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


yogee yunjeeta satatamaatmaanam rahasi  sthitah
    ekaakee yatachittatmaa  niraasheeraparigrahah  // 6.10 //

A  Yogi should always try constantly to concentrate his mind (on the Supreme Self),  remaining in solitude, living alone with the mind and body controlled, free from  desires and possessions.

In  the previous verses Arjuna wanted to know the ways and means of achieving the  constant experience of inward equilibrium. Sri Krishna explains the methods of  self-development and the technique of self-perfection which can be attained by  all. The method taught by The Lord requires the seekers to exert themselves by  constantly practicing concentration which is called meditation.

The  pre-requisites for practicing meditation are:
•Rahasi Sthitah -  Remaining in solitude: Sitting in solitude one should practice meditation. This  does not mean that meditation can be practiced only in jungles or in lonely  caves. It means that even in one's own home one should try to withdraw himself  mentally and physically from the normal preoccupations and retire to a secluded  spot for practicing meditation. Solitude can be gained only when there is  mental withdrawal from the world outside. One who is full of desires and  constantly thinking about sense-objects cannot gain solitude even in a remote  forest. Solitude lifts our hearts and exalts our minds. In a world which is  daily growing noisier, the duty of the civilized man is to have moments of  thoughtful stillness.  Retiring to a  quiet place, we should keep off all external distractions.  
•Ekaki – Alone: For  the purposes of meditation one has to be physically alone.  His success depends upon the amount of  self-control he is adopting in his daily life. 
•Yatachittatmana -  Self-controlled. He must not be excited, strained or anxious. There should be  no restlessness or turbulence. The heart must become clean if it is to reflect  God who is to be seen and known only by the pure in heart.  
•Niraasheer - Free  from desires: Worry about daily needs, about earning and spending disturbs  meditation and takes us away from the life of the spirit. So we must be free  from desire and anxiety born of it, from greed and fear. We should expect  nothing, insist on nothing. 
•Aparigrahah -  Free from longing for possessions:  This  is a spiritual state and not a material condition. We must control the appetite  for possessions; free ourselves from the tyranny of belongings. One cannot hear  God’s voice, if one is restless and self-centered, if one is dominated by  feelings of pride, jealousy or possessiveness.

“The  Gita points out our happiness is inward. It invites our attention to the manner  of our life, the state of human consciousness, which does not depend upon the  outward machinery of life. The body may die and the world pass away but the  life in spirit endures. Our treasures are not the things of the world that  perish but the knowledge and love of God that endure. We must get out of the  slavery to things to gain the glad freedom of spirit.

Here  the Lord develops the technique of mental discipline on the lines of  Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. When one starts meditating upon the Truth within these  parameters, he is considered to be the true seeker trying to achieve the  highest in life. The main purpose of this exercise is to raise our  consciousness from its ordinary waking condition to higher levels until it  attains Union with the Supreme. The human mind is ordinarily turned outwards.  Absorption in the mechanical and material sides of life leads to misbalanced  condition of consciousness.

Yoga  attempts to explore the inner world of consciousness and helps to integrate the  conscious and the sub-conscious. We must divest our minds of all sensual  desires, abstract our attention from all external objects and absorb it in the  object of meditation. By summoning all the energies of the mind and fixing them  on one point, we raise the level of reference from the empirical to the real,  from observation to vision and let the spirit take possession of our whole  being. The practice must be constant. It is no use to taking to meditation by  fits and starts. A continuous creative effort is necessary for developing the  higher, the intenser form of consciousness”. - Dr. S.Radhakrishnan.


The  Lord now explains the other aids to meditation like modes of sitting, eating,  recreation etc. in the following verses.

shuchau deshe pratishthaapya  sthiramaasanamaatmanah
    naatyucchritam naatineecham  chailaajinakushottaram  // 6.11 //

Having  established in a clean spot his firm seat, neither too high nor too low, made  of a cloth, a skin and Kusa grass, one over the other.

tatraikaagram manah kritwaa  yatachittendriyakriyah
    upavishyaasane  yunjyaadyogamaatmavishuddhaye  // 6.12 //

There,  having made the mind one-pointed, with actions of the mind and sense  controlled, let him, seated on the seat, practice yoga for the purification of  the self.

Sri  Krishna now gives a complete and exhaustive explanation of the technique of  meditation.  The seat for practice of meditation  should be in a clean place. The external conditions have a direct bearing on  the human mind. The chances for the seeker to maintain a pure mental condition  are more in a clean place. A tidy atmosphere causes the least mental  disturbances.

The  meditator should sit steady (sthiram) in his seat without moving his body in  any direction since physical movements destroy the mental concentration and  inner equipoise. In order to get established in a firm posture, it would be  advisable to sit in any comfortable seat with the vertebral column erect,  fingers interlocked and hands thrown in front.

The  seat of meditation should not be too high or too low. Too high a seat causes a  sense of insecurity and a seat too low may cause bodily pains. During  meditation the heart becomes slightly slow causing even a slight fall in blood  pressure and to that extent one gets withdrawn in himself. At such a time of  low resistance, the position of the seat plays a vital part.

The  mattress of Kusa Grass on the ground covered by a deer skin and a piece of  cloth on top of it protects one from dampness, cold and heat.

Sitting  properly by itself is not Yoga. While proper physical condition is necessary  for inducing right mental attitude for spiritual practices, by itself it cannot  assure any spiritual self development. Hence Sri Krishna tells here what a  seeker should do in the seat of meditation having brought his body in a steady  condition and how his mind and intellect should be kept engaged.

These  instructions of The Lord are: One should make the mind single pointed by  subduing the faculty of imagination and activities of the sense organs.  Although single pointedness is the nature of the mind, by virtue of its  capacity for imagination or wishful thinking and on account of the pulls and  pressures of the external sense objects on the sense organs, it gets wild and scattered.  The Lord says that if these two sources of dissipation are closed, the mind  will get automatically single pointed. Keeping the mind contemplating on the  Ultimate Self constantly is the inner Yoga suggested here.

The  effect of such meditation is inner purification.  A purified mind is the one wherein there are no  agitations and when the mind becomes thus steady and pure, it discovers its own  Real Nature just like one understands himself by looking at his own image in a  mirror. The purification of the heart, chittasuddhi, is a matter of  discipline. It is a disciplined disinterestedness. Blessed are the pure in  heart for they shall see God. Wisdom is a condition in a being at rest.

Receive Site Updates