I acknowledge this image of Kanchi Paramacharya from the Net
The wise man unaffected by senses, to whom
Pleasure and pain are same
He is fit to be immortal 2.15
Krishna follows from the last verse, in which he talked about the impermanence of sensory inputs. These are interpreted by our mind, the manas or sensory coordinator, along with ahankara or conditioned ego, and then stored in chitti or memory base. They convert neutral sensory inputs into feeling of hot and cold, pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, like and dislike and such other judgmental mind maps. All these are relative. The same experience may give one joy and another sadness. Feeling of pain depends on one’s threshold of pain. These feelings are also transient. They change with time and space.
In this verse, Krishna says that one who recognises the impermanence of such sensory perceptions interpreted as feelings and is therefore unaffected by them is a wise man. He says further that such a person is ready to be liberated into the immortal state of energy singularity.
I have met many who are well versed in yoga, meditation, scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Unlike me they can quote this verse in its original Sanskrit. All it takes is a small trigger to spin them off into blind anger. They cannot tolerate dissent. They cannot tolerate others not bowing down to them in surrender. Yet, they masquerade as wise men. Avoid them like the plague.
A wise man is unaffected and disengaged by what goes on around him, or her. In my own experience I have come across only two people who fit Krishna’s description: Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi and the Paramacharya Chandrashekarendra Saraswati of Kanchi, both long since in energy state. It is not that they did not experience heat and cold, or pain through their senses. They disengaged from these inputs. They practised to perfection pratyahara, the fifth state of controlling senses in Ashtanga Yoga and elevated it to the ultimate eight state of disengagement or Samadhi. In his final stages of ravaging cancer when doctors wanted to administer morphine to deaden his pain, Ramana said: this body itself is not mine. How can I experience its pain?
As a child and later as a teenager I had visited the Paramacharya several times. The compassionate disengagement of this man, a saint if ever there was one, always reduced me to tears, such was his energy.
Zen talks about Buddha and No Buddha states . Even the Buddha goes through them. The trick is to stay in a No Mind state, the mindless state of not judging what is perceived. Every one of us can be a Buddha and a Son of God. We need to be mindless to be wise.