च्छनै: शनैर्मुञ्चति कर्मरेणून् ।
सत्त्वेन वृद्धेन रजस्तमश्च
विधूय निर्वाणमुपैत्यनिन्धनम् ॥ १२ ॥
chanaiḥ śanair muñcati karma-reṇūn
sattvena vṛddhena rajas tamaś ca
vidhūya nirvāṇam upaity anindhanam
yasmin — in which (the Supreme Lord); manaḥ — the mind; labdha — having obtained; padam — a permanent situation; yat etat — that very mind; śanaiḥ śanaiḥ — gradually, step by step; muñcati — gives up; karma — of fruitive activities; reṇūn — the contamination; sattvena — by the mode of goodness; vṛddhena — which has grown strong; rajaḥ — the mode of passion; tamaḥ — the mode of ignorance; ca — also; vidhūya — giving up; nirvāṇam — the transcendental position in which one is united with the object of his meditation; upaiti — achieves; anindhanam — without fuel.
The mind can be controlled when it is fixed on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Having achieved a stable situation, the mind becomes free from polluted desires to execute material activities; thus as the mode of goodness increases in strength, one can completely give up the modes of passion and ignorance, and gradually one transcends even the material mode of goodness. When the mind is freed from the fuel of the modes of nature, the fire of material existence is extinguished. Then one achieves the transcendental platform of direct relationship with the object of his meditation, the Supreme Lord.
The interaction of the three modes of nature creates great obstacles in one’s path of spiritual advancement, and there is danger that one may be thrown down into the darkness of ignorance. Those who are experienced in practical psychology know the dangers of the uncontrolled mind and constantly endeavor to bring the mind under control. If one can free oneself from the influence of the material modes of passion and ignorance, then life becomes very auspicious. Controlling the mind, and thereby freeing oneself from the influence of the material modes of nature, is the only means of making actual progress in life. The word yasmin in this verse, according to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, indicates the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the reservoir of all pleasure. Giving up the material propensities of the mind does not mean merging into an impersonal existence, such as that experienced in dreamless sleep. As stated in this verse, sattvena vṛddhena: one must become firmly established in the mode of goodness and then gradually rise onto the spiritual platform, where one may dwell in the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.