Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 10

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिता: |
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागता: || 10||

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśhritāḥ
bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ

vītafreed from; rāgaattachment; bhayafear; krodhāḥand anger; mat-mayācompletely absorbed in me; māmin me; upāśhritāḥtaking refuge (of); bahavaḥmany (persons); jñānaof knowledge; tapasāby the fire of knowledge; pūtāḥpurified; mat-bhāvammy divine love; āgatāḥattained

Translation

BG 4.10: Being freed from attachment, fear, and anger, becoming fully absorbed in me, and taking refuge in me, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of me, and thus they attained my divine love.

Commentary

In the previous verse, Lord Krishna explained that those who truly know the divine nature of his birth and pastimes attain him. He now confirms that legions of human beings in all ages became God-realized by this means. They achieved this goal by purifying their minds through devotion. Shree Aurobindo put it very nicely: “You must keep the temple of the heart clean, if you wish to install therein the living presence.” The Bible states: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5.8) [v11]

Now, how does the mind get purified? By giving up attachment, fear, and anger, and absorbing the mind in God. Actually, attachment is the cause of both fear and anger. Fear arises out of apprehension that the object of our attachment will be snatched away from us. And anger arises when there is an obstruction in attaining the object of our attachment. Attachment is thus the root cause of the mind getting dirty.

This world of Maya consists of the three modes of material nature—sattva, rajas, and tamas (goodness, passion, and ignorance). All objects and personalities in the world come within the realm of these three modes. When we attach our mind to a material object or person, our mind too becomes affected by the three modes. Instead, when we absorb the same mind in God, who is beyond the three modes of material nature, such devotion purifies the mind. Thus, the sovereign recipe to cleanse the mind from the defects of lust, anger, greed, envy, and illusion, is to detach it from the world and attach it to the Supreme Lord. Hence, the Ramayan states:

prema bhagati jala binu raghurāī, abhiantara mala kabahuñ jāī [v12]

“Without devotion to God, the dirt of the mind will not be washed away.” Even the ardent propagator of jñāna yog, Shankaracharya, stated:

śhuddhayati hi nāntarātmā kṛiṣhṇapadāmbhoja bhaktimṛite (Prabodh Sudhākar)[v13]

“Without engaging in devotion to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, the mind will not be cleansed.”

On reading the previous verse, a question may arise whether Lord Krishna is partial in bestowing his grace upon those who absorb their minds in him versus the worldly-minded souls. The Supreme Lord addresses this in the next verse.