Bhagavad Gita

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: Sankhya Yogam: Chapter 2: Verse 58

Bhagavad Gita - krishna --bhagavad gita dhyana shloka

(Image Courtesy Mahanidhiswami)

One Should Always Be Attentive in the World Knowing Limits, When & Where to Involve and When & Where to With-Draw

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 2.58||

yadā sanharate chāyaṁ kūrmo ’ṅgānīva sarvaśhaḥ
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣhṭhitā|| 2.58||

Shloka Translation
BG – Ch. 2- Ver. 58:

The ability to withdraw the senses from their objects, like a tortoise’s limbs withdraw into its shell, is a sign of divine knowledge.


Shri Krishna compares a fully realized Person to a turtle. On the outside, the tortoise possesses a hard shell and six appendages. These appendages help the tortoise move around. It does, however, have a unique ability: when it detects danger, it immediately retracts its projections under the cover of the hard shell. After that, the tortoise is entirely protected from harm. The tortoise’s realized Person is akin to this characteristic of the tortoise. The realized person interacts with the world through the five senses and mind, much as the tortoise does with its appendages.

But, as soon as he detects danger in the form of temptation, he instantly withdraws his senses and mind, placing them behind the strong protection of his intellect. The tortoise’s shell is always exposed to the sun. Similarly, a realized Soul’s intellect is in constant communication with the Sun above – Atman.

You should use your senses and mind to freely interact with the world. The intellect, on the other hand, should be strong and attentive so that when temptation strikes, you may immediately withdraw your senses and mind within the safe confines of the intellect, which should be in continual contact with life’s higher ideals.

You will be safeguarded from unneeded detours in the world if you do this. You should go through life with self-assurance, knowing what you’re doing. This is due to a high level of intelligence. Then you’ll be able to handle the world’s temptations. Even so, everyone has one or two flaws. When you know that you are about to become overwhelmed and carried away in your area of weakness, you must rapidly withdraw. You’ll be in big trouble if you don’t do this. And we’re all in trouble because we haven’t followed this formula. So He doesn’t say we shouldn’t interact with the rest of the world. He just warns you to be aware of your particular flaws.

Verse ; what we can learn

Staying alert all the time and withdrawing ourselves from unnecessary distractions and involvement in unnecessary things is divine knowledge that helps us stay in that state.

What does withdrawal of senses mean?
Why do we need to withdraw the mind from the senses?

These are some of the questions that may come to our mind, withdrawal of senses from the sensory object is not an impossible thing to achieve but needs constant alertness and conscious efforts. Daily meditation can help a great deal in the process.

There are various types of meditation like Buddhist meditation, heartfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation, meditation for stress, and each meditation benefits are countless. There are also numerous meditation techniques for beginners which help in practicing daily meditation so go ahead and start your journey towards a peaceful and balanced life.

In the next verse, Shri Krishna gives Arjuna more in-depth knowledge about the same subject.

Let’s learn to live with “The Gita” via Meditation Affinity…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *