SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA – PART 25 -Chapter 6, Verses 31 to 40 – DHYANA YOGA

Chapter 6, Verses 31 to 40 – DHYANA YOGA

In these ten verses of Chapter 6, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains how to achieve spiritual success.  He explains the importance of controlling the wavering and unsteady mind by constantly bringing it back under the control of Self while also exercising restraint from seeking sense pleasures.  One with a disciplined mind that is trained in the practice of meditation, devoid of sins and free from passion will perceive the inner Self and becomes pure and satisfied in everlasting bliss.

Arjuna implores Bhagavan Shri Krishna to explain what happens to a person who despite trying hard fails to achieve spiritual success either due to inability to shun attachment or due to lack of discipline. Bhagavan responds emphatically that one who is engaged in spiritual activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, is never overcome by evil.

6.31      Shloka 6.31    

सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां भजत्येकत्वमास्थितः।

सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि योगी मयि वर्तते।।6.31।।

Sarva-bhuta-sthitam yo mam bhajaty ekatvam asthitah
Sarvatha vartamano ‘pi sa yogi mayi vartate

Meaning: The seeker who knows that I am present within all entities as the Soul, and worships Me with devotion, he remains always in Me in all circumstances.

The words ‘ekatvam asthtitah’ means singularly existing in the form of Supreme Lord in all entities.  The word ‘Sarvatha’ means in all circumstances. This means whether consciously performing activities or in meditation, whatever condition one happens to be situated in, the Yogi who is spiritually advanced perceives the Supreme Soul in all beings.  Such a Yogi is spiritually enlightened.

The words ‘ekatvam asthtitah’ means singularly existing in the form of Supreme Lord in all entities.  The word ‘Sarvatha’ means in all circumstances. This means whether consciously performing activities or in meditation, whatever condition one happens to be situated in, the Yogi who is spiritually advanced perceives the Supreme Soul in all beings.  Such a Yogi is spiritually enlightened.

The Narada-pancaratra says:

Dik-kalady-anavacchinne krsne ceto vidhaya ca |
Tanmayo bhavati ksipram jivo brahmani yojayet ||

Meaning: By concentrating one’s attention on Bhagavan Shri Krishna, who is all-pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in Krishna and attains the blissful state of transcendental association with Him.

6.32      Shloka 6.32

आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन।
सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं सः योगी परमो मतः।।6.32।।

Atmaupamyena sarvatra samam pasyati yo ‘rjuna
Sukham va yadi va duhkham sa yogi paramo matah

Meaning: He is a perfect Yogi who sees all beings as equal, in both happiness and distress, O Arjuna!

The primary cause of the distress of a living entity is lack of realisation of his relationship with God. The perfect Yogi views all living entities with equanimity.

A devotee of the Lord always cares for all living entities, and in this way he is the well-wisher of everyone. Such a person is a perfect Yogi because he does not desire perfection in Yogafor his personal benefit alone but seeks peace for everyone – “Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu”. He does not envy his fellow living entities.

6.33      Shloka 6.33

अर्जुन उवाच
योऽयं योगस्त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदन।
एतस्याहं पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात् स्थितिं स्थिराम्।।6.33।।

Arjuna uvaca
Yo ‘yam yogas tvaya proktah samyena madhusudana

Etasyaham na pasyami cancalatvat sthitim sthiram
।।6.33 ।।

Meaning: Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.

Arjuna says that this yoga of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness as instructed by Bhagavan Shri Krishna by treating all living entities with equanimity is impractical and nigh impossible.  He could not visualise such a state as the mind was restless, unstable and filled with prejudice.

Arjuna belonged to the Royal family and was highly accomplished with numerous qualities; he was a great warrior, he was ambidextrous, had great valour, and, above all, he was the most intimate friend of Lord Krishna.  For him to consider all living entities alike was putting his own exalted position into question.  Hence, he poses the question to Shri Krishna and asks for his exposition.

6.34      Shloka 6.34

चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद्दृढम्।
तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोरिव सुदुष्करम्।।6.34।।

Cancalam hi manah krsna pramathi balavad drdham
Tasyaham nigraham manye vayor iva su-duskaram

Meaning:  The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O’ Krishna.  To subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.

The mind is so strong and obstinate that it sometimes overcomes the intelligence, although mind is supposed to be subservient to the intelligence. In the practical world, one constantly goes through a battle in one’s mind between what’s right and what’s expedient to do.  One must fight so many opposing elements, that it becomes extremely difficult to control the mind. Arjuna says that controlling the mind is more difficult than controlling the raging wind.

In the Katha Upanishad (1.3.3 and 1.3.4) it is said:

Atmanam rathinam viddhi sariram ratham eva ca |
Buddhintu sarathim viddhi manah pragraham eva ca ||1.3.3||

Indriyani hayanahur visayams tesu gocaran |
Atmendriya-mano-yukto bhoktety ahur manisinah ||1.3.4||

Meaning:  The individual is the passenger in the chariot made of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So, it is understood by great thinkers.

Intelligence is supposed to direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it often overcomes even one’s own intelligence. Such a strong mind is intended to be controlled by the practice of yoga, but such practice is not practical for a worldly person like Arjuna. But to maintain such lofty conceptions of equanimity in the midst of the demanding, periodically changing interactions of daily life seems to be in direct conflict with our vision of the world we live in seeing external differences everywhere we look.

Even in normal mundane matters of ordinary activities the naturally restless mind eludes all attempts to focus it on a specific idea for too long. The mind exerting itself powerfully will twist and turn itself loose and irresistibly fly off in whatever direction it fancies. So, the analogy used here is appropriate as one cannot capture the blowing wind. And it is even more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. So, in summary Arjuna is requesting Lord Krishna to instruct him how to control the tempestuous mind.

6.35      Shloka 6.35

श्री भगवानुवाच
असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलं।
अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण गृह्यते।।6.35।।

Sri Bhagavan uvaca

Asamsayam maha-baho mano durnigraham calam
Abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena ca grhyate

Meaning: Bhagavan Shri Krishna responded to Arjuna: O’ mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible to achieve it through regulated practice and detachment.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna responding to Arjuna’s queries concurs that without a doubt the mind is extremely difficult to control and is similar to confining a tempest; but Arjuna should shake off his trepidation and make the effort, for the mind can be brought under control with regular meditation.

One should first withdraw the mind from the influence of sense objects and then focus the mind to concentrate internally on the Atma or Soul. By practising indifference towards sense objects, dispassion will arise, and the mind will show no further interest in sense objects and thus, will not wander seeking anything else. 

By detaching the mind from activities that are not devoted to the Lord, one can very learn vairagya or detachment. Similarly, by engaging in devotional service, one feels sublime satisfaction as the mind becomes detached from material objectives. An easy way to accomplish ‘Vairagya’ is to constantly contemplate on the Supreme Lord or by constantly chanting Prabhu’s Nama e.g., the Maha Mantra – ‘Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’.

6.36      Shloka 6.36 

असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मतिः।
वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः।।6.36।।

Asamyatatmana yogo dusprapa iti me matih |
Vasyatmana tu yatata sakyo ‘vaptum upayatah

Meaning: For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But one who is able to control the mind and one who strives to accomplish this by appropriate means, is assured of success. That is My opinion.

It is true and undeniable that the mind is difficult to control due to its fickle and tempestuous nature. But it is possible to tame it by directing the mind to regular meditation and training it to regularly reflect on the sublime qualities of the Atma. Over time, dispassion will arise for sense object and the mind will focus on Atma to the exclusion of everything else. This will happen naturally when the discerning mind perceives the imperfections inherent in all other topics and subjects.

To behold all with equanimity and dispassion is not possible for one whose mind is restless and uncontrolled. Bhagavan Shri Krishna is reiterating that for one who has not subjugated their mind by dhyana or meditation, it is extremely difficult to achieve Self-realisation. But through ceaseless endeavour and constant practise of meditation, it is possible to successfully control the mind. 

6.37      Shloka 6.37

अर्जुन उवाच
अयतिः श्रद्धयोपेतो योगाच्चलितमानसः।
अप्राप्य योगसंसिद्धिं कां गतिं कृष्ण गच्छति।।6.37।।

Arjuna uvaca
Ayatih sraddhayopeto yogac calita-manasah |
Aprapya yoga-samsiddhim kam gatim krsna gacchati

Meaning: Arjuna said: O’ Kṛiṣhṇa, what is the destination of the unsuccessful seeker, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization with faith but whose mind deviates and he is unable to attain perfection?

The word ‘ayatih’ meanis one who does not endeavour by the regulated practice of meditation or contrarily one who abstains from the practise of meditation that was already begun. The words ‘aprapya yoga-samsiddhim’ mean without achieving the complete potential of yoga or the science of uniting individual consciousness with ultimate consciousness.

Arjuna is curious to know, What happens to a practitioner of yoga with the intent of achieving spiritual enlightenment who becomes established in yoga with firm faith but due to negligence in his practices fails to achieve perfection in yoga?  The failure could be due to the inability to control the mind and thus becoming incapable of controlling the senses. Such an aspirant although practising and endowed with faith does not have the steadfastness to maintain the process and therefore the mind is diverted into pursuing the sense objects and thus deviated from yoga.

 Arjuna beseeches Bhagavan Shri Krishna, what will be such a person’s destination who gives up his practice of meditation after a while?

6.38      Shloka 6.38

कच्चिन्नोभयविभ्रष्टश्छिन्नाभ्रमिव नश्यति।
अप्रतिष्ठो महाबाहो विमूढो ब्रह्मणः पथि।।6.38।।

Kaccin nobhaya-vibhrastas chinnabhram iva nasyati |
Apratistho maha-baho vimudho brahmanah pathi

Meaning:  O mighty-armed one, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a fragmented cloud, with no position in any sphere?

Arjuna also wants to know what happens to the person who is engaged in the practice of Yoga with full faith but fails in perfecting it.  Will such a person attain no position in any sphere and be in state like that of a fragmented cloud?

There are two ways to progress in life – material and spiritual. Those who are materialists engage themselves in material advancement by pursuing appropriate work. When one takes to the path of spiritual life, one must be detached from all material activities and develop detachment. If the aspirant after engaging in the path of spiritual life with full faith fails, then he apparently loses in both ways; neither has he enjoyed material happiness nor has he attained spiritual success.

He has no position like that of a riven cloud. A riven cloud is blown away by the wind and becomes a non-entity in the vast sky. Hence, Arjuna wants to know what becomes of a such person who despite his earnest attempt fails to achieve spiritual success.

6.39      Shloka 6.39

एतन्मे संशयं कृष्ण छेत्तुमर्हस्यशेषतः।
त्वदन्यः संशयस्यास्य छेत्ता ह्युपपद्यते।।6.39।।

Etan me samsayam krsna chettum arhasy asesatah |
Tvad-anyah samsayasyasya chetta na hy upapadyate

Meaning: This is my doubt, O’ Kṛishna, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one can remove this doubt.

Arjuna implores Bhagavan Shri Krishna to dispel all his doubts completely and clearly states that there is no one else who can clarify the doubts.

As Bhagavan Shri Krishna is the perfect knower of past, present, and future, He is the most qualified and the only One who can clarify the doubts of Arjuna.

6.40      Shloka 6.40

श्री भगवानुवाच
पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते।
नहि कल्याणकृत्कश्िचद्दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति।।6.40।।

Sri Bhagavan uvaca

Partha naiveha namutra vinasas tasya vidyate |
Na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati

Meaning: Bhagavan Shri Krishna replied: Son of Partha, a transcendentalist engaged in spiritual activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.

The word ‘vinasas’ means destruction and denotes forfeiture of passage to heavenly abode and it also denotes the loss of spiritual accomplishments as well, both of which an aspirant could have achieved. But when one has performed even a little yoga in meditation one is automatically insured that there will be no diminution either in the present or in the future.

Hence, to dispel all doubts, Bhagavan Shri Krishna answers this question by addressing Arjuna in a very affectionate way with the use of the word ‘tata’ meaning ‘dear one’. Then He confirms that there is no downfall or setback in the present life or in the next life for an aspirant of Moksha.  Even if one fails to reach perfection due to digressing from the path by negligence or lethargy there is no demerit or diminution. One who treads the path of yoga and righteousness never meets with an inauspicious or evil destiny.

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17) Sri Narada Muni instructs Vyasadeva as follows:

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakko ‘tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ‘bhajatam sva-dharmatah

Meaning: One who has forsaken his material occupations to engage in the devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage, yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful. On the other hand, a non-devotee, though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna goes on to explain further on what happens to such a person who despite engaging with full faith is unable to achieve spiritual success in the next few verses.

जय श्री कृष्णा – Jai Shri Krishna!

Hari Om Tat Sat

SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA – PART 23 – Chapter 6, Verses 11 to 20 – Dhyana Yoga


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।
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 चैकान्तमनश्नतः।
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

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 ।

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

SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA – PART 22 – Chapter 6, Verses 1 to 10 – Dhyana Yoga 

In this Chapter, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains Dhyana (Meditation) as a means of gaining Moksha. While Karma Yoga is through external means of actions, Dhyana Yoga is entirely internal whereby the actions are born in the mind but remains in the mind and does not manifest in any form of action.  The intent of meditation is to fix the mind on the divine and contemplate on the Supreme for purification of self.

Bhagavan goes on to explain the attributes of a Yogi and the benefits of meditation through these 10 verses.  Lord Krishna explains the essential attributes for Dhyana Yoga and one is said to have mastered it when one is:

  • unattached to the fruits of his work,
  • free from any desires,
  • has gained total control over mind,
  • in a state of equanimity considering everything and everyone as equal/same,
  • in deep devotion surrendering unto the Lord, and
  • forever engaged in the contemplation of the Supreme

Such a person is said to be Yogi who is firmly established in Dhyana Yoga and attains Moksha.

6.1      Shloka 6.1

श्री भगवानुवाच

अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः।

संन्यासी योगी निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः।।6.1।।

Sri Bhagavan Uvaca

Anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah

Sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah ।।6.1।।

Meaning: Bhagavan Shri Krishna said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and performs his work as obligated is leading a renounced life, and such a person is a true sage; not he who does not light fire or performs no work.

The sannyasis (renunciate) sometimes think that they have become liberated from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform agnihotra yajnas (fire sacrifices), while being interested in uniting with Brahman. Such a desire is greater than any material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. Lord Chaitanya, the highest perfectional symbol of renunciation, prays in this way:

Na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye

Mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi  ।।

Meaning: “O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. All I want is unmotivated devotional service to You, birth after birth.”

In the fifth chapter, Lord Krishna described and praised the path of selfless action as well as the path of knowledge. At the very end of the chapter, He introduced briefly the procedures for meditation in the final two verses. In this chapter, He elaborates them further.

In this verse, Lord Krishna speaks about meditation as the principal element of spiritual knowledge. He also explains the method of renunciation through meditation. Sannyasa is the fourth stage of life (after Brahmacharya, Grihastashrama, Vaanaprastha) and can only be accepted by performing yagna to the Supreme Lord by propitiating the sacred fire. The worship for a sannyasi is the performance of Vedic activities such as teaching the Vedas, chanting of mantras with devotion and helping the conditioned souls develop devotion to the Supreme. Therefore, one who is not devoted either to yagna or the sacred fire cannot be considered a sannyasi or a yogi.

6.2      Shloka 6.2

यं संन्यासमिति प्राहुर्योगं तं विद्धि पाण्डव।

ह्यसंन्यस्तसङ्कल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन।।6.2।।

Yam sannyasam iti prahur yogam tam viddhi pandava

Na hy asannyasta-sankalpo yogi bhavati kascana।।6.2।।

Meaning: O’Arjuna, you should know that which is acclaimed as renunciation is the yoga of uniting oneself with the Supreme, but no one can become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification.

The discussion of the previous verse is augmented here by the statement ‘yogam tam viddhi’ meaning know that yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, which means performing karma yoga selflessly without any sense of ego or desire for rewards.  Developing such an attitude is the same as leading the life of sannyasa or renunciation.

The words ‘asannyasta-sankalpo’ means ‘without renouncing the desire for rewards’ and this seeks to emphasise that without renunciation of desires for rewards, it is not possible for one to be considered a Yogi.

6.3      Shloka 6.3

आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते।

योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणमुच्यते।।6.3।।

Aruruksor muner yogam karma karanam ucyate

Yogarudhasya tasyaiva samah karanam ucyate ।।6.3 ।।

Meaning: For one who is a beginner in the eightfold yoga system, action is said to be the means; and for one who has already attained perfection, cessation of all actions is said to be the means.

The process of uniting oneself with the Supreme is called yoga, which may be compared to climbing a ladder for attaining the topmost rung of spiritual realisation. This ladder begins from the lowest material condition of the living entity and rises to perfect self-realisation in pure spiritual life. Accordingly, various elevations of the ladder are known by different names.

The eightfold yoga system (namely yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi) begins with meditation and progresses through regulative principles of life and practice of different sitting postures are considered fruitive material activities. All such activities lead to achieving perfect mental equilibrium to control the senses. When one is accomplished in the practice of meditation, he ceases all activities.

The essential path for attaining Moksha is equanimity of mind. The compound word ‘yoga-arudhasya’ means ‘those who practice meditation continuously, they attain a state of equanimity’.  Serenity, equanimity of mind, self-control, austerity, restraint over senses, rejection of rewards of action and renunciation are pre-requisites for those striving for Moksha. 

Lord Krishna further clarifies this with the word ‘aruruksoh’ meaning ‘one who aspires’. If one is aspiring for atma tattva or realisation of the Soul, then karma yoga is merely a stepping stone until one is established in selfless actions without the influence of ego influence. Such actions soon lead to renunciation which culminates in dhyana yoga (meditation) and results in uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness. The purport is that an aspirant should perform prescribed activities until they are securely established in renunciation of desires and a state of equanimity which leads to the attainment of Atma tattva (self-realisation).

6.4      Shloka 6.4

यदा हि नेन्द्रियार्थेषु कर्मस्वनुषज्जते।

सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते।।6.4।।

Yada hi nendriyarthesu na karmasv anusajjate

Sarva-sankalpa-sannyasi yogarudhas tadocyate ।।6.4।।

Meaning:  A person is said to have attained yogic life when, having renounced all material desires, he neither acts for sense gratification nor engages in fruitive activities.

In this verse, Lord Krishna explains the qualities of one who has established themselves in equanimity of mind. For such a person there is absolute detachment because there is no desire for results. If one is devoted to the Supreme Lord, then all imperfections are dissolved on their own.

How does one become detached from one’s actions?

The answer lies in renouncing the desire for the rewards of actions.  And if one is devoted to the Supreme Lord, then offer all the rewards to Him. By acting in either of these ways, one is considered to be in renunciation. At the culmination every spiritual activity, we recite ‘Sarvam Krishnarpanam Astu’ i.e. everything is being offered to Bhagavan Shri Krishna. Of course, this needs to be recited with intent/devotion and not merely as a routine chant.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna speaks the words: ‘na karmasv anusajjate’ meaning ‘when one reaches a state where they no longer crave for sense objects’. Such a person thinks why should I strive to obtain pleasures which are here today and gone tomorrow, being only transient and temporary? With constant endeavour one ceases to seek sensual pleasures and eventually succeeds in eliminating all thoughts of enjoying sense objects along with dissolving the memories of previous enjoyments. Only such a being can be firmly established in Yoga or the science of uniting the individual soul with the ultimate consciousness.

In the verse, Lord Krishna uses the compound word ‘yogarudhas’ which means ‘one who is adept at dhyana yoga’. Such a person, having experienced sublime bliss of the atma or soul within, ceases to be infatuated by lower-level desires from sensual objects and is no longer deluded by the impulses of the senses in relation to such sense objects.  The words ‘na anusajjate’ means ‘not enamoured’ and denotes that such a person is no longer under the influence of such delusions.

6.5      Shloka 6.5

उद्धरेदात्मनाऽऽत्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्।

आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः।।6.5।।

Uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet

Atmaiva hy atmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanah ।।6.5।।

Meaning:  A man must elevate himself by his own mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

The word ‘atmana’ refers to the mind in this verse as the mind is the central point in the practice of yoga. The objective of the yoga system is to control the mind and to train it to enable it to withdraw from attachment to sense objects. The pure soul is entangled in the material world because of the mind’s ego which desires to lord over material objects. The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material existence. Hence, the word ‘hi’ isused to emphasise this point, i.e., that one must do this. It is also said:

mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha-moksayoh I
bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah

Meaning: For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.

Therefore, the mind should be trained to such an extent that it will not be attracted by the glitter of material nature, and in this way the conditioned soul attains purity. Only by constant endeavour with faith and determination is one able to detach themselves from ego and the deluded thinking of associating actions with their bodily activities.

6.6      Shloka 6.6 

बन्धुरात्माऽऽत्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जितः।

अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत्।।6.6।।

Bandhur atmatmanas tasya yenatmaivatmana jitah

Anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satru-vat ।।6.6।।

Meaning: The mind is the best of friends for someone who has conquered it, but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be his greatest enemy.

The purpose of practicing eightfold yoga isto control the mind to make it a friend in discharging the actions without attachment and desire for results. Unless the mind is controlled, the practice of yoga as an exercise does not deliver the full benefits. One who cannot control his mind lives always with the greatest enemy, as the uncontrolled mind can make one do irrational things.

So long as one remains a slave to one’s mind, one has to serve the demands of the mind which can take the form of lust, anger, avarice, illusion, etc. But when the mind is conquered, one voluntarily engages in devotion to the Supreme, who is situated within the heart of everyone as atma. Real yoga practice entails the meeting of the Atma within the heart with Paramatma  through perfect surrender to the Supreme Lord and self-realisation follows automatically.

A mind that is obsessed with sensual pleasures is forever in bondage whereas the mind devoid of the desire to enjoy sensual pleasures leads to moksha or liberation from material existence.

6.7      Shloka 6.7

जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः।

शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः।।6.7।।

Jitatmanah prasantasya paramatma samahitah

Sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu tatha manapamanayoh ।।6.7।।

Meaning: For one who has conquered the mind, he already united with Paramatma, for he has attained equanimity and tranquillity. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honour and dishonour are all the same.

After previously describing that a person who has conquered their mind, the mind is their best friend, Bhagavan Shri Krishna now refers to the person who has successfully traversed the path of yoga or the science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness. Such a person has transcended all dualities such as heat and cold, happiness and distress, honour and dishonour. Such persons are serene and peaceful in all situations because they are established in spiritual knowledge.

6.8      Shloka 6.8

ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थो विजितेन्द्रियः।

युक्त इत्युच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः।।6.8।।

Jnana-vijnana-trptatma kuta-stho vijitendriyah

Yukta ity ucyate yogi sama-lostrasma-kancanah ।।6.8।।

Meaning:  A person is said to be established in self-realisation and is called a yogi when he is fully satisfied by virtue of spiritual knowledge. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything, whether it be pebbles, stones, or gold,the same.

Bookish knowledge without realisation of the Supreme Truth is futile. This is stated as follows:

Atah Shri-Krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah ।।

Meaning: No one can gain an understanding of the transcendental nature of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Bhagavan Shri Krishna simply by reading and acquiring academic knowledge about Him. Only when one seeks to learn with devotion and becomes spiritually engaged in transcendental service to the Lord, are the transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord are revealed to him.

Lord Krishna speaks of the benefits of victory over the senses in this verse. Only one who has succeeded in controlling the senses will become equiposed and tranquil. When the mind is no longer inclined to the attraction of sense objects and is turned inward, at that time one becomes qualified for enlightenment and the Supreme Being magnanimously and comprehensively becomes established in the heart.

The characteristics of a spiritually enlightened person are being explained in this verse. The word ‘vijnana’ means transcendental knowledge which denotes spiritual awakening and realisation.  What one realises by learning and reflecting on scriptures is Jnana. What one realises by direct perception of the Atma is Vijnana.

The word ‘trptatma’ means one who is exclusively satisfied with these two forms of knowledge i.e. Jnana and Vijnana. The word ‘kutastho’ refers to one who is perpetually consistent and unwavering amidst the variable and ever changing phenomena of material existence. One who is absorbed in the eternal nature of the atma is kutastho and hence vijitendrah or one who has all the senses under complete subjugation. Being constantly in such consciousness without any wavering, such a person remains immersed in the atma with complete equanimity.

Thus, all material objects whether they are gold or a clay of earth are of equal value. All forms of material activities cease to give any pleasure. Such a person is known as ‘yuktah’ meaning one in communion with the ultimate consciousness and a fit candidate to commence perfection of meditation which leads to realisation of the Supreme Being.

6.9      Shloka 6.9

साधुष्वपि पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते।।6.9।।

Suhrn-mitrary-udasina- madhyastha-dvesya-bandhusu

Sadhusv api ca papesu sama-buddhir visisyate ।।6.9।।

Meaning:  A person is said to be still further advanced when he regards all—the honest well-wisher, friends and enemies, the envious, the pious, the sinner and those who are indifferent and impartial—with an equal mind.

Lord Krishna is stating that one who regards equally the well-wishers such as relatives and friends who help due to affection and is also nonplussed by those who are envious or wish to do harm such as an enemy, as well as those of righteous conduct and those of evil conduct, such a person excels even the yogi or one perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness.

The word ‘Suhru’ refers to one wwho naturally wishes one well and ‘Mitra’ denotes a friend who is affectionate.  Ary is one who wishes one ill and ‘Udasina’ refers to a person who is indifferent. ‘Madhyastha’ is someone who is neutral and ‘Dvesya’ is one who was born as an enemy and bears ill will from birth. Bandhusu is a relative who bears good will and Sadhusu are saintly people who are virtuous and follow the path of righteousness. Papesu are the vile and wicked who follow the path of iniquity.

A ‘yuktah’ is one who has completely abandoned material pursuits and has ceased from all relationships with the world. Such a person has nothing to gain therefore nothing to lose and views all with equal vision in equanimity.  That person is distinguished among mortals who feels equanimity towards both those who are righteous and those who are unrighteous. They alone understand that the consciousness residing in every living entity is the Ultimate Consciousness which is the all pervasive medium equally present in all beings.

Attributes such as compassion, magnanimity and righteousness are bestowed by the grace of the Supreme Lord as otherwise it is not possible to possess them. This has been confirmed by all the saints and sages.

The Narada Purana specifies that: One who is affectionate without any expectation is the magnanimous one. Seeing suffering the one who extends help is the friend. One who causes pain is evil. One who does not reciprocate friendship even when given friendship is ungrateful. One who does good to others only if good was done for them is known as mediocre. The magnanimous one referred to here is the Supreme Lord.

6.10      Shloka 6.10

योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः।

एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः।।6.10।।

Yogi yunjita satatam atmanam rahasi sthitah

Ekaki yata-cittatma nirasir aparigrahah ।।

Meaning:  A transcendentalist should always try to concentrate his mind on the Supreme Self; he should live alone in a secluded place and should always carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and feelings of possessiveness.

In this verse, Bhagavan Shri Krishna speaks about the process of attaining equanimity. The word ‘yunjitah’ means concentrated in meditation and denotes that one should focus the mind on the soul and by use of the word ‘atmanam’ He refers to the mind as well as the soul. The word ‘ekaki’ means alone and ‘rahasi’ means a solitary place. One should perform this yoga in seclusion by oneself that is not inhabited by others.

The compound word ‘yata-cittatma’ means checking the capricious stream of thoughts that cascade in the mind and ‘nirasir’ means to be weaned from every impetus except the impetus for atma tattva or realisation of the soul. Aparigrahah means being devoid of every single possession and conception of possession except the atma or soul.

A Yogi is one who has complete control over their mind and senses and is free from desire and is in constant contemplation of the Supreme to attain self-realisation.

जय श्री कृष्णा – Jai Shri Krishna!

Hari Om Tat Sat