Chapter 6

 Atma -samyam - yoga 

            Atma-samyama means self restrain. This chapter is called by some as Dhyana-Yoga, because in it Krishna has explained the method of meditation. The meaning of this chapter, is  often misunderstood. It is generally regarded that the self "restraint" advised here is to be practised by all devotees. It is not so. For a family man, Karmayoga is the Sadhana (practice) prescribed. When a person becomes a Yogi he is advised to devote his time in this Yoga. To be a Karma yogi is a precondition to qualify to undertake this practice of self restraint.

            In the verses 1 to 9 of this chapter, Krishna has told us characteristics of a person who has attained the highest stage in doing his Karma and, therefore, can be called a Karmayoga.

            A person who has successfully given up attachment to his Karma and does not refrain from doing any Karma is a real Sanyasi and a Yogi. He, who has given up his daily routine Karma and the rituals, he is supposed to follow as a family man, is not a Sanyasi.

            A true Sanyasi is always a Karmayogi because Sanyas means renouncing the attachment to Karma, which is achieved by following the path of Karmayoga. A Karmayogi becomes one by practising to change every Karma into Akarma. This, we have seen, is achieved by doing all the Karmas with non attachment. Hence, staying away from Karma does not make one a Sanyasi nor a Yogi. It must be understood that a Sanyasi is always a Yogi first, because the practice of meditation, explained later, is meant for this Sanyasi.

            There is no difference between Karma Sanyasa (renunciation of Karma) and Karmayoga (performing Karma without any attachment). Because unless you renounce the desire for sense gratification, you cannot become a Yogi.

Giving up desires

            No desire can be given up easily. However, you may try to suppress it, it will bounce back because every desire has its roots in Vasana which is made of thoughts and unburned desire of many past lives. Desire leads to Karma. When Karma is performed with attachment, it leads to bondage and the desire, temporarily satisfied though it may be, remains.

            Can you get rid of the desire to eat, drink, read, write, enjoy sense pleasures like watching a TV, going to theatre, visiting friends, shopping and so on, after you have put that desire into action once? No, you cannot. You go to a shop and buy a few dresses for you because you had the desire to do so. Now you have done the Karma and fulfilled the compelling desire. Can you say that the desire is gone from your mind? Next week, when you  go out with a friend and see a nice dress, your desire to have it springs up again, even though you have many other dresses in your wardrobe. Desire cannot be vanquished, when it is satisfied. So long as there are objects, and senses are working, desires will arise until their seeds, which are in the Vasana, are burnt.

            There is only one way to achieve this. You develop a desire for something much higher than sense gratification. That something is God or the energy within you. This cannot be done overnight. How can you have a desire to have God (to be with Him) when your mind and senses cannot comprehend Him? You cannot get rid of desires, you cannot know God, so what do you do to renounce your sense-gratification desires?

            When you have a desire, make it strong so that you will be compelled to put it into action. Ask yourself if what you are going to do is right. If so, then go out by all means to do your Karma as your desire dictates, but when you perform the Karma, be detached in mind from it. Karma will be performed. Desire will be satisfied temporarily. But the non attachment will make it weak. It may surface again. Follow the same practice and you will notice that in due course of time, the desire dies down.

            You are a seasoned gambler and you like to indulge in horse racing or card games. You know it is not good because invariably you lose money. Over the years you have lost so much that you could have bought a decent house for you and the family, if that money was saved. Yet you cannot get rid of the desire. It is a disease of your mind. Now try this one. Next time you have this desire, first decide how much money you can afford to lose. Take that much only and go to fulfil your desire. Play the bets and enjoy the game but with one difference. Use your intellect and reason to yourself "It does not matter whether I win or lose, I am enjoying the game. I like it." Be detached. You can develop this detached attitude slowly. Once the game is over, drop any thoughts about that Karma from your mind. "How much you lost or won, what you should have done" are meaningless thoughts. You have put your desire into action. Karma is performed. Now forget it. Continue this medicine every time you desire to gamble. You will find the dicease getting cured slowly but surely and one day you will be cured.

            In this way, when you do your Karma in a detached manner, it becomes Akarma, you remain free from its bondage and slowly you get rid of the desire to do that Karma. You become a Karma Yogi and a Sanyasi.

Higher goal - karmayoga

            It is not everybody in this world who will have the desire to be a Yogi and a Karma-Sanyasi as explained above. Most of us find it difficult to do a Karma without any attachment. We want to have a better life with luxuries. We want to have still better facilities in the next life. We try to get rid of hardships but not attachment. So where is the question of Yoga or Sanysa? But if we do our Karma in the right manner and aviod doing Vikarma, then sometime, some day, either in this or the next life, we may have a desire for higher goals. For that purpose the best thing to do is to be in the company of people who are on the spiritual path, worship and/or pray God and perform some selfless Karma i.e. good for others, in whatever way we can.

            For one who wishes to be a Karma Yogi (Sanyasi) the means is Karma, which we all do. That is the reason, God, through His Prakruti, has formed such laws that we cannot stay away from Karma. It is left to our intelligence how we do it. Rewards, punishment and escape from fruit are all possible. So Karma is the means to achieve Karmayoga. Once you become a Yogi, in this way, there is still something to be done to get Moksha. Not all Yogis attain Moksha. They are also born again and again. Krishna says in verse no.3 that a Yogi has to follow certain routine. He has to practice  "Shama", restraining the senses so as to have peace of mind.

            Whereas an aspirant of being a Karma yogi, does not keep his senses from their objects but practises Karma with detached attitude, once he becomes a Yogi, he has to practice keeping his senses away from their objects. It  is then that mind becomes steady. He has to become a Sthita Pradnya- steady intellect. Since in performing different Karmas, mind will always oscillate and intellect will act as a judge, it cannot be steady. The aspirant on the path to become a Karma Yogi is called "Muni". Once he reaches his goal and aspires to have steady intellect, he is called "Yogi". A common man who has more or all interest in material life is far away from these people. He suffers pain and pleasures and has never any peace. A Muni lives like a common man but his attitude towards his Karma is different. A Yogi is disinterested in material life completely and aspires to be have steady intellect. When he is satisfied with himself and does not need senses or mind to make him happy he attains self realisation and becomes a Dnyani.

            When can a Muni be said to have become a Yogi? When due to continuous non attachment to every Karma, he loses total interest in the fulfilment of any desire, the sence objects do not attract his attention and all his desires, therefore, get renounced, then he becomes a Yogi.

You make your one destiny

            In this path, every human being has to work for himself or herself. It is only you who can uplift yourself or throw yourself in a ditch. A Dnyani or a teacher will show you the way and guide but if  you want to be a Muni or a Yogi or a Dnyani, you have to strive yourself. This is true for everything. Even if there is no desire in you to be a Muni, and you wish to live your life doing Karma with attachment, you can come up and be successful, only if you yourself work hard for it. If you depend upon others, if you belittle your Karma and lower its importance by NOT paying attention and develop the habit of procrastination, you will go in the ditch. So follow the rules of Karma, explained before and achieve your goal, whether you want to be a successful, prosperous, famous person, a Muni, a Yogi or a Dnyani. It is upto you to decide and labour hard for it. In this way you can make your mind to work for you as your friend or make it your worse enemy. You choose and make your own destiny. Never blame others for your failure. Everybody is born, lives, suffers pain and pleasure, and dies according to one's own Karma.

Restraint

            Therefore, conquer your mind by restraint and using your intellect correctly. If you can do so, your mind will be your best friend, if not it will be your enemy. Remember, you are what your mind is, because all desires surface there and intellect decides on the action. Mind may tell you anything without discriminating between right and wrong. Your intellect can do this job for you. No outsider is your enemy. If you suffer, the enemy is within you.

            Once you are able to put proper restraint and conquer the mind and experience peace of mind to a great extent, your intellect will remain steady when you experience cold or heat, happiness or sorrow, honour or insult. Mind will not react favourably or unfavourably to any of these dualitys. It will maintain its peace and take whatever action is necessary.

            He, who is contented in his heart by acquiring knowledge of the sense objects and knowledge of the self, who has conquered the senses and who regards pebbles, stones and gold with same value, is a Yogi.

            In society we come across many people, many objects. We come to know about them. We learn in schools and collages and other educational establishments to gain knowledge of different branches of arts, science and so on. But we do not, generally try to acquire knowledge of self. Yet if you realise the difference between what you learn about objects and what is self, you will know that all other knowledge is acquired by the senses while knowledge of self is NOT within their grasp. You have to withdraw your mind from senses and their objects, to know self. If you have the knowledge of both and that makes you satisfied and content you become a Yogi. And when you reach the stage when you treat equally your well wishers, friends, benefactors, enemies, mediators, neutrals (those who are neither your friends nor enemies) pious ones and the sinners, you advance further in your path.

            It is established in the above verses that a Man becomes a Muni then a Yogi. The Yogi has to become a Dnyani. He has to have complete peace of mind and steady intellect.

            In verses no. 10 to 15 Krishna talks of self restrain for a Yogi to reach the state of a Dnyani.

Practising restraint

            A Yogi should live alone in seclusion and practise restraining body and mind, get rid of all desires and constantly try to keep his intellect fixed on the self. He should try to eliminate all aspirations and thoughts of possessing any objects.

            As Yogi, his desires have already become weak because of non attachment to Karma. His senses hove lost their power. It is natural. Senses work for the mind, who is their Master. Years before, when the Yogi was not even a Muni, the servants (senses) enjoyed supplying information to their Master (mind) because the master would take active interest and as a thankful gesture, invite the servants to participate in its actions. Servants were pleased and their loyalty to the master increased. But once he became a Muni, the mind was more influenced by the intellect. Restrictions were placed, the master was not allowed to have his own way. In course of time, the master stopped inviting the servants for any party.

            Formerly, a servant would say, " Master, read this invitation. Your boss (the man) is invited for a party by his friend. There will be booze and dancing with beautiful girls. You can really enjoy. The master would thank the servant, influence the intellect and make the boss to go for the party. There the master would invite the servants (sense of taste, sight, touch, hearing and smell) to join and enjoy happily. But now a days, when the boss has become a Muni, things have changed. He does not listen to the Master. When the servant says, "let us go for a party and enjoy," the Master says, " I don't know. What is so great about it? Forget it". Even if the boss goes to the party, he may just have one drink, he does not dance, stays away from girls and other sense-pleasing attractions. The Master does not invite the servants to enjoy. Sometimes they are totally ignored, with the result, the servants lose interest and become quiet. Their interest and enthusiasm is weakened. They do not take pleasure in giving information to the Master.

            Now, this Muni has become a Yogi. The senses have become weaker still. But they are there. If the Yogi fails or strays away from his path, like the sage Vishwamitra did, the mind can be boisterous and rebellious. The senses will then jump with full vigour. But so long as the Yogi is on the right path and wants to be a Dnyani, this is the right time for him to attack senses and destroy them. They are very weak and without the Master's support they can't defend themselves. Furthermore, the weak mind also must be attacked simultaneously to break its contact with the servants. Separate the servants from their Master and then overpower the Master. That is the strategy prescribed. In order to achieve this, do as follows, as advised in verses 11 to 15. This advice is for a Karma Yogi.

            (a) Go to a sacred area. Select a place for you to sit. It should not too be high or too low. Spread some "Kusha" grass on the selected place and cover it with a deerskin. Lay a soft cloth over it. Now sit on this special seat, concentrate your mind on God, try restraining the senses, the mind and the chitta (mind's storehouse). This exercise is done to purify the "Antahkaran", the innermost heart.

            A sacred place means a place which is free of worldly objects and thoughts. In city life, on can, if possible, earmark a room, or partition some portion of a room for this purpose. If you have a space minimum four by four feet, it can serve the purpose. When you practice restraining exercise , get this area condoned off so that you are alone and secluded in that place. This is important. Have no object in that small make-shift room except the idol or photo image of your daily, if you wish. To make the room atmosphere more appealing and favourable for your exercise, burn some incense, if it pleases you, light a small lamp or a candle. (not electric bulb).

            Kusha is a kind of grass and is available in India. You can get a small 2x2 or larger of mat made of this grass. Instead of sitting in the ground prepare your Aasana (seat) a few feet above the floor. You can have a wooden 3x3x2 stool or a platform made and make your Aasana on that.

            (b) Now hold your body, neck and head erect in a straight line. Do not move. Fix your gaze on the tip of your nose. Do not let it stray  away sideways or in any direction. Then cast off all fear, observe celibacy and think about God as He is the goal to achieve.

            There are people who, due to old age or affliction of the knee joints or waist, cannot sit cross-legged. They can have somewhat higher place to sit from where the legs could reach the ground. The sitting posture must be comfortable and not pain causing. Once you sit, the portion of the body, waists upwards up to the top of the head must be straight and erect. The base of the spine, its top, the neck and the base of head must be in one straight line. This posture restricts the movement of senses. If you relax and bend a little the invisible chain, with which you have chained the senses, becomes lose and they stray away.

            It is obvious that when you sit thus, you are not going to have a sexual act. Yet mind will think of many objects. You are advised to concentrate and fix your gaze on the nosetip. This gaze checks the movement of Eyes. Concentration means elimination of all thoughts except one. That one thought is the thought of God. You can picture His form before your mind and chant His name. Your exercise is to turn the mind back to this one God-orientated thought when it wanders about. You cannot stop its wandering so easily. When it does wander, follow it and bring it back. You may have other thoughts but do not have thoughts about sex. Because these thoughts will strengthen all the senses and your exercise will be a waste of time.

            When Krishna says "Think of me", He means the God within. If you prefer a form of God, you can try to concentrate and think of Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Shankara, Jesus, Mohammed PBUS or any other demigod you prefer. Result will be the same. All you have to learn is to eliminate all except one thought of God.

Effect

            In this way, eventually, the senses will be devoid of their power, the mind will be helpless without the senses and it will turn to God. In this practice, when you try concentration, you will observe that your breathing slows down. When many thoughts arise in the mind, breathing becomes heavy, say around 22 or more breaths (in and out together) per minute. If you entertain sexual thoughts, this rate may increase. When you succeed in eliminating other thoughts, this rate drops down to within 14 or 15 breaths per minute. A Karmayogi can make a rapid progress in this exercise because his senses are already weakened, mind is shaken and intellect is ready to concentrate on God. All he is now doing is discipline the physical body. But if a common man engages himself in this practice, may  he work in this way for years and years, yet he may not make appreciable progress because he has not completed previous stages. Remember, the stages are - common person - Muni - Yogi - Dnyani. If you try to jump from stage 1 to stage 4, it will not work. You will encounter difficulties and fall.

            Many people resort to self restraint practice for self enlightenment but they find that the mind wanders aimlessly. They should learn to perform right Karma with non attachment first. That would help to check the mind wandering.

            The Yogi who succeeds in this self restrain and remains in that stage constantly, attains Dnyana and in due course of time experiences God. He becomes one with God and has eternal peace and bliss.

Self dicipline

            The first stop for us, common people, is to strive to attain Karmayoga. Now in the next few verses, nos. 16 and 17, Krishna tells us about some discipline one should adhere to, while practising to be a Yogi. Two main necessities of life are food and sleep. No being, can do without them. They are essential for living, yet we tend to excessively indulge in them or at times try to live without them. This is not good nor healthy.

            Eating must not be in excess nor meagre. We have to practise restraint when there is an urge to eat more because the item of food tastes good. Sometimes, we fast and put a strain on the body. It is a general belief that fasting helps on to go nearer to God. Some think that fasting on certain festival and holy days helps to ward of dangers because demigods are pleased. That kind of fasting done as a vow to please a demigod and seek his favours, is a different cup of tea.

            In general, fasting slows down physical movements. Too much eating causes the internal organs to expend more energy. When you are trying to do your Karma without attachment to it, the movement of all organs of the body must be steady. Eating and drinking and sleeping activities must be done in moderation. The best way to eat is to have a little appetite left when you finish your eating. Learn to avoid the temptation to eat more when the food is tasty and to your liking. Similarly have enough sleep as is required. The number of sleeping hours one should enjoy depends upon the work one does. A person who does lot of physical work may need more sleep than the one who works little. If you feel that you have a habit of sleeping in excess of your need, cut it down. At the same time do not indulge in excess waking hours. In any case, do not spend your time idling in bed when the required amount of sleep has refreshed you. If you have a keen desire to be a Karmayogi, you will yourself know how much to eat and how much to sleep.

            He whose eating and sleeping habits are properly regulated, who does the right Karma in the proper manner, who has regulated his sleep in which he falls into a dream state and also has regularity in wakeful state, whose entertainments are controlled and regulated, gets rid of suffering and pain. In general, the main cause for our suffering is excesses in eating, drinking, sleepless nights, uncontrolled physical entertainment and improper Karma activities. If these are checked and regulated, one can advance on the path of Karmayoga.

            The Sanskrit word used by Krishna is "Yukta" which has two meanings. In context to the previous verse, it means regulated and without reference to context it means "right". We have to take both the meanings. "Right" food, right entertainment, right Karma and right sleep and wakeful state means a lot.

Food habits

            Do you ever think what type of food you eat? Good items and their ingredients have a tremendous impact on the behaviour of a person. Food is directly responsible to increase or decrease the "Guna" content in our astral body. e.g. Meat of any kind increases the "Raja and Tama" gunas which represent the Dhrutarashtra and Duryodhana tendency. They are harmful for spiritual progress. Too much of meat eating will even kill the desire to be non attached to Karma. Similarly alcohol has the same effect. There are other ingredients of food like onions, garlic which encrease the "Raja" Guna. As against these, milk and milk products, vegetables, fruits increase the "Sattwa" guna which is essential for achieving higher goals. Excess of "Raja" and "Tama" guna increase movements of the senses and the mind, making them unsteady. This results into anxiety, loss of peace and worries, even if one lives in plenty. What is the use of leading such a life? You may not aspire to be a Yogi but you do want to live happily, with stable mind and peace. Is it not?

Entertainment

            Similarly, type of entertainment also makes a lot of difference to one's life. If one sees a porno film, his mind is going to get affected. If one constantly does that, one will tend to become immoral. He can never control his lust. Love in his heart will fly away and lust will prevail. Lust can never bring peace. It is a harbinger of misery in the end. Hence whether you want to be a Yogi or not, decide on the type of entertainment you wish to have. You definitely know what is good and right for you. And if you do want to be a Karma Yogi, then you must have rigorous control on your entertainment, the type and the time duration. Ensure that your Karma is right. This is the first basic rule if you want to be successful, prosper and earn name and fame, leave alone attaining Yogi's state. These regularities later help in gaining mind control. When mind is restrained and becomes stable; and when the aspirant becomes non attached to all his desires, he becomes a Yogi.

            A Yogi is compared with a lamp lighted in a place where there is no wind blowing. The flame of this lamp does not waver. It remains steady. In the same way a Yogi's mind, when steadily fixed on self, no thought waves arise to disturb his attention. It should also be noted that the lamp, in such a place as mentioned above emits steady light which is pleasing to the eyes and it has some austere effect on the surroundings. A Yogi whose attention is fixed on God and has no thoughts about anything else arising in his mind, sees the inner light which enlightens the surrounding atmosphere and produces an austerity.

Yogic state

            In the verses nos. 20 to 23 Krishna has explained the status of a Yogi. A Muni becomes a Yogi by continuously practising all Karmas without attachment. When he, thus, reaches that state, the speed with which the mind moves, slows down and finally stops when it loses its contact with the since objects. The Master (mind) does not associate with the servants (sense organs) any more. In that state the mind turns inwards and begins to see the light within. It then derives such happiness which it had never experienced before. It does not require any other object for its happiness. It realizes that the real happiness which is beyond comparison with anything else is in the self. You realize it when your attention is withdrawn from external world of the senses.

            This happiness is endless because it had no beginning. Happiness derived from sense objects begins when a contact is established between the sense organs and objects. It ends when the contact is broken and this contact can never be permanent. You like music. You go to a concert. Your favourite music is being played. It falls on your ears and the sense of hearing is pleased. The concert gets over, the music stops. Your ear now picks up other sounds. The happiness you derived from the sense object ends. This is  not the case with the happiness which is inside. It exists there always. Therefore, it is called bliss or "Ananda". You must have heard the word Sat-Chit-Ananda by which God is referred to. Sat means truth, Chit is your mind with its huge storehouse and Ananda is this bliss or happiness which stands on its own. You experience it when your mind gets away from the external world which in spiritual sense is not true. You turn inside and you see the truth, and experience this Ananda in your mind.

            To experience this happiness, which has no beginning and no end, you have to make use of your intellect. Because mind is lower in status and capabilities than the intellect. We have seen before that mind deliberates but intellect decides. So when your intellect decides to be a Yogi, it directs the mind to follow the right path. Mind rebels but when intellect is firm and directed to self, mind cannot make its own decision and play with the senses. It does not have that power. It obeys the intellect and does what it says. It is bewildered when, in the process, it loses contact with the senses but at the same time it advances in another direction. Intellect sees the light and experiences joy, which is passed on to the mind. If you do not use your intellect and tell the mind to reach the Yogic state, you will be wasting your time.

            You need to get certain job done. It requires good knowledge of computers. You have two persons. One has good general knowledge, can talk on computers and has the capacity to influence anybody by his talk. But in reality he does not have any experience of computers. You don't know that. This is your mind. Then there is another person who talks little, is not much known, but is well versed in computers. You don't know that. This is your intellect. You entrust your job to the first person and it is never accomplished. You may think, there is good progress but in the end you will be nowhere. Whereas you ask the second person to do the job and it will be done. In any endeavour we have to see the capability of the person before a particular job is given to him or her. Mind is not capable to realise self. Intellect is. Therefore, do not allow the mind to influence your intellect. Let it be other way and you are on the road to success, in material as well as in spiritual life. This inner and true happiness is experienced by intellect; and the state, you are then drawn in, takes you far away from the miseries of the world that otherwise take hold of your mind. In that state no other material gain looks greater than the happiness you have acquired. In that state even the gravest of calamity does not distract the mind. This state is the Yogic state. A Muni should follow the path leading to this state, with a strong determination.

How to obtain Yogic state

            The way to do this as explained in verse nos. 24 to 26, as under. Renounce all desires arising out of mental speculations. Restrain the activities of senses by the mind. Keep your intellect firmly one pointed on your goal, with a strong determination. Turn yourself away from the external object, slowly and slowly. Keep the mind steady in its own place. Do not let any thoughts about the external world enter in it. It will try to wander away because that is its nature. Pull it back from its wandering and keep it in the place.

            All our desires pertain to the external world. Mind is so ingenious that it knows its servants, the senses, need rest. They cannot be active all the time. So it takes in all knowledge and information received from them when they are active and creates its own world inside. It then plays with the objects stored in the world and desires are created. Intellect, when not fixed on self, also joins the mind and decides to be put into physical action and how. All these desires are caused by mind's play with the sense objects. These desires have to be given up. For that, make use of intellect first. Keep it steadily fixed on self so that it will not assist your mind. Also when you withdraw the mind from senses, these desires will start disappearing. It must be remembered, that this is to be done by a Yogi. Unless you reach that state, getting rid of a desire is not possible. You may succeed in controlling it temporarily by following certain practices. But a desired suppressed in this manner, will surface any time, when the mind and the senses work hand in hand.

            With such determined efforts, a Yogi succeeds in completely taming the "Raja" Guna which resides in senses, mind and intellect. When it is quietened, no movement takes place. Thoughts about sense objects meet their own death and the Yogi enjoys Ananda. He is then in the "Brahma" state or the state of a Dnyani.

            In this way, a Yogi who has his mind totally under his control, is freed from all sins of the past and he experiences God. There is no returning for him after his body dies. He attains Nirvana or Moksha. He whose mind is thus fixed on this Yogi state and, therefore, he regards all equally, can see himself in all being and all beings in himself. This is the difference between a Yogi and a Dynani. A Yogi gets rid of all attachment and experiences that eternal peace and absolute Ananda within himself. When he becomes a Dynani, he sees himself in all and all in him.

            In the world, we are many times misled by people who are called Yogis and Dynanis. These two terms are loosely used. One should be careful and not get deceived.

God and Dnyani

            In verses nos. 30 to 32, Krishna explains the relation between a Dnyani and God. He says, When a Dynani sees God in all beings and all beings in God, he never loses Me nor, I loses him. He, who does not see any difference in all beings and worships Me with the realization that I live in all of them, is always dear to Me, no matter how he lives. He regards the pleasures and pains, happiness and suffering of others as his own and thus sees equality everywhere: He is a great Yogi.

            "Ishavasya" Upanishad tells us that everything is God. When this realization is dawned, the Dnyani person sees and feels God all the time. Not only He has the Darshana (experience) of God in other humans or animals, he sees God in pebbles, stones, wood everywhere. Therefore, he is never away from God and nor God who is everything, keeps him away. The difference between them is only the physical level. God is unmanifested whereas Dnyani has his physical body. Such a Dnyani renders yeoman's service to humanity. He suffers when he sees others suffering. He relieves the pain of others and, if necessary, takes it upon himself. Since he is one wiht God, he acquires some powers but he never uses them to impress others. He uses them for the good of humanity. He does not differentiate between people who go to him. He regards all as equals. He does not need a mediator to reach any person. He lives in his own happiness.

Controlling mind

            Arjuna asks a question now. He asks, " O Madhusudana (Krishna), you have explained to me this Yoga but because of the extreme instability of the mind, I have not been able to grasp me thoroughly. This mind is impregnable, restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate. I think, taming it is like catching and tying down the wind."

            Krishna agrees with Arjuna's statement. The mind of a human being is undoubtedly restless, very strong and difficult to be controlled. But it is not impossible. With constant and sincere efforts in the right direction, it can be brought under control. Self restrain is, therefore, necessary to get it fixed at one place. Without such a restraint it is not possible. Even a Karma Yogi call fall down from his high place unless he resorts to self restrain-Yoga. "If he follows, what I have said," says Krishna, he "can obtain this Yoga."

            The self restrain or Atma-Samyam Yoga talked about in this chapter is not meditation, which majority of devotees and "sadhkas" do. "Dhyana" which is also refereed to as meditation by some is different from self restraint. The word Dhyana is found in the eight fold self realization path explained in Pantajali-sutras. There eight stages are Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Thus we see that the "Dhyana" step is the eighth stop. Before reaching it, one has to successfully master the first stages.

            This sixth chapter of Gita does not teach us Dhyana-Yoga. It only explains how a Karma Yogi can become a real Dnyani by observing self restrain or Atma-Samyam.

What happens if yoga practice is incomplete

            Practising this Yoga is very difficult for the simple reason, that mind is tremendously strong and rebellious. Hence it is very likely that in the given life span even a Karma Yogi, who after years of dedicated practice reaches that stage, may find it difficult to attain this self restrain Yoga before his death. So Arjuna has another doubt.

            A person who has unflinching faith in him and who practises this Yoga, may not succeed; and his mind can go astray. If this happens, then where does he land after death? He is not able to reach his goal in his life and he has strayed from his path. What happens to him next? Such a person is displaced from both places, the original one where he practised this Yoga and the next one, that of "Brahma" or God realization, which he wanted to reach. Arjuna prays Krishna to remove this doubt and says, " I hope such a person does not wander aimlessly like a cloud bursting in the sky.

Krishna consoles Arjuna

            Anyone who practises Karmayoga or self-restrain Yoga, has nothing to fear, not on earth and not even after he leaves the earth after death of physical body. His Karma stays with him. Nobody who performs good Karma ever goes astray nor he is overcome by evil. People who do good deeds, go to better worlds after death. After a long stay there, they are reborn on earth mostly in the families of rich people who are pious by nature. Or, he is born in a family of an intellectual Yogi. This itself is a great boon to him. Such a person does not lose his intellectual attainments in this birth. In the next births on this earth he retains all his capabilities and starts on his path again. He does not have to start all over again from the beginning. His study in the previous life takes him to Moksha. Not only that, but a person who really desires to follow the path of this Yoga, obtains that reward, as fruit of his Karma, which is beyond Vedas.

            It is very clear from what is said above, that every Karma reaches completion and either bears a good or bad fruit depending upon the type of Karma; or it becomes Akarma when it is done without attachment. Most of us feel that the fruit of the Karma is given to us immediately. It is not so. The word Karma does not mean only the work that is done. It takes into consideration the motive behind it; how it is done and how far the mind of the doer is attached to it. Hence the evaluation of Karma takes time.

            A worker works in a factory. At the end of the month he is paid for the job. That payment is not the fruit of his Karma. It is an agreed remuneration for the job he does. But his motive, attitude, right or wrong disposition, and attachment all together constitute his Karma. Every Karma, thus, is etched on the mind. While doing a Karma, you gain some skill in performing it. This skill remains with you in next life. That is the  reason we see many child prodigies. A child of four is an expert in mathematics. Another child, at the age of 12 or 13 years becomes a good musician. Another child of 10 years learns computers very fast. Yet some other child exhibits such knowledge in any other branch of science or art that we are amazed. These are not miracles. These children are born with the skills they had acquired in previous human birth.

            In spiritual studies also, the level of intelligence is retained. If in this life you are half way to become a Karmayogi or a Dnyani, in your next human life, you will be born with that knowledge. You will also be placed in surroundings favourable for your skill and knowledge to flourish. Hence no Karma is lost when life comes to an end. You should, therefore, go on practising Karma without thinking whether you could complete it in your life period or not. You do not know how long you have to live. So why worry? Take pleasure in doing your duty and be happy about it. Enjoy the work you do, like the people with whom you work, be happy with the surrounding atmosphere.

            He who sincerely tries hard to be a Yogi, gets purified of his sins and Vikarma. He may have spent many lives in reaching the Yogic state. His labour of all those previous lives stands in good stead for him and he does become a Dnyani in some human life. It is very encouraging to know this and, therefore, we should make the best use of this human life. Firstly, let all Karmas be good ( in thought, speech and action). Secondly let them be right at that time. Thirdly do them as per Karmic laws mentioned before and fourthly try to do them without attachment. It does not matter how many years of life are left for you to live in this world, your ardent wish is sufficient to put you on the right path. So, even if you get a compelling desire, after reading all what is written in this book so far, you will be placed in a high position. If you die the next moment, this ardent and sincere desire to be a Karma Yogi, will entitle you to a birth in such circumstances and place where you can use the time period of your next life in pursuing that desire. If you cannot achieve that goal in that life, you can do so in the next or the next life.

            Who knows, you may become a Karma Yogi and then a Dnyani in this very life! It may take years or months or just a few days. It all depends upon your desire and efforts. And do not forget you have the capacity and capability to achieve what you want because the energy required for this is within you.

Greatness of a Yogi

            In the last two verses nos. 46 and 47 of this chapter, Krishna stays, "A Yogi is greater than an ascetic, greater than the wise pundits and also greater than he who does his Karma with attachment. Therefore, Arjuna, try to become a Yogi. And know it well, that among all Yogis, the one who has implicit faith in Me and worships Me with love is the greatest of all. This is My opinion."

            A Yogi who becomes a Dnyani after following the dictates of this self renunciation Yoga is obviously superior to all aspirants, in whatever stage of self realization they are, because he is the one who is close to God. He only can see God in everything and everything in God. His Sadhana comes to and end. There is nothing else that he has to do. He lives because of the limitation on his physical body which he has been given in this life as per the past Karma or the past one or several human lives. This Karma of which, he is experiencing the fruit in this life is called "Prarabdha" Karma.

Prarabdha Karma

            Karma done in past lives and which is responsible for this life. Physical comforts and discomforts, enjoyment of senses etc. that you receive is directly proportionate to this Karma. As you live, you get its rewards and punishments from time to time until this Karma is finished, when it is time to leave the body. That is death.

Kriyamana Karma

            Karma done in this life. This is evaluated and kept in abeyance, recorded in the mind for evaluation when the body dies.

Sanchita Karma

            Karma of many lives stored together and from which a portion is taken out and evaluated. This portion becomes the "Prarabdha" Karma, when you are born.

            It should be noted that your Prarabdha may compel you, the self, to acquire the body of any creature. When that Prarabdha is finished, the creature-body dies. In no other life, except human life, can you do a Karma which becomes Kriyamana Karma. In other bodies, you just pay for what you had done in the past. It is only in human life that you pay for bad Karma, get reward for good Karma and also you have the right to do your Karma which can throw you back in the cycle or get you out of it.

            With this we come to the end of this chapter called Atma-Samyam Yoga. These six chapters deal mainly with Karma.

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