often are indistinguishable from others not so situated as requested by Arjuna in the previous verse; Lord Krishna reveals the attributes of the spiritual intelligent in this verse. Thus in understanding how one being satisfied by the supreme state of transcendent consciousness performs actions is the explanation introduced in this verse. One situated in spiritual intelligence realises the soul by the grace of the Supreme Lord but the this can be sooner or longer to achieve subject to the degree of ones attachments held earlier in their life; but anyway to some extent their will be realisation. In actuality such a one discards all desires. Even as in the case of Sukadeva and Dhruva after they had darshan or vision of the Supreme Lord. The spiritual intelligent, those knowing the Ultimate truth always enthusiastically desire communion with the Supreme Lord incessantly seeking the mercy to serve, worship and glorify Him.
In regard to Indra and the demigods, undesirable desires are not present therefore their knowledge is known to be supernal. It is therefore declared that the qualified living entity is verily so due to the performance of great activities. Because of such achievements they become distinguished from others. Therefore due to distinguished activities their distinctive attributes are manifested. But it should be emphasised that even if one unqualified by spiritual intelligence happens to distinguish themselves, still they can never be considered as situated in transcendent consciousness. This point should be clearly understood. In this verse the attributes of one who is in samadhi transcendent consciousness is not discussed. This is because one who is unattached in all respects shows no attachment for anything at any time. For one in the transcendent consciousness of samadhi there is no experience of auspicious or inauspicious because there is no connection to material consciousness which is the antithesis to samadhi. Therefore conceptions of this nature do not apply.
Wants and desires do not arise in those who have cleansed their mind and purified their consciousness and who situated in spiritual intelligence have taken complete refuge of the Supreme Lord Krishna. This is recorded in Vedic scriptures.
Desires are hidden within the mind but it is in this same mind where spiritual intelligence must manifest to neutralise and eradicate such desires. This is indicated by the word mano-gatan concoctions of the mind. This dichotomy between attachment to desires and attachment to the soul is further referred to in verse 59 of this chapter illustrating that even though refrain of actions is induced the desires continue within the mind. It is not that only by refraining from desires one in spiritual transcendence may be perceived for desires may hide within. The word atmani meaning by purified consciousness of the soul denotes by the assistance of the Supreme soul. The ultimate truth verily, dwells in the Supreme soul. Since the soul is completely abiding in the ultimate truth, by the sole grace of the Supreme soul alone attainment is achieved. Thus one who takes the initiative renouncing attachment, abides in the Supreme Lord by the grace of the Supreme Lord and is provided with all that is necessary to attain this end and not by any other means whatsoever. This all has been spoken of in the Narayana Shataksara Kalpa. Thus the soul referred to here is paramatma the ultimate soul.
Now begins the summation.
It is not that those of spiritual intelligence can always stop the flow of inappropriate desires. Renouncing what is inappropriate means one has renounced desire. Even those who have experienced the transcendent state to some degree and have perceived the reality of the ultimate truth, still inappropriate desires may arise in the mind when they are not in that transcendent experience. Evidence of this is seen in Vedic scriptures when Shiva to protect his worshiper fought in battle against Lord Krishna. Thus only when one is not in the transcendent experience can one be in an equaniminous state for in the transcendent experience such designations do not apply. Situated in spiritual intelligence with concerted endeavour one becomes qualified and eligible for the supreme grace to attain the transcendent state. Another point to note is that by the awakening of devotion in the heart for the Supreme Lord the ineligible will also become qualified to also receive the grace to attain the transcendent state in due to course of time without fail. The word atmani indicates Lord Krishna. It is only by His grace may one attain the transcendent state.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna explains that when the particular activities of the adept of spiritual intelligence are described then the characteristics are recognised. Because one with spiritual intelligence focus their mind to be fully immersed solely in the soul, they are known as being soul satisfied. When such a one is so absorbed in the soul that all other desires abiding therein are completely banished then such a one is known as sthita-prajnah situated in transcendent consciousness. This is the paramount platform of spiritual intelligence in the mind. After this the next lower intermediate stage will be defined.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
In order to answer Arjunas four questions Lord Krishna begins here and continues till the end of the chapter. To answer the first question He explains that when one thoroughly abandons all cravings of the mind one is sthita-prajna situated in transcendent consciousness. What is the indication that one has abandoned all cravings of the mind? Lord Krishna explains that such a being is immersed in the soul and is completely satisfied by the soul. The stability of ones mind can be known when one becomes pleased and satisfied by the resultant purity of the mind after completely abandoning all desires and lust. In the soul, self-contained by its own inherent nature in the form of knowledge, eternality and bliss is characterised by the total annihilation of all sins as declared by Prajapati in the spiritual discourse he delivered as seen in the Upanisads.