-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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
In verses no. 10 to 15
Krishna talks of self restrain for a Yogi to reach the state of a
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Karma done in this
life. This is evaluated and kept in abeyance, recorded in the mind for
evaluation when the body dies.
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.