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

samam kaayashirogreevam  dhaarayannachalam sthirah
    samprekshya naasikaagram swam  dishashchaanavalokayan  // 6.13 //

Let  him firmly hold his body, head and neck erect and still, gazing at the tip of  his nose without looking around.

The  Lord tells that the meditator should firmly hold his body in such a way that  his vertebral column is completely erect - the head, neck and the spinal column  should be vertical to the horizontal seat. Holding the body firmly means that  it should not be moved in any direction although it has to be kept relaxed.

Patanjali  points out that the posture should be steady and pleasing so as to aid  concentration. A right posture gives serenity of body. The body must be kept  clean if the living image of God is to be installed in it.

His  gaze should be fixed at the tip of his nose.   If this is followed literally there is a possibility of the seeker  getting headache, giddiness etc. Adi Sankara says that the term means that the  meditator should have his attention as though turned towards the tip of his own  nose. The meditator is advised not to look around so that his attention may not  get distracted.

prashaantaatmaa vigatabheer  brahmachaarivrate sthitah
    manah samyamya macchitto yukta aaseeta  matparah  // 6.14 //

Serene  minded, fearless, firm in the vow of Brahmacharya, having controlled the mind,  thinking on Me and balanced, let him sit in yoga, having Me as the Supreme  goal.

The  word Prashaanta means inward peace. This is the inner joy in which the  meditator will find himself as a result of regular practice. Fear is the  quality in a person who cannot believe that there is something beyond himself  which is the Supreme.

The  very process of turning towards the Supreme makes him afraid of nothingness.  The seeker should therefore be fearless since it is the deadliest enemy for  spiritual progress.

Even  after the mind becomes peaceful and joyous and fearlessness achieved after a  continuous practice of meditation and study of scriptures, no progress towards  the goal can be possible unless the seeker gets established himself in perfect  Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya implies the observance of celibacy as well as the  practice of self control in all fields of sense-stimulations and  sense-gratifications.

Without  self control the mind will become chaotic due to the pressures of the world of  objects. Unless the mind is provided with another target to concentrate upon it  cannot retreat from its usual pre-occupations with the external world. This  alternative is the inner field of the Self.

When  the body, mind and intellect are controlled through the above process, the seeker  gains mental energy and experiences an increasing capacity to withdraw within  himself and fix all his thoughts on `Me’, the Self. After taming the mind and  stopping it from its external wanderings, it should be kept focused upon the  Divine seeking nothing but the Supreme. The mind becomes still but not vacant  for it is fixed on the Supreme. Ishvara Pranidhana is a recognized way  in yoga discipline. They act in the world but the passionless tranquility of  the spirit remains undisturbed. They are like lotus in the lake which is  unruffled by the tide.

yunjannevam sadaa’tmaanam yogee  niyatamaanasah
    shaantim nirvaanaparamaam matsamsthaam adhigacchati  // 6.15 //

Thus,  always keeping the mind balanced, with his mind controlled, the Yogi attains to  the peace abiding in Me - the peace that culminates in total liberation -  Nirvana or Moksha.

After  explaining 1. The physical pose 2. Mental stability and 3. The consequent  intellectual self-application, The Lord gives out the last step in the  technique of meditation. When all the above stages of meditation have been gone  through the seeker becomes an unwavering person in his physical and subtler  existence. Such a person who constantly keeps his mind free from agitations  surely reaches the Supreme.  The word  `constantly' does not mean at the cost of his duty to his home and the society.  It means a consistent inner silence during meditation. At the peak of  meditation the mind becomes completely `still' and comes to a `halt'.

The  individual comes to experience an infinite peace when his mind is calmed. This  is the peace that always resides in the seeker. Thus when there is no mental,  intellectual and bodily disturbances and agitations, the seeker attains the  peace unknown in the outside world that ultimately ends in the Supreme Liberation  i.e. Nirvana-Paramam. In brief, the.meditator awakens to his own status of  Selfhood which is the fulfillment of the meditation.


naatyashnatastu yogo'sti na  chaikaantamanashnatah
    na chaati swapnasheelasya jaagrato naiva  chaarjuna  // 6.16 //

Verily,  Yoga is not possible for him, who eats too much, or for him who does not eat at  all; or for him who sleeps too much, or for him who is always awake, O Arjuna.

The  Lord gives guidelines in this verse and the following ones on the possible  pitfalls that have to be guarded against in pursuit of meditation.  The central theme of His guidance is that  moderation in all activities at all levels is the precondition for achieving  success in Meditation. Intemperateness in any field of behavior and activity  brings about mental agitations which are not conducive to the development of an  integrated personality. Therefore moderation in food, sleep and recreation is  directed.

Yoga  is not possible for him who eats too much nor for him who does not eat at all.  Eating means not only the process of consuming food but includes enjoyments  gained through all means of sense perceptions and inward experiences.  Similarly, neither too much sleep which erodes the faculties nor lack of sleep  which disturbs the body rhythm is advised for spiritual life. Everything in  moderation is the rule.

yuktaahaaravihaarasya yuktacheshtasya  karmasu
    yuktaswapnaavabodhasya yogo bhavati  duhkhahaa  // 6.17 //

Yoga  puts an end to all sorrows for him who is moderate in food and recreation, who  is moderate in his exertion at work, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness.

Moderation  but not complete self-denial in all activities of life like eating, recreation,  sleep and exertion in working is the basic principle stated here. The important  guideline in this verse is that the amount of effort put in for all work,  including selfless divine work, should be moderate as otherwise such work  instead of redeeming the seeker would enslave him. What is required is  restraint but not abstinence. Yoga should be practiced because it is capable of  destroying all miseries.

Concepts and Issues
  In  this Chapter, Sri Krishna clears the doubt of Arjuna as to whether a Yogi and a  Sanyasi are one and the same. The Lord says that everyone who wishes to become  a Yogi or Sanyasi must perform his bounden duty. By performing one's duty  without expectation of results one becomes a Yogi. By renouncing all worldly  thoughts, by constantly remembering God, through study of scriptures, Japa,  Kirtan and Meditation one becomes a Sanyasi.

He  who controls his body, mind and senses can remain calm in pleasure and pain,  heat and cold, honor and dishonor. For him there is no friend or enemy and he  feels no difference between gold and stone. He is a perfected Yogi. He sees God  in everything. Such a sage who is self-controlled and free from all desires  constantly engages his mind in meditation.

Sri  Krishna describes the pre-requisites for meditation and explains to Arjuna the  method of its practice. After observing all the preliminaries, with serenity of  mind, fearlessness and vow of continence, the meditator should think of The  Lord's presence between the two eye-brows which is the point of concentration.  Such a person will attain supreme peace or liberation.

The  Lord advises that an aspirant should adopt moderation in all his daily  activities like food, sleep and waking hours, yogic breathing and exercises,  satsangs and svadhyaya etc.
  Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
  Raise  yourself by yourself.
  Know  what meditation is and practice it regularly.
  Be  moderate in everything you do.

Points to Ponder
  1.  How one can keep his mind steady?
  2.  What are the pre-requisites for meditation?
  3.  How one’s own self is his own friend and enemy?
  4.  Write short notes on the greatest among all types of Yogis.
  Next time we will proceed from the Verse 6.18

Harih Om

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