Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 6 (Part-1) Dhyaana Yogah- Yoga of Meditation


aarurukshormuner yogam karma  kaaranamuchyate
    yogaaroodhasya tasyaiva shamah  kaaranamuchyate  // 6.3 //

For  a sage who wishes to attain to yoga, action is said to be the means; for the  same sage who has attained to yoga serenity is said to be the means.

For  a man who cannot practice meditation for a prolonged period and who is not able  to keep his mind steady in meditation, action or work is a means of  establishing himself in concentration and self-improvement. By working in the  world with no egocentric concept of agency and desire for the fruits of  actions, the mind gets purified and makes it fit for the practice of steady  meditation.

When  the required amount of concentration is achieved and his mind conquered, his  agitations get well under control. In that state of mental growth his mind  thoroughly gets fixed in the Self. These two means are not contradictory.  Selfless work is necessary for a beginner; but a developed seeker needs more  calmness and self-withdrawal for deep meditation to realize the Self. All his  actions are then performed with perfect equanimity,

yadaa hi nendriyaartheshu na karmaswanushajjate
    sarvasankalpasannyaasee yogaaroodhas  tadochyate  // 6.4 //

When  a man is not attached to sense objects or to actions, having renounced all  thoughts, he is said to have attained Yoga.

Sri  Krishna explains the physical and mental condition of the Yogarudha -  the one who is established in Yoga. The Lord says that when one is without  mental attachment to sense-objects or actions in the outer world, he is said to  have obtained mastery over the mind.

When  the mind is without even traces of attachment either to the sense-objects or to  the fields of activity, even then it is possible that it will get distracted by  its own power of longing and desiring. Such disturbances caused by the inner  forces of the mind (Sankalpa) are more devastating than the ones caused by the  external world of objects.

Sri  Krishna indicates that the one who is said to have gained a complete mastery  over his mind is he who has not only withdrawn himself from all sense-contacts  and activities in the outer world but has also conquered all the  Sankalpa-disturbances arising in his own mind. Such an individual, at the  moment of meditation, in that inward state, is termed Yogarudha.

uddharedaatmanaatmaanam  naatmaanamavasaadayet
    atmaiva hyaatmano bandhuraatmaiva  ripuraatmanah  // 6.5 //
    Let  a man lift himself by himself; let him not degrade himself; for, he himself is  his friend and he himself is his enemy.

Sri  Krishna declares that `man should lift himself by himself'.  Man, if he wants to raise himself from an  animal existence to a noble life with all cultural and spiritual possibilities which  lie dormant in him, has to convert the lower instincts in him to a higher level  of perfection which is his essential nature.

Man  is basically a plural personality - he thinks he ought to be a morally strong,  ethically perfect, physically loving and socially disciplined ideal personality  but in actual practice he is always a victim of his own attachments and  aversions, likes and dislikes, love and hatred etc. So long as he does not realize  his own duality, there cannot be any religion for him.  But if he wants to make the lower in him as  bright as the higher, he has to adopt the technique called Religion. The  processes by which the lower is brought under control and discipline of the  higher are called spiritual practices.

This  process of self-rehabilitation cannot be executed with any outside help but has  to be done all by himself unto himself, all alone, all the way. Teachers,  scriptures and temples etc. are all guides only and the actual achievement  depends on the seeker's ability to come out of his misunderstandings.

The  step suggested so far goes only half way and the other half as suggested by The  Lord, is to see that the self thereafter does not fall down to its old level of  mundane existence. When the lower allows itself to be corrected by the higher,  the higher is called his friend.   But  when the lower does not allow itself to be controlled by the higher, the latter  is considered to be his enemy.

“The  Supreme is within us. It is the consciousness underlying the individualized  consciousness of every day life but not proportionate to it. The two are  different in kind, though the Supreme is realizable by one who is prepared to  lose his life in order to save it. For the most part we are unaware of the Self  in us because our attention is engaged by objects which we like or dislike. We  must get away from them, to become aware of the Divine in us. If we do not  realize the pointlessness, the irrelevance and the squalor of our ordinary  life, the true Self becomes the enemy of our ordinary life.

The  Universal Self and the personal self are not antagonistic to each other. The  Universal Self can be the friend or the foe of the personal self. If we subdue  our pretty cravings and desires, if we do not exert our selfish will, we become  the channel of the Universal Self. If our impulses are under control and if our  personal self offers itself to the Universal Self, the latter becomes our guide  and teacher. Every one of us has the freedom to rise or fall and our future is  in our own hands”. Dr.S.Radhakrishnan


bandhuraatmaatmanastasya  yenaatmaivaatmanaa jitah
    anaatmanastu shatrutwe vartetaatmaiva  shatruvat  // 6.6 //

To  him who has conquered himself by himself, his own self is a friend, but to him  who has not conquered himself, his own self is hostile like an external enemy.

To  the extent that the lower in us withdraws itself from its identifications with  the body and sense-organs, feelings and emotions to that extent it (the ego) is  said to have come under the influence of the nobler in us.

To  such an ego the Self is the friend.  But  where the ego rebels against the higher, to that unconquered self or  uncontrolled ego the Diviner Self is as inimical as an external foe.

The  higher Self becomes a friend to the lower if the latter allows itself to be  influenced by the former.  The Diviner  becomes inimical to the lower limited ego when the latter resists nobler  aspirations. We are therefore called upon to master the lower self by the  higher. The point is that the lower self is not to be destroyed. It can be used  as a helper, if it is held in check.

jitaatmanah prashaantasya paramaatmaa  samaahitah
    sheetoshna sukha duhkheshu tathaa  maanaapamaanayoh  // 6.7 //

When  one has conquered one’s (lower)self and has attained in the realm of  self-mastery, his Supreme Self abides ever focused; he is at peace in cold and  heat, in pleasure and pain, in honor and dishonor.

This  verse explains what exactly is achieved in the state of mental equipoise called  `Yogarudha'.  When the stage of Yogarudha  or the state of mental equipoise is reached, the mind is held steadfast in the  contemplation of the Supreme and the seeker is capable of maintaining  consistency of meditation in all circumstances, favorable and unfavorable.

Sri  Krishna enumerates all possible threats that an individual may come across  against his maintaining mental tranquility.   These impediments fall into three categories viz.

• relating to body  - heat and cold,
• relating to mind  - pleasure and pain
• relating to  intellect - honor and dishonor.

The  Lord says that in spite of all these obstacles in man's life the Supreme Self  is to be the focal point for constant realization. The man of serenity remains  unruffled in all circumstances, in all environments and in all companies.

“This  is the state of blessedness of the person who has established himself in unity  with the Universal Self. He is a jitatman whose calm and serenity are  not disturbed by the pairs of the opposites. The self in the body is generally  absorbed by the world of dualities, heat and cold, pain and pleasure but when  it controls the senses and masters the world, the self becomes free. The  Supreme Self is not different from the self in the body. When the self is bound  by the modes of prakriti or nature, it is called kshetrajna; when it is  freed from them, the same self is called the Supreme Self”. -  Dr.S.Radhakrishnan

jnaana vijnaana triptaatmaa kootastho  vijitendriyah
    yuktah ityuchyate yogee  samaloshtaashmakaanchanah  // 6.8 //

He  is said to be a steadfast Yogi who is satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, who  remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, and to whom a lump of earth, a  stone and gold are the same.

Sri  Krishna says that an individual, self-controlled and serene, who contemplates  constantly on the nature of the Self in all circumstances in life, soon gets  full divine satisfaction and becomes an unshakeable Yogi.

Knowledge  gained by study of Sastras is Gnana and one's own experience of the teachings  of Sastras is Vignana. Kootastha is the anvil. Red hot iron pieces are hammered  on the anvil for giving proper shape to them but the anvil itself remains  unchanged in spite of receiving repeated hammerings. So too, the seeker is  called changeless-Kootastha- whose heart remains unchanged in spite of it being  surrounded by the worldly objects. He is unperturbed by things and happenings  of the world and is therefore said to be equal-minded to the events of this  changing world. Such a saint remains tranquil with equal mental vision in all  conditions of life.  To him a clod of  mud, a stone and gold are all the same. Thus equanimity of mind is the  touchstone for spiritual evolution.

suhrinmitraaryudaaseena madhyastha  dweshya bandhushu
    saadhushwapi cha paapeshu samabuddhirvishishyate  // 6.9 //

He  who has equal regard for well-wishers, friends, enemies, the indifferent, the  neutral, the hateful, relatives, the righteous and the unrighteous, excels.

In  the previous verse it was stated that the man of perfection develops equal  vision to all the things of the outside world. Here the nature of relationship  of a man of perfect equipoise with the other living beings of the world is  discussed.

The  Lord says that such a man of excellence regards all relationships with equal  love and consideration irrespective of whether they are friends or foes or the  indifferent or the neutral or the hateful or the nearest relations. He does not  make any distinction between the righteous and unrighteous, the good and the  bad.

In  realizing the Self in him, he sees unity in all diversities and observes a  rhythm in the world outside.  To him, who  has realized himself to be the Self which is all pervading, the entire universe  becomes his own Self and therefore his relationship with other parts of the  universe is equal and the same.

The  method by which one can attain this highest goal with an assured result is  called Meditation which is explained exhaustively in the following verses.

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