Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2 verse 69That which is night for all beings, therein the Self-controlled is awake. That wherein beings are awake is night for the sage who sees.

The realized man (2.68) and the unrealized man (2.66, 2.67) experience wakefulness differently. The realized man is eternally awake in the light of the Self, open to contentment, happiness, all possibilities, living separately from activity, and witnessing life unfold through graceful actions (2.64). The unrealized man is awake to attachments, binding influence of action, weakness, unsteady thought, and anger.

The ‘Self-controlled’ realized man acts out of the contented nature of the Self through the intellect established in it (2.60). The light of contentment shines through all activities, whether waking, sleeping or dreaming (2.57). ‘That which is night for all beings, therein the self-controlled is awake.’ When other (unrealized) beings sleep ‘in the night’ the realized man is awake within.

 

On the other hand, the unrealized man is awake in ephemeral satisfaction of objects, a state of wakefulness the sage of established intellect sees merely as the darkness of ignorance. ‘That wherein beings are awake is night for the sage who sees.’ Relative to the bright light of the Self, the wakefulness of unrealized beings is pitch black as night, the darkness of ignorance, so to speak.

copyright commentary Keith R Parker 2021