2.54 Arjuna addressed the Blessed One, “O’ Lord, what is the transcendent sign that we may recognize someone who is always in deep-samādhis? What would be the signs in his speech, his silent gaze, and in his movements that would attest to this Noble recognition?
2.55 Arjuna, when all sensate desires have shriveled-up; when the yogin is wholly content in the Unborn-Self alone; rest assured that he/she has reached the summit of Noble Self-Perfection.
Resting serenely in the stillness of the Unborn is the markless-mark of the Yogin who depends on no-thing for the dawn of self-awakening.
2.56 Behold then the Muni, the sage whose mind remains unperturbed in suffering, whose emotions are never roused or overcome with fear and trembling; indeed such a one rides-high on the Noble Winds of the Dharma.
Paramahansa Yogananda portrays the muni in the following fashion:
The muni or man of wisdom has withdrawn his consciousness from the distorted testimony of the sense mind and has focused it on the soul. The searchlight of his wisdom is thrown steadily on the kingdom of an everlasting joy.
The divine man, finding the nature of the soul to be different from the nature of the body, does not become inwardly ruffled when trouble invades the body, nor unduly elated over impermanent worldly joys. The soul is not in any way identified with the transitory bodily experiences. Thus, when the ego-self is settled in the true Self, wisdom-paralyzing emotions cannot impinge upon the consciousness of the superman. (Yogananda, ibid, pg 57)
The muni turns-about from the distorted lens of the sensate-carnal mind (forever obsessively involved with the karmadhatu) and instead focuses on one’s inner-screen in-sync with the Reality of the Dharmadhatu.
2.57 Whatever the muni does or does not do, he is no longer attached to another person or any formal or informal ties of the flesh. Being Self-realized in the Infinite Mind of the Unborn he’s no longer affected by either good or evil.
The muni has no significant other in his life that causes him to cater to the whims and karmic-ties of emotionality. He no longer reacts to either good or bad circumstances happening around him, like a towering Lighthouse that withstands and neutralizes the pounding karmic waves and winds of time. Indeed, he’s in a stateless state of supreme neutrality that is beyond the ken of human reason and understanding.
2.58 The muni, like an ancient tortoise, draws-in his skandhic-limbs and his not affected by neither external nor internal stimuli; thus does he draw-inward to the chamber of hidden wisdom.
The muni is no-longer held captive to the stern-dictates of the skandhas; in fact, he can queiten them down as one calms-down a frightened horse. He lives now in the fortified domain of Dharmatic-Wisdom and can respond or not respond to phenomena as his Unborn Spirit wills.
2.59 Sensate phenomena just fades away for the yogic-mind that is no longer attached to them; impressions left over in the Alaya vijñana can linger long after they take effect, yet can dissolve-away for the yogic-spirit who takes refuge in the Unborn.
Phenomena can leave an after-impression, like after someone who burns toast; but the yogin, secure within the Impenetrable-field of the Unborn Mind is no longer affected by the after-taste.
2.60 Yet, if the skandhas remain unbridled, Arjuna, they can still lead-astray even the wise-one who has tasted deep-samadhis.
This is similar to the ample-warnings found within the Śūrangama Sūtra that specify being especially careful once one reaches the apex of spiritual-techniques, since any one of the skandhas, if left untended, will continue to raise havoc and inner-discord.
2.61 Just remember to keep your mind steadily upon me; herein lies the superior stream that transcends all obstacles to spiritual perfection, as one’s intuitive wisdom becomes yoked with my own.
One of the most intimate verses in the whole-gita, as the Blessed-One reminds Arjuna to just keep a steady and loving gaze on him alone, on the reflection of the Primordial Consciousness.
2.62 Never brood on anything less-than my shining countenance, lest lesser attachments become dominant and wanton desires usurp our mystically-yoked embrace.
John of the Cross often wrote about those natural inclinations that can hinder spirits ascent to the Absolute. He once compared it to filthy-windowpane’s obscuring Spirit’s Light.
2.63 Anger obstructs and can permanently-ruin one’s Recollective Resolve. Memory is thus disrupted in the process and the healthy reasoning abilities are destroyed. When Divine Reason is lost or obscured, one’s spirit is left abandoned in the wild forest of delusion.
The Dhammapada emphasized that anger—above all else—is the absolute wrecker of the Quiescent Spirit.
2.64 But the Yogin with a disciplined Mind and Recollective Spirit soars high above all attractions and aversions. Like a swan, such a mind settles undisturbed on a pristine-clear and tranquil lake.
2.65 Discernment can only be incurred through a reticent mind.
Wonderful verse—discernment is impossible for one whose mind is ravaged by sensate interference.
2.66 The disturbed mind can never be a harbor for the spirit of discernment. Yea, discernment is spirit-led and can only be safe-guarded through yogic-discipline.
Great teaching concerning the nature of discernment; it can only occur in a spirit-led environment and that environment must first be constructed via the yogic enterprise.
2.67 Like a ship tossed recklessly about on churning samsaric seas, so is the mind led by the roving ravages of skandhic-based reality.
If one’s skandhic-consciousness is granted a free-pass, all hell is surely to break loose.
2.68 So, Arjuna—Mighty Warrior—discernment is made possible when the senses, and their grasping for sense objects, is neutralized.
2.69 What appears as night to the lesser spiritual-able, is the actual state of awakening for the spiritually-oriented mind that is disciplined. Also, in reverse fashion, what appears as day to the spiritually-blinded is likened unto a profound night for the sage who is united with the Self.
Profound similarities here with the teachings of John of the Cross; the ways of the spirit are like a dark-night for the exclusively sense-oriented, but a brilliant translucent Light wherein spiritual mysteries are revealed for those enlightened with Buddha-gnosis. The garish light of day, with its overly active sensate perturbations, is rendered neutral by the spiritual “dark night of the senses”, wherein sensate phenomena is lulled to sleep and the luminous dark principle of the Unborn is revealed for those with the awakened eyes of the Spirit.
2.70 Just as the immense depths of the ocean are not disturbed and unmoved when waters rush into it, so is the Yogin unmoved by the rushing waters of sensate desires.
2.71 Peace of mind is assured for the Yogin who is no longer afflicted with grasping for personal desires.
When the Skandhic-mind is silenced, then the alleged personality (which is made up of the skandhas) dissolves.
2.72 This, Arjuna, is the Way of the Spirit. If one has properly assimilated this undivided awareness power, then when death approaches the Yogin will effortlessly merge with the imageless shores of the Dharmakaya.
Yet another astoundingly profound spiritual revelation; if one has devoutly aspired to the Divine Union throughout one’s yogic spiritual discipline, then he/she will pass safely through the imageless gateless gate of liberation (the Bardo of Dharmatā) into the deathless kingdom of the Dharmakaya.
Thus ends the second discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga of Discernment.