indriyāṇāḿ hi caratāḿ
yan mano ‘nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati prajñāḿ
vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.67
As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaja Ambarisha, all of the senses must be engaged in Krishna consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse examines the person with no intelligence due to lack of control of the mind (ayuktasya buddhih na asti described in the previous verse).
Among all the senses moving towards their respective sense objects, the mind follows after one sense. In this way a person follows each of the senses. Such a mind takes away the intelligence or prajna of the person, just as unfavorable wind takes a boat off course which is being steered somewhere on the water.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
2.67 That mind, which is allowed by a person to be submissive to, i.e., allowed to go after the senses which go on operating, i.e., experiencing sense-objects, such a mind loses its inclination towards the pure self. The meaning is that it gets inclined towards sense-objects. Just as a contrary wind forcibly carries away a ship moving on the waters, in the name manner wisdon also is carried away from such a mind. [The idea is that the pursuit of sense pleasures dulls one’s spiritual inclination, and the mind ultimately succumbs to them unresisting.]
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The reason why one who is uncontrolled is devoid of knowledge is now being stated in this verse. Whichever one of the wandering senses the uncontrolled mind follows, that sense by itself enslaves the mind and carries away all discrimination making one restless for the object of desire. As the wind effortlessly snatches away a boat on the ocean whose helmsman is not in control; similarly the senses of one who is uncontrolled snatches away even their mundane intelligence.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
In this verse Lord Krishna gives an analogy on the condition of those who meditate on their senses. One may ask the question, Do not the senses perform the activities energised by the Supreme Lord? This is only partly true because wisdom is an essential ingredient of meditation and when one is pursuing the senses then wisdom is lost and one is out of control like a ship in a storm causing the senses to lose their essential purpose.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna declares that one who is unable to control their mind and senses cannot be in possession of determinate reason. This is because any one of the rambling senses which the mind attaches itself to in pursuit of sense objects has the power to deviate one, taking away even their common sense and compelling them to be oblivious to their highest good which is realisation of the soul. The example given of an unfavourable wind forcibly propelling astray a boat in the water, completely deviating it from its destination is quite apropos.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
2.67 Hi, for; yat manah, the mind which; anu-vidhiyate, follows in the wake of; caratam, the wandering; indriyani, senses that are tending towards their respective objects; tat, that, the mind engaged in thinking [Perceiving objects like sound etc. in their respective varieties.] of the objects of the senses; harati, carries away, destroys; asya, his, the sannyasin’s; prajnam, wisdom born from the discrimination between the Self and the not-Self. How? Iva, like; vayuh, the wind; diverting a navam, boat; ambhasi, on the waters. As wind, by diverting a boat on the waters from its intended course, drives it along a wrong course, similarly the mind, by diverting the wisdom from the pursuit of the Self, makes it engage in objects. After having stated variously the reasons for the idea conveyed through the verse, ‘For, O son of Kunti,’ etc. (60), and having established that very idea, the Lord concludes thus:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
2.64-68 Raga-dvesa-etc. upto pratisthita. Here the purport is this : He, who controls his mind, is not tossed by the waves of wrath etc., even while he is enjoying the sense-objects; hence he alone is a man of Yoga, a man-of-stabilized-intellect. Extraordinary is the man of Yoga, even while he is attending to the worldly business. While examining this point, the characteristics mark of his (man of Yoga), is briefly related by the Supreme Lord-
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
indriyanam hi caratam
yan mano ‘nuvidhiyate
tad asya harati prajnam
vayur navam ivambhasi
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
indriyāṇām — of the senses; hi — certainly; caratām — while roaming; yat — with which; manaḥ — the mind; anuvidhīyate — becomes constantly engaged; tat — that; asya — his; harati — takes away; prajñām — intelligence; vāyuḥ — wind; nāvam — a boat; iva — like; ambhasi — on the water.