In these ten verses, Bhagavan Shri Krishna provides detailed instructions on how to perform meditation. He begins with the selection of a sacred place, the type of seat, bodily posture and a disciplined mind that is focussed on the inner Self, and which is devoid of material desires as essential elements to achieve Self Realisation. Thus, one should meditate with an unagitated and subdued mind, devoid of fear and firm with a vow of celibacy, focused upon the Supreme making Him the ultimate goal of life.
He also explains eating and sleeping regimen and goes on to state to Arjuna that there is no possibility of one becoming a yogi if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough. Bhagavan Shri Krishna emphasises that one who is temperate in eating, sleeping, working and recreation can achieve union with the Supreme by practicing Yoga.
He draws a parallel with a lamp in a windless place that does not waver, and compares that to a Yogi, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation engaging in uniting the individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness.
Thus, with a disciplined mind that is trained in the practice of uniting individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness, one becomes spiritually stable and by this perceives the inner Self, and becomes pure and satisfied in everlasting bliss.
6.11 Shloka 6.11
शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मनः।
नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम्।।6.11।।
Sucau dese pratisthapya sthiram asanam atmanah ।
Naty-ucchritam nati-nicam cailajina-kusottaram ।।6.11।।
Meaning: After selecting a sacred and purified place, the aspiring yogi should establish a seat with kusa grass, deer skin or soft cloth that is neither too high nor too low.
Lord Krishna begins with the words ‘Sucau dese’ means pure or sanctified place. The word ‘sthiram asanam’ means firm seat. The next line says ‘Naty-ucchritam nati-nicam’ means that the seat should neither be too high nor too low. The seat should be soft should be made of soft cloth or deer skin or a mat of kusa grass.
6.12 Shloka 6.12
तत्रैकाग्रं मनः कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः।
उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद्योगमात्मविशुद्धये ।।6.12।।
Tatraikagram manah krtva yata-cittendriya-kriyah ।
Upavisyasane yunjyad yogam atma-visuddhaye ।।6.12।।
Meaning: The yogi should sit on the mat and meditate by directing the mind with a single pointed focus and thereby controlling the senses and purifying the heart.
Sitting upon such a seat, one should meditate and free the mind from all external distractions and one should focus the mind exclusively upon the Atma or Soul that is within until its realisation. Upon realisation of the Self, one is freed from this Samsara of endless cycle of birth and death.
6.13 Shloka 6.13
समं कायशिरोग्रीवं धारयन्नचलं स्थिरः।
संप्रेक्ष्य नासिकाग्रं स्वं दिशश्चानवलोकयन् ।।6.13।।
Samam kaya-siro-grivam dharayann acalam sthirah ।
Sampreksya nasikagram svam disas canavalokayan ।।6.13 ।।
Meaning: One should hold one’s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.
The word ‘samam’ means ‘straight’ and denotes that the back, neck and body should be erect and balanced in a straight posture. Sitting with legs crossed in the lotus position or half lotus position assists in keeping a straight posture. The word ‘sthira’ means ‘firm’ and denotes that the seat while being comfortable should not be overly soft. The eyes should not be allowed to dart across in different directions but should remain fixed with complete focus either on the tip of the nose or on the space between the eyebrows.
6.14 Shloka 6.14
प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीर्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थितः।
मनः संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्परः ।।6.14।।
Prasantatma vigata-bhir brahmacari-vrate sthitah ।
Manah samyamya mac-citto yukta asita mat-parah ।।6.14।।
Meaning: Thus, with an unagitated and subdued mind, devoid of fear and firm with a vow of celibacy, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.
In the earlier verse, Bhagavan explained the discipline for the body and in this verse He explains the the discipline for the mind. The mind being tranquil connotes contentment along with freedom from all fears. The compound word ‘brahmacari-vrate’ means ‘total celibacy’ and this is an indispensable component to achieve contentment and preservation of the vital energy which is so essential for development. Keeping the mind attentive and fixed internally one should meditate on the Supreme Lord.
6.15 Shloka 6.15
युञ्जन्नेवं सदाऽऽत्मानं योगी नियतमानसः।
शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति।।6.15।।
Yunjann evam sadatmanam yogi niyata-manasah ।
Santim nirvana-paramam mat-samstham adhigacchati ।।6.15।।
Meaning: By consistently engaging in meditation in this way, one perfects the science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness. By drawing the mind within, one can attain perfect peace by cessation of material existence and enter into the spiritual effulgence of the Supreme Brahman.
Self-realisation means to get united with the Supreme Lord. This requires constant mediation and concentration on Him, who is the most sacred reality and the highest divinity. This requires the discipline of the mind and body. Such a person seeks to be united with the Ultimate – nirvana-paramam or the supreme bliss of Moksha or liberation. Thus, Moksha is the ultimate purpose of life and can only be attained by uniting with the Supreme Being. Thus, Bhagavan Krishna explains the process of attaining Moksha through meditation.
6.16 Shloka 6.16
नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः।
न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन।।6.16।।
Naty-asnatas ‘tu yogo ‘sti na caikantam anasnatah ।
Na cati-svapna-silasya jagrato naiva carjuna ।।6.16।।
Meaning: There is no possibility of one becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.
After describing the procedure for meditation, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains the eating and sleeping regimen. He goes on to explain, one who eats like a glutton or starves too much, or one who sleeps like a sloth or sleeps too little are not qualified to practice yoga.
6.17 Shloka 6.17
युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु।
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ।।6.17।।
Yuktahara-viharasya yukta-cestasya karmasu
Yukta-svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-ha ।।6.17।।
Meaning: He who is measured in eating, sleeping, working and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing Yoga.
Bhagavan Shri Krishna emphasises that one who is temperate in eating, sleeping, working and recreation can achieve union with the Supreme by practicing Yoga.
6.18 Shloka 6.18
यदा विनियतं चित्तमात्मन्येवावतिष्ठते।
निःस्पृहः सर्वकामेभ्यो युक्त इत्युच्यते तदा ।।6.18।।
Yada viniyatam cittam atmany evavatisthate
Nisprhah sarva-kamebhyo yukta ity ucyate tada ।।6.18।।
Meaning: When the disciplined mind is firmly established and solely resides in the Self, devoid of attachment to all material desires for sense gratification, it is said to have attained Yoga.
The words ‘atmany evavatisthate’ means ‘exclusively established in the Atma or Soul’. This means that the Atma has become the highest goal and the only object of endeavour. When the mind has been so trained and disciplined to be fixed and immersed in the atma so that it never strays; it is simultaneously and automatically weaned away from all desires for sense gratification by not having the slightest inclination to enjoy sense objects. Lord Krishna is stating that at this point an aspirant is firmly established in Yoga.
6.19 Shloka 6.19
यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता।
योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ।।6.19।।
Yatha dipo nivata-stho nengate sopama smrta ।
Yogino yata-cittasya yunjato yogam atmanah ।।6.19।।
Meaning: As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so does a Yogi, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation engaging in uniting the individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness.
In this manner, Bhagavan Shri Krishna describes the characteristics of one who is firmly established in yoga or the science of uniting the individual Consciousness with Ultimate consciousness. In this verse, He gives an analogy by comparing an unwavering flame from a lamp in a windless place with the mind of a yogi engrossed in meditation on the Atma or Soul.
As a lamp’s flame, when sheltered from the wind, will not flicker but burns bright and steady. The word ‘smrta’ means evidenced and cited by those who are experienced in the science of meditation and used as a simile to illustrate how meditation on the Atma or Soul becomes steady and effulgent.
Bhagavan is stating that the Atma shines steady and radiant in the light of meditative spiritual intelligence as all extraneous and miscellaneous distractions of the mind have been eliminated exactly as a lamp’s flame shines constant and bright when all wind has been shut out.
6.20 Shloka 6.20
यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया ।
यत्र चैवात्मनाऽऽत्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति । ।।6.20।।
Yatroparamate cittam niruddham yoga-sevaya ।
Yatra caivatmanatmanam pasyann atmani tusyati ।।6.20।।
Meaning: The mind disciplined by the practice of uniting individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness becomes spiritually stable and by this perceives the inner Self, and becomes pure and satisfied in everlasting bliss.
Bhagavan Shri Krishna is revealing that through meditation one can immerse their mind on their Atma, whereby the Atma receives the greatest satisfaction and contentment realising there is nothing else to be desired for, when the consciousness experiences that sublime and ineffable bliss beyond the scope of the senses.
One should learn this superior meditation technique which severs all connection with sorrow and misery. Knowing the intrinsic nature of meditation one should perform with full trust and faith, free from all doubts with the mind happy and content.
जय श्री कृष्णा – Jai Shri Krishna
Hari Om Tat Sat