SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA – PART 26 -Chapter 6, Verses 41 to 47 – DHYANA YOGA


Chapter 6, Verses 41 to 47 – DHYANA YOGA

In the next seven verses of Chapter 6, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains how to realise eternal bliss by uniting the Self with the Ultimate Consciousness through constant meditation and purification of the mind.  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. Bhagavan Shri Krishna says that such a perfected Yogi sees Me everywhere and Me in everything. And such a Yogi never forgets Me and he is never forgotten by Me. In the final verse of the Chapter, Bhagavan says that of all Yogis, the one who acts with great faith in Me, who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and is deeply dedicated to Me and renders devotional service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in Yoga and is the most superior of all.

6.41      Shloka 6.41    

प्राप्य पुण्यकृतां लोकानुषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः।
शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योगभ्रष्टोऽभिजायते।।6.41।।

Prapya punya-krtam lokan usitva sasvatih samah |
Sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ‘bhijayate

Meaning: The unsuccessful Yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planes of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.

The unsuccessful yogis are divided into two classes: one who has fallen after very little progress, and the other who has failed after a long period of practicing Yoga. Such a Yogi is reborn in the family of righteous and pious or into a wealthy family.  Those who are born in such families have to opportunity to take advantage of the facilities and try to elevate themselves to achieve self-realisation. 

Lord Krishna is declaring that whatever desire diverts one from continuing on the path of yoga, such a desire will find its fulfilment. When one’s time limit for enjoyment is exhausted, one takes rebirth in a pious and wealthy family. This is another opportunity where one can recommence their discontinued yogic practice from their previous life. To be thus born in such a favourable environment is due to the potency and efficacy of this yoga which was commenced but not completed.  In short, such efforts are not futile as it still provides another chance to recommence their yogic practice.

6.42      Shloka 6.42

अथवा योगिनामेव कुले भवति धीमताम्।
एतद्धि दुर्लभतरं लोके जन्म यदीदृशम्।।6.42।।

Atha va yoginam eva kule bhavati dhimatam |
Etad dhi durlabhataram loke janma yad idrsam

Meaning: Otherwise, such a Yogi takes birth into a family endowed with wisdom of spiritual knowledge. Certainly, such a birth is very rare in this world.

Birth in a family of Yogis—those with great wisdom—is praised because the child born into such a family receives spiritual impetus right from the very beginning of his/her life.  It is certainly very fortunate to take birth in such families.

Although, being born in a wealthy family of Brahmins is seen as meritorious, it is still not deemed to be more beneficial than taking birth in a family of spiritually enlightened.  Being born into a wealthy family comes with all the possibilities for distraction and digression which obstruct and impede progress towards self-realisation of the soul and attain Moksha from this material world.

6.43      Shloka 6.43

तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम्।
यतते ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन।।6.43।।

Tatra tam buddhi-samyogam labhate paurva-dehikam |
Yatate ca tato bhuyah samsiddhau kuru-nandana
।।6.43 ।।

Meaning: On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness from his previous life, and tries again to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.

King Bharata, who took his third birth in the family of a pious family, is an example of good birth and revival of the previous effort to gain spiritual knowledge. The Emperor, at an early age, retired for spiritual perfection but failed to achieve success. In his next life he took birth in the family of a pious Brahmin and was known as Jadabharata. 

The Story of Jadabharata

There was a great monarch named Bharata after whom India is also known as Bharata Varsha.  Bharata was born the son of Dushyanta (Rishaba Deva) and Shakuntala. The great King Bharata in his old age relinquished his throne to his son and retired into the forest (Vaanaprastha). There he lived an austere life and was in constant meditation.

One day, while he was meditating, a pregnant deer came to drink water from the river. At that moment, a lion roared at a little distance. The pregnant deer was startled and in extreme stress and in that fright give birth to a little fawn, and immediately fell dead. The fawn fell into the water and Sage Bharata rescued it. The Sage took the fawn under his protection and reared it with paternal care. He became attached to the deer and became increasingly fond of it.  He could not concentrate his mind as he constantly worried for its safety.

After some years, the sage was very ill and laid himself down to die. But his mind, instead of meditating upon the Supreme Consciousness, he was thinking about the deer and wondering who would take care of it; and with his eyes fixed upon the sad looks of his beloved deer, his soul left the body.

As a result of this, in his next birth he was born as a deer. But no Karma is lost, and all the great and good deeds done by him as a sage bore their fruit. This deer was a born as Jatismara, and it remembered the past life o the Sage, though deprived of speech. The deer was instinctively drawn to graze near hermitages where oblations were offered, and the Scriptures were taught.

After spending a deer’s life, he was born as the youngest son of a rich Brahmin. And in this life also, he remembered his past lives, and therefore he was determined not to get entangled in the mundane aspects of material life, thereby earning him the nickname as “Jada” meaning dull or inert. His thoughts were always on the realisation of the Soul, and he lived only to wear out his Prarabdha Karma. In course of time his father died, and the sons divided the property among themselves; and thinking that the youngest was a dumb, the others seized his share.

Jada Bharata was ill treated by his brothers and sisters’ in-law. The brothers worked him like their slave, and they would give him the leftover food.

Once King’s assistants were looking for a suitable human to sacrifice for the sake of a boy child for the King. They found Jada Bharata to be the right candidate for the sacrifice as he was young and strong. They sat him at the feet of the Goddess Kali, and even as the high priest lifted up an axe to cut down, Kali came alive with the weapons in hand, and she slashed everyone in the room and went back into the statue.

Jada Bharata walked out, and while he was walking on road, a gang of men found him and sought him to replace one of the carriers of King Rahugana’s palanquin.

Without any resentment Jada Bharata acceded to the request and joined the other carriers of the King’s palanquin.  While walking, he swerved to avoid stepping on a worm on his path causing the Palanquin to shake unevenly.

The King was jolted out of balance and scolded the carriers who blamed Jada Bharata for it.

Jada Bharata took it in his stride but once again he had to swerve leading the same result.  This time, the King was a bit harsh with his words. The King rebuked Jada Bharata saying, “Fool, if you are tired, and if your shoulders are paining, rest a while.”

Jada Bharata laid down the pole of the palanquin down, opened his mouth and spoke, “Whom do you, O King, call a fool? Whom do you ask to lay down the palanquin? Who do you say is weary? Who do you address as ‘You’? O’ King, if you mean by the word ‘you’ this mass of flesh, it is composed of the same matter as yourself; it is unconscious, and it knows no weariness, and it knows no pain.

If you intend it to be the mind, then it is the same as yours; it is Universal. But if you mean by the word ‘You’ as applied to something beyond that, then it is the Self, the Reality in me, which is the same as in the Reality in You.  O’ King, do you think that the Self can ever be weary, that It can ever be tired, or that It can ever be hurt?

I did not want, this body did not want, to trample upon the poor worms crawling on the path, and therefore, in trying to avoid them, the palanquin moved unevenly. But the Self was never tired; It was never weak; It never bore the pole of the palanquin: for It is omnipotent and omnipresent.”

By that, Jada Bharata eloquently explained the nature of the soul, and on the highest form of spiritual knowledge. The King, who was proud of his learning, spiritual knowledge, and philosophy, alighted from the palanquin, and fell at the feet of Jada Bharata, saying, “I ask your pardon, O mighty one, I did not know that you are a Sage, when I asked you to carry me.” Bharata blessed him and departed. He then resumed the even tenor of his previous life. When Bharata left the body, he attained Moksha.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna, in this verse, is declaring that the influence of yoga, meditation and Satsang are so potent that they carry into the next life and impel such a person in their next life to gravitate towards spiritual life as if it were not in one’s power to resist.

6.44      Shloka 6.44

पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोऽपि सः।
जिज्ञासुरपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्मातिवर्तते।।6.44।।

Purvabhyasena tenaiva hriyate hy avaso ‘pi sah
Jijnasur api yogasya sabda-brahmativartate

Meaning:  By virtue of the divine consciousness from previous life, one is automatically attracted to the yogic practices – even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive yogi stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures and desists from fruitive actions.

The words ‘purvabhyasena’ means impressions from the previous life and by this even one born in a rich family will feel drawn towards an austere and spiritual life and seek enlightenment by practicing yoga instead of performing fruitive actions.

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7), the power of chanting Lord’s Namas is explained below:

aho bata svapaco ‘to gariyan yajjihvagre vartate nama tubhyam

tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te ||

Meaning:  O’ how glorious are they who chant Your holy name. They are far more advanced in spiritual life, even if born in treacherous families. Such a person is equivalent to one who has performed all kinds of austerities and sacrifices, bathed in all sacred places, and finished all scriptural studies.

A good illustration of this is when Swami Chaitanya accepted Thakur Haridasa as one of His most important disciples. Although Thakur Haridasa happened to take his birth in a Muslim family, he was appointed as an Acharya by Swami Chaitanya due to his constant chanting of holy names of the Lord  – “Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare; Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare” – also known as the Maha Mantra.

6.45      Shloka 6.45

प्रयत्नाद्यतमानस्तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिषः।
अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम्।।6.45।।

Prayatnad yatamanas tu yogi samsuddha-kilbisah
Aneka-janma-samsiddhas tato yati param gatim

Meaning: When a Yogi engages himself with sincere endeavour to unite Individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness, he is purified and is rid of all contaminations, and then ultimately, achieves the perfection of many lifetimes and attains the Supreme goal.

Such is the greatness and virtue of this yoga of uniting the Individual Consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness, that one’s merit increases and accumulates through many births and ultimately purifies one by disengaging them from all attachments and impurities. In this way one achieves perfection through persistent efforts and attains Moksha or liberation.

6.46      Shloka 6.46 

तपस्विभ्योऽधिको योगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपि मतोऽधिकः।
कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिको योगी तस्माद्योगी भवार्जुन।।6.46।।

Tapasvibhyo ‘dhiko yogi jnanibhyo ‘pi mato ‘dhikah

karmibhyas cadhiko yogi tasmad yogi bhavarjuna ।।6.46।।

Meaning: A Yogi is superior to an ascetic, greater than the practitioners of Impersonal Knowledge and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a Yogi.

The context of Yoga here is the meditative action seeking to unite the individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness. When this process is predominantly by way of engaging in fruitive activities, it is called karma-yoga, when it is predominantly empirical, it is called jnana-yoga, and when it is predominantly in a devotional relationship with the Supreme Lord, it is called bhakti-yoga.

The Lord has confirmed herein the superiority of yoga, but He has not mentioned that it is better than bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is full spiritual knowledge, and as such, nothing can excel it. Asceticism without self-knowledge is imperfect. Empirical knowledge without surrender to the Supreme Lord is also imperfect. And fruitive work without surrendering the results is a waste of time. Therefore, the most highly praised form of yoga is bhakti-yoga, and this is still more clearly explained in the next verse.  Sri Adi Sankara, who had the highest spiritual knowledge, praised Bhakti as equally potent to attain Self-Realisation.  There are numerous examples such as Meerabhai, Surdas, Panduranga, Prahlada etc.

6.47      Shloka 6.47

योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना।
श्रद्धावान्भजते यो मां मे युक्ततमो मतः।।6.47।।

Yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana |
Sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah

Meaning: And of all Yogis, the one who acts with great faith in Me, who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and is deeply dedicated to Me and renders devotional service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in Yoga and is the most superior of all.

All kinds of Yoga practices culminate in Bhakti-yoga. As Rajaji says in his commentary on the “Bhaja Govindam” song composed by Sri Adi Sankara – “Mature intelligence, lodged securely in the heart, becomes wisdom; wisdom integrated with life and issuing out in action becomes devotion. Knowledge that does not get transformed into devotion is useless tinsel. To believe that Jnana (Knowledge) and Bhakti (devotion), are different from each other is ignorance.  If Sri Adi Shankara himself, who drank from the ocean of Jnana, sang in his later years, hymns to develop devotion, it is enough to show that Jnana and Bhakti are one and the same”.

All other Yogas are but means to come to the point of Bhakti-yoga.

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as mentioned in Svetasvara Upanishad (6.26):

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau |

tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah ||

Meaning: Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.

Finally in conclusion Lord Krishna revealed the unassailable superiority of His devotee.

The word “yoginam” means more than just being a yogi, it means being a special yogi above and beyond and superior to all other yogi’s including the four yogi’s described in verse twenty-nine beginning with sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam which refers to the yogi who perceives the soul in all beings. Verse thirty beginning with yo mam pasyati sarvatra which refers to the yogi who sees the Supreme Lord in everything. Verse thirty-one beginning with sarva-bhuta-sthitam which refers to the yogi who realises the Supreme Lord as non-different from the atma or soul. Verse thirty-two beginning with atmaupamyena sarvatra which refers to the yogi who perceives the atma as all-pervading consciousness activating everything. As the yogi indicated in this verse does not fall into one of the four mentioned classifications the genitive case does not have the power to place this yogi into one of those classes.

The words api sarvesam meaning amongst all types refers to those additional yogis indicated in this verse which follow the yoga paths of karma, jnana, tapasya, astanga etc. Likewise the genitive case of the word sarvesam meaning of all types, has the force of the ablative case which indicates this special yogi is a bhakta or loving devotee of the Supreme Lord and thus greater than all other yogis. 

In comparison with this special yogi all other yogi’s being inferior can be grouped into a single class. In the word atmana is the word manas meaning giving one’s heart, mind, body and soul in devotion over flowing with love to the Supreme Lord. This dedication is extraordinary and glorifies and distinguishes one from out of all other Yogi’s.

Antar-atmana equates to the innermost manas being the atma which monitors all internal and external experiences. So over-powered by love of God this special yogi is unable to even maintain his very existence without the assistance of the Supreme Lord. In this way he is always one with Him.

Sraddhavan means with earnestness and faith in the Vedic scriptures taught by the spiritual master. The earnestness of desire to worship the Supreme Lord Krishna comes from an intrinsic impulse which impels this special yogi to find Him. The intensity of yearning love that this special yogi has for the Supreme Lord is such that one is unable to tolerate even a moments separation from Him.

The Supreme Lord to whom the emanations, sustenations and immanations of the cosmos abounding in unlimited, diverse variegated objects of enjoyments and enjoyers through the medium of the physical body and the senses is but creative sport.

Whosoever meditates on the Supreme Lord Krishna in this manner He keeps most near to Him as they are most dear to Him and are the most estimable and elevated above all others.

जय श्री कृष्णा – Jai Shri Krishna!

Hari Om Tat Sat

Spiritual commentaries. Om Tat Sat!

Spiritual commentaries. Om Tat Sat!

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 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