ata eva śanaiś cittaṁ
prasaktam asatāṁ pathi
viraktyā ca nayed vaśam
ataḥ eva—therefore; śanaiḥ—gradually; cittam—mind, consciousness; prasaktam—attached; asatām—of material enjoyments; pathi—on the path; bhakti-yogena—by devotional service; tīvreṇa—very serious; viraktyā—without attachment; ca—and; nayet—he must bring; vaśam—under control.
It is the duty of every conditioned soul to engage his polluted consciousness, which is now attached to material enjoyment, in very serious devotional service with detachment. Thus his mind and consciousness will be under full control.
The process of liberation is very nicely explained in this verse. The cause of one’s becoming conditioned by material nature is his thinking himself the enjoyer, the proprietor or the friend of all living entities. This false thinking is a result of contemplation on sense enjoyment. When one thinks that he is the best friend to his countrymen, to society or to humanity and he engages in various nationalistic, philanthropic and altruistic activities, all that is just so much concentration on sense gratification. The so-called national leader or humanist does not serve everyone; he serves his senses only. That is a fact. But the conditioned soul cannot understand this because he is bewildered by the spell of material nature. It is therefore recommended in this verse that one engage very seriously in the devotional service of the Lord. This means that one should not think that he is the proprietor, benefactor, friend or enjoyer. He should always be cognizant that the real enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; that is the basic principle of bhakti-yoga. One must be firmly convinced of these three principles: one should always think that Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor, Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer and Kṛṣṇa is the friend. Not only should he understand these principles himself, but he should try to convince others and propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
As soon as one engages in such serious devotional service of the Lord, naturally the propensity to falsely claim lordship over material nature disappears. That detachment is called vairāgya. Instead of being absorbed in so-called material lordship, one engages in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; that is control of consciousness. The yoga process necessitates controlling the senses. Yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. Since the senses are always active, their activities should be engaged in devotional service—one cannot stop their activities. If one wants to artificially stop the activities of the senses, his attempt will be a failure. Even the great yogī Viśvāmitra, who was trying to control his senses by the yoga process, fell victim to the beauty of Menakā. There are many such instances. Unless one’s mind and consciousness are fully engaged in devotional service, there is always the opportunity for the mind to become occupied with desires for sense gratification.
One particular point mentioned in this verse is very significant. It is said here, prasaktam asatāṁ pathi: the mind is always attracted by asat, the temporary, material existence. Because we have been associated with material nature since time immemorial, we have become accustomed to our attachment to this temporary material nature. The mind has to be fixed at the eternal lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ. One has to fix the mind at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa; then everything will be very nice. Thus the seriousness of bhakti-yoga is stressed in this verse.
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