One should hold one's body, neck and head erect in a straight line
and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus, with an unagitated,
subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one
should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.
The goal of life is to know Krishna, who is situated within the heart of
every living being as Paramatma, the four-handed Visnu form. The
yoga process is practiced in order to discover and see this localized
form of Visnu, and not for any other purpose. The localized visnu-
murti is the plenary representation of Krishna dwelling within one's
heart. One who has no program to realize this visnu-murti is use-
lessly engaged in mock yoga practice and is certainly wasting his
Krishna is the ultimate goal of life, and the visnu-murti situated
in one's heart is the object of yoga practice. To realize this visnu-
murii within the heart, one has to observe complete abstinence from
sex life; therefore one has to leave home and live alone in a secluded
place, remaining seated as mentioned above. One cannot enjoy sex
life daily at home or elsewhere and attend a so-called yoga class and
thus become a yogi. One has to practice controlling the mind and
avoiding all kinds of sense gratification, of which sex life is the chief.
In the rules of celibacy written by the great sage Yajnavalkya it is
"The vow of brahmacarya is meant to help one completely abstain
from sex indulgence in work, words and mind-at all times, under
all circumstances, and in all places." No one can perform correct
yoga practice through sex indulgence. Brahmacarya is taught, there-
fore, from childhood, when one has no knowledge of sex life,
Children at the age of five are sent to the guru-kula, or the place of
the spiritual master, and the master trains the young boys in the
strict discipline of becoming brahmacaris.
Without such practice, no
one can make advancement in yoga, whether it be dhyana. jnana
or bhakti. One who, however, follows the rules and regulations of
married life, having a sexual relationship only with his wife (and that
also under regulation), is also called a brahmachari. Such a restrained
householder brahmacari may be accepted in the bhakti school, but
the jnana and dhyana schools do not even admit householder
brahmacaris. They require complete abstinence without compromise.
to the bhakti school, a householder brahmacaris is allowed con-
trolled sex life because the cult of bhakti-yoga is so powerful that one
automatically loses sexual attraction, being engaged in the superior
service of the Lord.
Whereas others are forced to restrain themselves from sense gratification, a devotee of the Lord automatically refrains because of
superior taste. Other than the devotee, no one has any information
of that superior taste.
Vigata-bhih. One cannot be fearless unless one is fully in Krishna
consciousness. A conditioned soul is fearful due to his perverted
memory, his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krishna.
Krishna consciousness is the only basis for fearlessness. Therefore, perfect practice is possible for a
person who is Krishna conscious. And since the ultimate goal of yoga
practice is to see the Lord within, a Krishna conscious person is
already the best of all yogis. The principles of the yoga system
mentioned herein are different from those of the popular so-called
- yunjann evam sadatmanam
- yogi niyata-manasah
- santim nirvana-paramam
- mat-samstham adhigacchati.
Thus practicing constant control of the body, mind and activities,
the mystic transcendentalist, his mind regulated, attains to the kingdom of God [or the abode of Krishna by cessation of material
The ultimate goal in practicing yoga is now clearly explained. Yoga
practice is not meant for attaining any kind of material facility; it is
to enable the cessation of all material existence. One who seeks an
improvement in health or aspires after material perfection is no yogi
according to Bhagavad-Gita. Nor does cessation of material existence entail one's entering into "the void," which is only a myth.
There is no void anywhere within the creation of the Lord. Rather,
the cessation of material existence enables one to enter into the
spiritual sky, the abode of the Lord. The abode of the Lord is also
clearly described in the Bhagavad-Gita as that place where there is no
need of sun, moon or electricity. All the planets in the spiritual
kingdom are self-illuminated like the sun in the material sky. The
kingdom of God is everywhere, but the spiritual sky and the planets
thereof are called pararh dhdma, or superior abodes.
A consummate yogi, who is perfect in understanding Lord Krishna,
as is clearly stated herein by the Lord Himself, can attain real peace and can ultimately reach His supreme abode, Krishnaloka, known as Gotoka Vrndavana. In the Brahma-samhita it is clearly stated: the Lord, although residing always in His abode called Goloka, is the all-pervading Brahman and the localized
Paramatma as well by dint of His superior spiritual energies. No one
can reach the spiritual sky (Vaikuntha) or enter into the Lord's
eternal abode (Goloka Vrndavana) without the proper understanding of Krishna and His plenary expansion Visnu. Therefore a person
working in Krishna consciousness is the perfect yogi, because his mind
is always absorbed in Krishna's activities.
In the Vedas we
learn: "One can overcome the path of
birth and death only by understanding the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Krishna." In other words, perfection of the yoga system is
the attainment of freedom from material existence and not some
magical jugglery or gymnastic feats to befool innocent people.
- naty-asnatas tu
- yogo ísti na caikantam
- anasnatah na cati-svapna-silasya
- jagrato naiva carjuna.
There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, 0 Arjuna, if one
eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep
Regulation of diet and sleep is recommended herein for the yogis.
Too much eating means eating more than is required to keep the
body and soul together. There is no need for men to eat animals,
because there is an ample supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and
milk. Such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of
goodness according to the Bhagavad-Gita. Animal food is for those
in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who indulge in animal
food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first offered
to Krishna will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things. Anyone who eats for sense pleasure, or cooks for himself, not
offering his food to Krishna, eats only sin. One who eats sin and eats
more than is allotted to him cannot execute perfect yoga. It is best
that one eat only the remnants of foodstuff offered to Krishna.
person in Krishna consciousness does not eat anything which is not
first offered to Krishna. Therefore, only the Krishna conscious person
can attain perfection in yoga practice. Nor can one who artificially
abstains from eating, manufacturing his own personal process of
fasting, practice yoga. The Krishna conscious person observes fasting
as it is recommended in the scriptures. He does not fast or eat more
than is required, and he is thus competent to perform yoga practice.
One who eats more than required will dream very much while
sleeping, and he must consequently sleep more than is required. One
should not sleep more than six hours daily. One who sleeps more
than six hours out of twenty-four is certainly influenced by the mode
of ignorance. A person in the mode of ignorance is lazy and prone to
sleep a great deal. Such a person cannot perform yoga.
- yukta-cestasya karmasu
- yogo bhavati duhkha-ha.
He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.
Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and
mating-which are demands of the body-can block advancement
in the practice of yoga. As far as eating is concerned, it can be
regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasadam,
sanctified food. Lord Krishna is offered, according to the Bhagavad-Gita, vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains, milk, etc. In this way, a person in Krishna consciousness becomes automatically trained not to
accept food not meant for human consumption, or not in the
category of goodness. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krishna
conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in
Krishna consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent
sleeping is considered a great loss. Avyartha-kalatvam: a Krishna
conscious person cannot bear to pass a minute of his life without
being engaged in the service of the Lord.
Therefore, his sleeping is
kept to a minimum. His ideal in this respect is who was always engaged in the service of Krishna and who could not
sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes not even that.
Thakura Haridasa would not even accept prasadam nor even sleep
for a moment without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his
beads three hundred thousand names. As far as work is concerned, a
Krishna conscious person does not do anything which is not connected
with Krishna's interest, and thus his work is always regulated and is
untainted by sense gratification. Since there is no question of sense
gratification, there is no material leisure for a person in Krishna
consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech,
sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily activities, there is no material
misery for him.
- yada viniyatam cittam
- atmany evavatisthate
- nisprhah sarva-kamebhyo
- yukta ity ucyate tada.
When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in transcendence-devoid of all material
desires-he is said to be well established in yoga.
The activities of the yogi are distinguished from those of an ordinary
person by his characteristic cessation from all kinds of material
desires-of which sex is the chief. A perfect yogi is so well disciplined
in the activities of the mind that he can no longer be disturbed by any
kind of material desire. This perfectional stage can automatically be
attained by persons in Krishna consciousness, as stated in the Srimad-
"King Ambarisa first of all engaged his mind on the lotus feet of
Lord Krishna; then, one after another, he engaged his words in
describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord, his hands in
mopping the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing of the activities
of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the transcendental forms of the Lord,
his body in touching the bodies of the devotees, his sense of smell in
smelling the scents of the lotus flowers offered to the Lord, his
tongue in tasting the tulsi leaf offered at the lotus feet of the Lord,
his legs in going to places of pilgrimage and the temple of the Lord,
his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in
executing the mission of the Lord. All these transcendental activities
are quite befitting a pure devotee."
This transcendental stage may be inexpressible subjectively by the
followers of the impersonalist path, but it becomes very easy and
practical for a person in Krishna consciousness, as is apparent in the
above description of the engagements of Maharaja Ambarisa,
Unless the mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord by constant
remembrance, such transcendental engagements are not practical.
In the devotional service of the Lord, therefore, these prescribed
activities are called arcana, or engaging all the senses in the service of
the Lord, The senses and the mind require engagements. Simple
abnegation is not practical. Therefore, for people in general-
especially those who are not in the renounced order of life-
transcendental engagement of the senses and the mind as described
above is the perfect process for transcendental achievement, which is
called yukta in the Bhagavad-Gita.
- yatha dipo nivata-stho
- nengate sopama smrta
- yogino yata-cittasya
- yunjato yogam atmanah
As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent self.
A truly Krishna conscious person, always absorbed in transcendence, in constant undisturbed meditation on his worshipable Lord, is as steady as a lamp in a windless place.
- yatroparamate cittam niruddham yoga-sevaya yatra caivatmanatmanam pasyann atmani tusyati. || 20 ||
- sukham atyantikam yat tad buddhi-grahyam atindriyam vetti yatra na caivayam sthitas calati tattvatah. || 21 ||
- yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah yasmin sthito na duhkhena gurunapi vicalyate.|| 22 ||
- tam vidyad duhkha-samyoga-viyogam yoga-samjnitam. || 23 ||
In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi. one's mind is
completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of
yoga. This perfection is characterized by one's ability to see the self
by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous
state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized
through transcendental senses.
Established thus, one never departs
from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater
gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in
the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all
miseries arising from material contact.
By practice of yoga one becomes gradually detached from material
concepts. This is the primary characteristic of the yoga principle.
And after this, one becomes situated in trance, or samadhi. which
means that the yogi realizes the Supersoul through transcendental
mind and intelligence, without any of the misgivings of identifying
the self with the Superself. Yoga practice is more or less based on the
principles of the Patanjali system. Some unauthorized commentators try to identify the individual soul with the Supersoul, and the
monists think this to be liberation, but they do not understand the
real purpose of the Patanjali system of yoga. There is an acceptance
of transcendental pleasure in the Patanjali system, but the monists
do not accept this transcendental pleasure, out of fear of jeopardizing the theory of oneness. The duality of knowledge and knower is not accepted by the non-dualist, but in this verse transcendental
pleasure-realized through transcendental senses-is accepted.
And this is corroborated by Patanjali Muni, the famous exponent of
the yoga system.
This citi-sakti. or internal potency, is transcendental. Purusartha
means material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, the attempt to become one with the Supreme.
This "oneness with the Supreme" is called kaivalyam by the monist
But according to Patanjali, this kaivalyam is an internal, or transcendental, potency by which the living entity becomes aware of his constitutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya, this state of
affairs is called ceto-darpana-marjanam, or clearance of the impure
mirror of the mind. This "clearance" is actually liberation, or bhava-
maha-davdgni-nirvdpanam. The theory of nirvana-also prelimi-
nary-corresponds with this principle. In the Bhagavatam this is called svarupena vyavasthitih. The Bhagavad-Gita also
confirms this situation in this verse.
After nirvana, or material cessation, there is the manifestation of
spiritual activities, or devotional service to the Lord, known as
Krishna consciousness. In the words of the Bhagavatam, svarupena
vyavasthitih: this is the "real life of the living entity." Maya, or
illusion, is the condition of spiritual life contaminated by material
infection. Liberation from this material infection does not mean
destruction of the original eternal position of the living entity.
Patanjali also accepts this by his words. This citi-sakti, or transcendental pleasure, is real
life. This is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra. This natural transcendental pleasure is the ultimate goal of yoga and is easily achieved by execution of devotional service, or bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga will be vividly described in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-Gita.
In the yoga system, as described in this chapter, there are two
kinds of samadhi, called samprajnata-samadhi and asamprajnata-samadhi. When one becomes situated in the transcendental position
by various philosophical researches, he is said to have achieved
samprajfidta-samadhi. In the asamprajnaia-samadhi there is no
longer any connection with mundane pleasure, for one is then
transcendental to all sorts of happiness derived from the senses.
When the yogi is once situated in that transcendental position, he is
never shaken from it. Unless the yogi is able to reach this position, he
is unsuccessful. Today's so-called yoga practice, which involves
various sense pleasures, is contradictory. A yogi indulging in sex and
intoxication is a mockery. Even those yogis who are attracted by the
siddhis (perfections) in the process of yoga are not perfectly situated.
If yogis are attracted by the by-products of yoga, then they cannot
attain the stage of perfection, as is stated in this verse. Persons,
therefore, indulging in the make-show practice of gymnastic feats or
siddhis should know that the aim of yoga is lost in that way.
The best practice of yoga in this age is Krishna consciousness, which
is not baffling. A Krishna conscious person is so happy in his occupa-
tion that he does not aspire after any other happiness. There are
many impediments, especially in this age of hypocrisy, to practicing
hafha-yoga. dhyana-yoga and jnana-yoga, but there is no such
problem in executing karma-yoga or bhakti-yoga.
As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands
of the body, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a
person who is in pure bhakti yoga or in Krishna consciousness, does
not arouse the senses while meeting the demands of the body.
Rather, he accepts the bare necessities of life, making the best use of
a bad bargain, and enjoys transcendental happiness in Krishna consciousness. He is callous toward incidental occurrences-such as
accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear
relative-but he is always alert to execute his duties in Krishna consciousness. or bhakti-yoga. Accidents never deviate him from his duty. As slated in the Bhagavad-Gita. He endures all such incidental occurrences
because he knows that they come and go and do not affect his duties.
In this way he achieves the highest perfection in yoga practice.
- sa niscayena yoktavyo
- yogo nirvinna-cetasa
- sankalpa-prabhavan kamams
- tyaktva sarvan asesatah
- manasaivendriya-gramam viniyamya samantatah.
One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with determination and faith and not be deviated from the path. One should
abandon, without exception, all material desires born of mental speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides by the mind.
The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently
prosecute the practice without deviation. One should be sure of
success at the end and pursue this course with great perseverance,
not becoming discouraged if there is any delay in the attainment of
success. Success is sure for the rigid practitioner. Regarding bhakti-
yoga, Rupa Gosvami says:
"One can execute the process of' bhakti-yoga successfully with full-
hearted enthusiasm, perseverance, and determination, by following
the prescribed duties in the association of devotees and by engaging
completely in activities of goodness,"
As for determination, one should follow the example of the
sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid
her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the
eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the
ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her
appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to
pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for
her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and
at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Visnu, heard it. He
became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came
to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of
the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once
asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of
the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs.
Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.
Similarly, the practice of yoga, especially bhakti-yoga in Krishna
consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone
follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely
help, for God helps those who help themselves.