Bhagavad Gita - Chapter VI:
Dhyana Yoga

Text 13 - 14
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • saman kaya-siro-grivam
  • dharayann acalam sthirah
  • sampreksya nasikagram
  • svam disas canavalokayan.
  • prasantatma vigata-bhir
  • brahmacari-vrate sthitah
  • manah samyamya mac-citto
  • yukta asita mat-parah.
English Translation:
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.

Purport:
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 time.

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 said:

"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 yoga societies.

Text 15

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yunjann evam sadatmanam
  • yogi niyata-manasah
  • santim nirvana-paramam
  • mat-samstham adhigacchati.
English Translation:
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 existence.

Purport: 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.

Text 16

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • naty-asnatas tu
  • yogo ísti na caikantam
  • anasnatah na cati-svapna-silasya
  • jagrato naiva carjuna.
English Translation:
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 enough.

Purport:
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.

A 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.

Text 17
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yuktahara-viharasya
  • yukta-cestasya karmasu
  • yukta-svapnavabodhasya
  • yogo bhavati duhkha-ha.
English Translation:
He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

Purport:
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.

Text 18
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yada viniyatam cittam
  • atmany evavatisthate
  • nisprhah sarva-kamebhyo
  • yukta ity ucyate tada.
English Translation:
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.

Purport:

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- Bhagavatam:

"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.

Text 19
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yatha dipo nivata-stho
  • nengate sopama smrta
  • yogino yata-cittasya
  • yunjato yogam atmanah
English Translation:
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.

Purport:

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.
Text 20-23
Sanskrit working:

  • 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 ||
English Translation:
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.

Purport:

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.

Text 24
Sanskrit working:

Engligh Wording:

  • sa niscayena yoktavyo
  • yogo nirvinna-cetasa
  • sankalpa-prabhavan kamams
  • tyaktva sarvan asesatah
  • manasaivendriya-gramam viniyamya samantatah.
English Translation:
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.

Purport:

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.


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