indriyāṇi mano buddhir
etair vimohayaty eṣa
jñānam āvṛtya dehinam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.40
The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The enemy has captured different strategic positions in the body of the conditioned soul, and therefore Lord Krishna is giving hints of those places, so that one who wants to conquer the enemy may know where he can be found. Mind is the center of all the activities of the senses, and thus when we hear about sense objects the mind generally becomes a reservoir of all ideas of sense gratification; and, as a result, the mind and the senses become the repositories of lust. Next, the intelligence department becomes the capital of such lustful propensities. Intelligence is the immediate next-door neighbor of the spirit soul. Lusty intelligence influences the spirit soul to acquire the false ego and identify itself with matter, and thus with the mind and senses. The spirit soul becomes addicted to enjoying the material senses and mistakes this as true happiness. This false identification of the spirit soul is very nicely explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.84.13):
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
“A human being who identifies this body made of three elements with his self, who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers the land of birth worshipable, and who goes to the place of pilgrimage simply to take a bath rather than meet men of transcendental knowledge there, is to be considered like an ass or a cow.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Where is this lust situated? This verse explains. The great fortresses and cities of this enemy lust (adhistanam) are the senses, mind and intelligence. And the sense objects starting with sound are the provinces ruled by the king called lust. Lust bewilders the jiva (dehinam), by covering knowledge, using the senses, mind and intelligence.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.40 The senses, the mind and the intellect are the instruments of desire in so far as it overpowers the self through them. By means of these, viz., the senses, the mind and the intellect, which have been reduced to the position of servants through attachment to sense objects, desire deludes the embodied soul caught up in Prakrti by covering up Its knowledge. Here ‘deluding’ means making the self a victim of manifold illusions, by turning It away from the knowledge of Its true nature, and making It indulge in sensuous experiences.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
By revealing the locations of where kama or lust is stationed Lord Krishna is indicating the means to defeat kama. As desire arises from contact with sense objects by seeing, hearing, touching etc. the mind is agitated and a determined effort to enjoy arises and lust manifests itself from within the mind completely overpowering the intellect and the discriminatory faculties and a person is controlled and deluded, forced to be a slave of their sense.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Now the locations where the enemy kama or lust is given by Lord Krishna. The senses becoming excited agitates the mind and the mind becoming excited envelopes the intellect with this kama..
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
By revealing the locations where kama or lust covertly resides Lord Krishna indicates that there is a method of controlling it. The senses infatuate the mind, the mind infatuates the intellect and the intellect enveloped by kama loses all discriminatory powers and succumbs to the pursuance of gratifying one’s senses in sensual pleasures. This infatuation reverses the delight in cultivation of Vedic knowledge and causes a person to chase the delights of sense objects and strives mightily to satisfy every one of them.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.40 Indriyani, the organs; manah, mind; and buddhih, the intellect; ucyate, are said to be; asya, its, desire’s; adhisthanam, abode. Esah, this one, desire; vimohayati, diversely deludes; dehinam, the embodied being; avrtya, by veiling; jnanam, Knowledg; etaih, with the help of these, with the organs etc. which are its abodes. [The activities of the organs etc. are the media for the expression of desire. Desire covers the Knoweldge of the Self by stimulating these.]
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.40 Indriyani etc. In the beginning, it stands on the sense organs at work. For example, when an enemy is sighted with eyes, he generates wrath about himself at the very place of the perceiver’s sense-organ, then in the mind i.e., fancy, then in the intellect, i.e., resolve; and producing delusion in this way, it destroys knowledge. [The Lord] speaks of the means for avoiding this foe as :
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
indriyani mano buddhir
etair vimohayaty esa
jnanam avrtya dehinam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
indriyāṇi — the senses; manaḥ — the mind; buddhiḥ — the intelligence; asya — of this lust; adhiṣṭhānam — sitting place; ucyate — is called; etaiḥ — by all these; vimohayati — bewilders; eṣaḥ — this lust; jñānam — knowledge; āvṛtya — covering; dehinam — of the embodied.