CHAPTER 6 THE YOGA OF MEDITATION DHYANA YOGA (TOPIC 1: YOGI (ACTIVE)…
THE YOGA OF MEDITATION
TOPIC 1: YOGI (ACTIVE) RISES TO JNANI (ENLIGHTENED)
The blessed Lord said: He who does his bounden duty without depending on the fruit of action, he is a sannyasi (ascetic) and a yogi; not the one without fire and not the one without action.
O Pandava, know yoga to be that which they call as sannyasa; none indeed becomes a yogi without renouncing sankalpa (thoughts).
For a seeker who wishes to master yoga, action is said to be the means; for the one who is established in yoga, quietude is said to be the means.
When a man is not attached to sense objects or actions and has renounced all sankalpas (thoughts), then he is said to be established in yoga.
Let man lift himself by himself, let him not lower himself; his self alone is his friend, his self alone is his enemy.
For him who has conquered his self, the Self is his friend but for him who has not conquered his self, the Self verily becomes hostile like an enemy.
The supreme One, who is self-controlled and peaceful, is balanced in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, as also in honour and dishonour.
The yogi, who is satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, who remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, to whom a lump of earth, stone and gold are the same, is said to be a realised One.
He who has equal regard for the good-hearted, friends, foes, indifferent, neutral, hateful, relatives, righteous and unrighteous, he excels.
TOPIC 2: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DISCIPLINES FOR MEDITATION
Let the yogi remaining in solitude, alone, seated, with mind and body controlled, constantly practise union with the Self free from desire and possession.
Having established in a clean place a firm seat of his own, neither too high nor too low, with cloth, skin and
Verse 12 & 13
There, having made the mind one-pointed, with the functions of the mind and senses controlled, seated on the seat, let him practise yoga of self-purification.
Holding the body head and neck erect, still and firm, gazing at the tip of the nose and not looking around.
Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of brahmacarya (celibacy), the mind controlled, thinking on Me, let him sit seeking union with Me as the supreme.
Thus constantly seeking union with the Self, the yogi with his mind controlled attains peace culminating in supreme Bliss which abides in Me.
Verily, yoga is not for him who eats too much or does not eat at all nor for him who sleeps too much or keeps awake, O Arjuna.
To him who is regulated in eating and recreation, regulated in action, who is regulated in sleeping and waking, yoga becomes the destroyer of sorrow.
When a perfectly controlled mind rests in the Self alone, freed from desire for all objects, then it is said to be established in yoga.
TOPIC 3: CONTROLLED MIND REMAINS PEACEFUL
'As a lamp in a windless place does not flicker' - that simile reflects a yogi with subdued mind practising : union with the Self.
When the mind, restrained by the practice of yoga, comes to rest and when seeing the Self alone by the self, it is satisfied in the Self.
When he knows the supreme Bliss, which can be grasped by the intellect, which transcends the senses and wherein established he never moves from Reality.
And having obtained which, he thinks no other gain superior to It, wherein established, he is not moved even by great sorrow.
Let that be known as the yoga of severance from the union with pain. That yoga should be practised with determination and with an undespairing mind.
Abandoning without reserve all desires born of sankalpa (thoughts) and completely restraining the group of senses from all quarters by the mind.
TOPIC 4: MEDITATION REVEALS SELF IN ONE AND ALL
Little by little let him withdraw by the intellect held firm; having established the mind in the Self, let him not think of anything else.
By whatever cause the unsteady and restless mind wanders away, restraining it from that, let him bring it under the control of the Self alone.
Verily, supreme Bliss comes to this yogi whose mind is perfectly tranquil, whose passion is calmed, who is sinless and has become
Thus constantly practising union with the Self the yogi, freed from sin, easily attains the infinite bliss of contact with
United to the Self by yoga, he sees the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self, he sees the same everywhere.
He who sees Me everywhere and sees all in Me, I am not lost to him nor is he lost to Me.
He who, established in oneness, worships Me abiding in all beings, that yogi dwells in Me, whatever be his mode of living.
He who, through the likeness of the Self, O Arjuna, sees equality everywhere through joy and sorrow, he is considered a supreme
TOPIC 5: CAN A RESTLESS MIND BE CONTROLLED
Arjuna said: This yoga of equanimity taught by you, O Madhusudana, I do not see its enduring stability owing to restlessness.
The mind verily O Krsna is resless, turbulent, strong and obstinate; I consider it as difficult to control as the wind.
The blessed Lord said:
Doubtless, the mind is restless and difficult to control, O Mahabaho, but it can be controlled by practice and dispassion, O Kaunteya.
Yoga, I think, is hard to attain by one who is uncontrolled but it can be attained by one who is controlled by means of striving.
aid: The uncontrolled who possesses sraddha (faith), whose mind wanders away from yoga, failing to attain perfection in yoga, what end, O Krsna, does he meet?
Fallen from both, does he not perish like a rent cloud O Mahabaho, supportless and deluded int he path of Brahman?
This doubt of mine, O Krsna, you should dispel completely, for there is none other than you to dispel this doubt.
TOPIC 6: YOGI UNITES WITH BRAHMAN
The blessed Lord said: O Partha, neither here nor even hereafter is there destruction for him; verily none who does good, O beloved, comes to grief.
Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having dwelt there for eternal years, he who has fallen from yoga is born in the home of the pure and wealthy.
Or he is born into a family of wise yogis only, verily, a birth such as this is very difficult to obtain in this world.
There, united with the knowledge acquired in his former body, he strives more than before for perfection, O Kurunandana.
By that former practice alone, he is borne irresistibly. Even wishing to know yoga he goes beyond sabdabrahman (word-Brahman).
But the yogi striving with assiduity, completely purified of sin, perfected through many births, then reaches the supreme Goal.
The yogi is deemed superior to the ascetics, superior to even the wise and superior to performers of action; therefore be a yogi O Arjuna.
And of all yogis, he who, with the inner self absorbed in Me, worships Me with sraddha (faith) he is considered by Me to be wholly united.
A yogi/sannyasi dedicates himself to a higher ideal in life and performs his obligatory duties for achieving that goal without either the least anxiety to gain it or dependence on the success of his achievements.
He is not one who is inactive, nor devoid of an ideal (without fire).
The only difference between a yogi and sannyasi is their ideals, a yogi starts with a relative ideal of working for the welfare of society, and advances to a sannyasi, working for the absolute ideal of the Self.
Krsna tells Arjuna that both Yoga and Sannyasa are the same path leading to the destination of Self. This is opposed to the general direction of humanity which is towards materialism and sensualism. Yoga forms part of the earlier portion of the path, and sannyasa, the latter.
Requirement for a yogi to begin on the path is to give up sankalpa - obsession for the material and sensual world. The desire is sankalpa. A yogi has given forsakes sankalpa and reaches higher realms of spiritual perfection.
There are two distinct stages of spiritual practise before reaching Realisation.
Karma yoga - performance of actions dedicated to the Self, performed in a spirit of service and sacrifice.
One is then ushere into the second stage, meditation. Through action the bulk of desires are eradicated, the mind is contemplative. Through meditation, one realises the Self.
A person is well established in yoga when he detaches himself from sense objects and actions and renounces the desire (sankalpa) for them.
The first sign of spirituality in a person appears when his desires change their direction from the outer world to the inner Self. Continuing this pursuit his worldly desires drop off and he develops detachment from sense objects and actions. He remains rooted in yoga.
Krsna emphasises the need of self-effort in the spiritual practice. Books and teachers can give guidance but cannot replace personal effort necessary for evolution.
You can use BMI to serve as a friend and help you reach supreme Perfection or to destroy you like an enemy.
The Self is the enlivening principle, it does not determine PAET.
When you raise your self, the Self is a friend. When you lower your self, the Self is like an enemy.
Like an enemy indicates that the original nature of the Self is pure, calm, not agitated. but when enlivening an impure BMI, it appears like an enemy.
By following the previous verse, one realises the Self.
The jnani remains unaffected by subjective changes occurring at the physical, emotional and intellectual levels.
He remains balanced in the pairs of opposites because of his non-identification with is material equipment. His identification remains ever with the divine Self within.
An enlightened soul is filled with knowledge and wisdom (becoming).
He therefore remains unshaken by the trials and tribulations of life. The fluctuations of the external world, do not affect him. He is rooted in the bliss of the Self with no value for sensual pleasures.
He views earth, stone and gold as the same. These represent the entire range of worldly objects, form least to most valuable. They are all the same to him.
The verse classifies humanity under nine different headings. The jnani maintains the same feeling towards them all. This balanced nature proclaims his excellence.
The procedural details gradually shit a seekers focus of attention from the world outside and direct it to the inner layers of his personality.
Choose a quite place/quite time.
Alone - meditation is to be practised alone, not in company.
Bodily disturbances must be avoided by sitting in the proper posture with all our muscles relaxed.
In this posture, intellect must fix the mind in single-pointed concentration upon the Self.
Clean place - to avoid external disturbances.
Firm seat - unstable seat may disturb concentration.
of his own - if unfamiliar, could be a distraction.
Not too high, too low - could fall, or could have disturbances from the ground.
A mind filled with demands of the senses remains agitated. It lacks concentration. Cannot meditate.
The fundamental requirement for practising meditation is the availability of the mind.
The practise is the mind chanting the mantra while the intellect observes the chant.
body, head, neck should be erect. Eyes directed upwards, in devotion.
An agitated mind cannot meditate.
Brahmacarya (celibacy) is self-control not self-denial. It is a natural control over the senses because of one's appreciation of and identification for higher values of life.
Fearless - offers comfort to a seeker when plunging into the unknown.
Thus - implies the elaborate preparation of the seeker's mind for mediation as well as the constant practise of meditation until attaining the goal of Self-realisation.
Yogi in this verse means one who practises yoga, union with the Self.
The verse highlights the importance of moderation and regulation in life's activities, as a prerequisite for meditation.
Food: literally and broadly meaning all stimuli that is taken in. There must be a regulation of sense stimuli that are taken in. No indulgence or permanent abstinence.
Sleeping and waking: relates to the duration of contact with the world. Regulate sleep and waking to have the right amount of contact with the world.
Food, recreation and action suggest receipt, reaction and response to stimuli respectively.
All three transactions of life need to be regulated.
However, the duration of your waking and sleeping periods within one day may be disproportionate. Therefore there needs to be intelligent moderation of sleep and waking too.
Upon turning introvert, seeking the Self, one becomes happy and peaceful.
When the mind's attentions shifts to the Self and effort is directed to KBJ, one gains control over the mind's indulgence. Continuing in this process, the mind is brought under perfect control. A controlled mind rests in the Self
A flame that is disturbed serves no purpse. It cannot light up a room.
When there is a breeze the flame moves in all directions.
The flame lasts until the fuel lasts.
When the flame is steady, there is light.
In order for the flame to remain steady and pointing upwards, shade is required.
If the flame continues to be steady and single pointed it will burn itself out.
A mind that is agitated can take in no knowledge. It prevents the intellect from thinking.
When the mind is filled with passions, it keeps moving in all directions.
the actions will go on until the last vasana is exhausted.
When the mind is steady, perfectly controlled, there is the intake of knowledge.
In order for the mind to remain single pointed, focusing on the higher, the scriptures are required.
If the mind continues to be single pointed (meditation), it will exhaust the last vasana.
A mind controlled by yoga rests in the Self. Identifying with the Self it finds fulfillment, happiness within the Self.
an extroverted mind seeks happiness in objects and beings of the world.
KBJ reduces desires, allowing the mind to rest. The mind can then contemplate on the Self. By resting in the Self, it remains satisfied, happy.
When the mind identifies with the Self, it revels in supreme Bliss. The experience of Realisation transcends the senses. One you gain the happiness of the Self, you will never lose it.
As one moves to deeper layers of the personality, there is a greater quality of happiness. Continuing thus, one gradually moves towards and ultimately reaches the Self. Experiencing supreme Bliss, all worldly achievements and enjoyments mean nothing to him.
He will not be moved by even great sorrow as he is established in the Self. His mind feels the sorrow but is not affected by it.
As you approach the Self you become freer from the pain and sorrow of the world. Because of identification with the material equipment and their involvement in the world, there is sorrow. As yo move to higher levels, you detach from the lower. In this process of moving closer to the Self, the first stage is severance from sorrow. Severance from sorrow does not mean the positive bliss of Realisation.
This yoga of severance from sorrow must be practised with determination. The intellect must fix the Self as the ultimate goal and your mind surrenders to it.
To reach the seat of meditation, you have to abandon all desires pertaining to the world. The only desire that remains is the desire for meditation. This desire displaces all the others.
Desires come from ignorance of Self, and manifest as attachments and agitations. Such a mind cannot concentration nor meditate.
In the seat of meditation, a determined intellect directs the prepared mind to meditate upon the Self.
The control of the mind is gradual (little by little). Vasanas, thought, desires has to be removed from the mind. This happens through the process of KBJ. Only after the bulk of thoughts are removed, is one ready to meditate. In meditation, the mind converges into single pointed focus. Through the practise, one merges into the Self.
A mind full of desires is not able to concentrate, meditate. The practises have to be done to bring the mind to a state of concentration. In that state, the mind chants the mantra while the intellect observes.
The verse describes the human mind as unsteady (cancala) and restless (asthira). It moves from one thought to another, even given a fixed point of concentration, it slips into other thoughts.
This describes the final stage of meditation. Verse refers to CSG bodies.
Causal body is made up of vasanas - he has eradicated all vasanas therefore sinless.
Vasanas removed, the subtle body gains tranquility.
As a result, the gross body no longer rushes to the world, his passions are controlled.
Thus - culmination of the path.
Constant - spiritual practise must be constant. The verse indicates the time and effort involved in reaching Brahman.
Easily - without delay. With dedicated and consistent effort one can easily attain enlightenment.
Infinite bliss - often attempted to give a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the infinite nature of that bliss to awaken humanity to the staggering potential within.
the nature and behaviour of an enlightened soul is given. Having merged with the Self, he sees the Self in all beings and all beings as nothing but his own Self.
The Enlightened one sees a perfect oneness between himself and the multifold beings of the world.
Also, he never loses that status. Whatever be his mode of life, spiritual or material, he sees the Self, breathes the Self, lives the Self, expresses the Self at all times.
The Enlightened one sees Atman everywhere and everything in Atman.
I am not lost to him: Atman remains with him in his actions, perceptions, emotions and thoughts.
He is not lost to Me: He is always expressing the Divinity into which he has emerged.
The yogi, seeing the one Self everywhere remains the same through the joys and sorrows of this world.
Arjuna's first question of this chapter. He believes that the spiritual practices cannot keep the mind continuously in an equanimous state. The sastras keep endorsing the restless nature of the mind, hence this doubt.
Arjuna defines the mind as:
Restless: replete with desires, it moves restlessly in all directions.
Turbulent: As the passions heighten, the mind becomes turbulent, violent.
Strong: The mind and wind are both insubstantial but have great strength. When the mind changes, ones personality changes.
Obstinate: The mind will relentlessly pursue its desires and holds onto its attachments.
Krsna begins by saying, undoubtedly, the mind is restless and difficult to control. This agreement with Arjuna produces a deep psychological impact on his mind. It captures the attention of the listener. Once the attention is captured, Krsna an carefully transmit his message.
The mind can be controlled by:
Practice - KBJ
Dispassion - As desires reduces, knowledge of Self increases, and one becomes dispassionate towards the world.
Krsna continues the psychological appeal here.
He carefully introduces the proviso to expose the limitation of Arjuna's view. Yoga eludes the grasp of those who lack self-control. But by determined and consistent striving with proper spiritual disciplines one can gain union with the Self.
Arjuna asks Krsna to explain what happens to a spiritual seeker whose efforts fail to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. An aspirant may put in all his effort yet still fall short of Realisation. Is this effort wasted?
This shows the prevailing attitude of society, attachment to the result of the action.
Fallen from both: having left the material and sensual world, nor having reached the Self, what happens to such a person. He is neither here nor there. He will be like a rent cloud. What will happen to him?
Arjuna describes him as:
Supportless - he does not have the security of the material world nor the strength of spiritual enlightenment.
Completely deluded - does not know where he has to go.
Arjuna concludes his question here, in surrender to Krsna to dispel his doubt. Krsna allows Arjuna enough time to digest and follow his thinking, as well as to express his doubts (this question spans over 3 verses, when it could have been 1)
By gaining knowledge, on experience dynamism and peace. The knowledge never dies, it is carried forward into future lives. A seeker never comes to grief.
A person who has led a righteous life, but has not attained SR, enjoys the benefits accruing from righteous living. They experience happiness in life and are then reborn into a home of purity and wealth.
Purity: pure of heart, peace and harmony.
Wealthy: material well-being.
Rare is it to find the combination of peace and prosperity. He deserves it as a result of his past efforts.
An individual who has performed selfless actions, acted in a spirit of renunciation, even go to meditation, could still fall short of Realisation. However, in his next birth, he will find a wise family whose members are themselves engaged in the pursuit of God. No environment could be more conducive for reaching SR than this.
Having acquired a birth amidst wise yogis, the seeker now strives more than in his previous life for gaining spiritual enlightenment. The advancement thus gained serves as a source of stimulation and determination in him to reach the ultimate goal.
With the momentum of his past efforts, just his determination to get to the Self carries him there.
He goes beyond sabdabrahman (word-Brahman). This is the subtlest idol (as only one sense organ can perceive it). He goes beyond sound-Brahman, reaches the Self.
Sabdabrahman could also refer to the Vedas. Upon reaching SR, he transcends the words of the Vedas, merges with Brahman.
A seeker on the path of yoga finds a conducive environment for his growth. He strives assiduously through many births determined to reach the supreme Goal. His vasanas drop and he reaches the Self.
The word striving and manifold births can create the impression of SR being impossible in the present lifetime. However, a true seeker with determined effort can realise the Self here and now. However it cannot come without having put in the adequate effort.
A yogi is one who follows the path of yoga, constantly seeking union with the Self. He uses KBJ to get to the Self.
Karmi, tapasvi (bhakti) and jnani are referring to those who get involved in the paths, seeing them as an end in themselves. The yogi uses them only to get back to the Self, he doesn't get caught in the enchantments of those paths.
The yogi uses KBJ only to get back to the Self. The yogi uses the disciplines dispassionately to get to the Self. But not all gain absolute union. He who applies himself consistently until he fully merges with Brahman gets there.