6 : Ãtma samyama Yõga
Although only knowledge and nothing else is
required to attain liberation, the enlightened man should take up action for the good of
the people and with a skill of not allowing these actions to create bondage. They are to
be carried out without attachment, acquiring the power of mental equipoise. This is how KarmaYõga
is defined by the Lord and was proved to be superior to the path of renunciation. In the
third Adhyaya a mention was made about lust, anger and fear that overpower the senses,
mind and intellect of the man and destroy his spiritual as well as material wisdom.
Therefore Arjuna was first advised to bring total control over his senses. Now the
question arises how to control the senses. The discipline to be practised to reach the
state of absorption in Brahman is the main theme of the sixth Adhyaya.
Verses : 1 to 6
Merely discarding actions is not
renunciation. One who does not burn sacrificial fire and does not perform any and yoga
performance a rituals is not a man avowed to renunciation. Real renunciation what has been
called Sannayasa is really yoga lie in discarding the desire for the fruit
of action and not the action. Without renouncing future dreams nobody can become yogi.
This is how the path of action and path of renunciation get amalgamated. Lords
preference to the path of detached action is because of its positive side. The path of
action has two distinct stages. The first is the climbing state described as ãruruksha,
one who has just begun to climb and the second is, finally reaching the top, described as Yõgãrudha,
one who has attained union with Brahman. In the first which is the
preparatory stage Karma or action becomes the means and at the second when Yõga
is perfectly achieved than tranquillity becomes the means.
Yõgarudha, the person
elevated in Yoga, is he who renounces all motivated desires and is engaged
neither in sense objects nor in fruilltive action.
Reaching this stage is possible with every
one provided he tries to elevate himself by his own efforts and does not engage in
degrading his self. Self only is his friend and self alone is his enemy. One who has
conquered his lower self by his higher self becomes his own friend and one who can not
control his lower self and therefore unable to reach his higher self, his self only
remains his enemy.
Here the Lord is emphasising the
importance of self-help based on self-freedom . In spiritual journey one has to
make his own efforts. By capturing ones self what rewards one gets? The Lord
Verses 7 to 9
Once the mind is conquered and tranquillity
is attained his higher self is always absorbed in unitive knowledge a trance and he
remains undisturbed in heat or cold, in pain or pleasure, in honour or dishonour.
Earth, stone and gold become all alike to
the self - realised yogi. His self is satisfied through spiritual and
inferential knowledge. He remains undisturbed by the external changes due to his
conquering the senses. He is said to be one with Brahman.
He treats, friends, comrades and foes,
neutrals and mediators, envious and loving, pious and wicked with equal mind. He is
Verses 10 to 14
The Lord now explains the technique to be
adopted to attain this mental state of equanimity.
To shut outside contacts he should stay
alone in a solitary place. Exercising full control over his mind, freeing himself from all
desires and possessions he should constantly concentrate his will in to Atman.
Establishing his seat firmly on place of purity, neither too high nor too low, first
covering with Kusha grass, then with skin then laying a cloth over them, he
should sit there fixing his mind on a single point, holding his thoughts and the senses
under control and practice this exercise of meditation to purify his self. And he must
hold his body, head and neck still and erect fixing his gaze at the tip of his nose not
letting the eyes to see elsewhere. Being tranquil in mind, fearless, observing celibacy,
holding the mind in check all his thoughts focused on Me, the Lord, he should sit making
Him alone his final aim.
Verses 15 to 19
After describing the posture and mental
attitude, the Lord then enumerates the resulting effects of this Yoga practice.
The mediator yogi who has conquered his mind, by regularly practising this Yõga,
reaches the crowning peace inherently present in Me.
The power of mental concentration can be
misused in troubling others, therefore the Lord stresses the need of fixing it on God.
This Yõga is not for him who
either eats too much or does excessive fasting, who either sleeps too much or remains
wakeful beyond limits. Moderation in eating, recreating, acting, sleeping and walking
makes the, Yoga discipline comfortable by destroying all pains.
Yogi is said to have achieved
union with Brahman when the mind coming under control, and freed from all
worldly pleasures, stands absorbed in Atman alone. " The flame of a
lamp does not waver in windless place." The Lord uses this simile to describe a yogi
who has held his mind in check and who is practising meditation on Atman.
Verses 20 to 23
The Lord gives the vivid description of the
blissful state of Samadhi, a trance.
The mind brought under control by Yõga
practice loses its restless nature and becomes calm. In this state, Yõgi
seeing his Self by the Self experiences the joy of the Self. He enjoys infinite
transcendental happiness to be realised and which is beyond the frasp of the senses by the
intellect. Staying in this blissful state he is remains un moved. The inmost truth is
realised by him. From this position he is not shaken even by the greatest of sorrows. The
word Yoga is to be known as breaking the contacts with sorrows and it is to
be practised with firm resolution and without getting disheartened.
Verses 24 to 29
How to attain this blissful state of Samadhi
is equally important and the Lord in short explains some aspects of intensive
concentration of the mind.
One should renounce all desires arising out
of selfish motives and control all the senses from all sides by using mental force. Then
step by step, with the aid of steady intellect and mind fixed in Atman he
should attain tranquillity and need not think of any thing else. The fickle and unsteady
mind may wander to whatever direction but he should curb it and bring it back in
submission to Atman only. Yõgi whose mind is utterly quiet
with his passions subdued, sinless as he is, united with Brahman reaches the
highest Bliss. Being freed from evil, always meditating on Atman the Yõgi
easily attains the highest delight that is produced from the contact with Brahman.
Yõgi who reaches the state of Brahman - consciousness and gaining equal
vision sees his self present in all beings and all beings present in his Self.
Verses 30 to 32
Next the Lord brings new awareness to Arjuna
when he proclaims:
For him who sees Me every where and every
thing in Me, I am nearer lost to him nor he is ever lost to Me. Yogi who is
established in Me and worships Me who is present in all creations remains always in Me
whatever his present might be."
Of all the yõgis he is the
perfect one who considers all things alike seeing them as his own self irrespective of his
being in happiness or sorrow.
Verses 33 to 36
Arjuna raises his doubts about the
enduring continuity of the Yoga of equal vision because of the restless character
of the mind.
" In this Yõga of
equanimity of mind explained to me by you oh ! Madhusudan , I am unable to
see its enduring position due to minds restlessness. This mind Oh! Krishna ! is not
only restless but very strong, turbulent and stubborn and unlike wind, very difficult to
The Lord in reply agrees and says that the
mind no doubt is restless and is very difficult to control but by regular practice and
dispassionate attitude it can be mastered. For a man having no control over his self, to
master this Yõga is certainly very difficult but he who has control over
his self, can easily master it by putting hard efforts and using right means.
Verses 37 to 47
Arjuna raises another doubt and wants to
know from the Lord what happens to well-meaning person who earnestly attempts with faith
but fails due to insufficient efforts and absence of self-control. His mind runs away from
the practice of Yõga and he fails to attain perfection. What is his future
Arjuna equates him to
scattered cloud and asks further, whether fallen from the path of Brahman
such a confused man misses both the spiritual as well as wordly success. Does he get
destroyed like a torn cloud ? Arjuna requests the Lord to remove his doubt
altogether since no one else is capable of tearing this doubt.
In all endeavours failure is a grate
deterrent factor. The Lord explains with assurance.
" Oh Arjuna ! such a man
is never lost either in this world or the next. Oh dear, he who embarks upon the
auspicious work never ends in peril." A man fallen from the practice of Yõga
reaches the world of blessed ones and stays there for many long years and thereafter is
reborn in the home of pure and rich parents or it is possible that he may be born in a
family of intelligent yõgis. But such a birth in this world is very rare.
There he gets back his intelligence and expertise earned in his previous body and from
there he again strives harder to attain perfection. His previous practice automatically
drags him to progress. Acquiring basic knowledge, even a man of inquisitive quest taking
primary steps progresses further than the performers of Vedic rituals. But
the yõgi getting cleansed of his impurities struggling very hard and
advancing gradually to perfection through many births ultimately reaches the supreme goal.
Lord Krishna now advises
Arjuna to become a yogi of his special choice. He proclaims :-
"Yõgi, the man
meditating on Brahman is greater than the ascetics who mortify their bodies, is still
greater than the learned. He is also greater than those who do motivated works. Therefore Arjuna
should become a Yõgi.
But even among all the yõgis the Lord
considers him the best who fully united with Him; worships him in faith with his heart
completely merged into Him.