Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 6 (Part-2) Dhyaana Yogah- Yoga of Meditation


tapaswibhyo'dhiko yogee jnaanibhyo'pi  mato'dhikah
    karmibhyashchaadhiko yogee tasmaad yogee  bhavaarjuna  // 6.46 //

The  Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of  Knowledge (obtained merely through the study of scriptures); he is also  superior to men of action; therefore, you strive to be a Yogi, O Arjuna .

Sri  Krishna brings out here that meditation is more important than various other  practices in the matter of Spiritual Development.  He says that the meditator is nobler than the  Tapaswi, the one who observes austerities of the body and physical  self-denials. The meditator is nobler than the Gnani also who deeply studies  the scriptures and acquires their knowledge. The meditator is nobler than  Karmis who undertake actions like sacrifices and other rituals enjoined in the  Vedas as also charitable activities for obtaining rewards.

Through  austerities, study, Vedic rituals, and philanthropic action, one attains purity  of heart and then follows the path of Self-Knowledge. But the practice of yoga  which is said to be superior to jnana, tapas and karma has the best of all the  three and includes devotion. Yoga or union with God which is attained through  Bhakti is superior because it enables one to arrive directly at the Supreme  Goal. Arjuna is therefore advised to strive to be a yogi. Jnana here means  scriptural learning and not spiritual realization.

yoginaamapi sarveshaam  madgatenaantaraatmanaa
    shraddhaavaan bhajate yo maam sa me  yuktatamo matah  // 6.47 //

And  among all the yogis, the one who worships Me with faith, his inmost self abiding  in Me, I hold him to be the most closely united with Me in Yoga.

It  has been told earlier that meditation is the best among all the paths of  spirituality.  Meditation is a deliberate  act by which the seeker strives to keep his thoughts channelized into one  pre-determined line of thinking by not allowing the mind to entertain any other  thoughts. It is therefore an attempt to fix the mind upon some object of  contemplation.

According  to the chosen nature of the object of contemplation and the method of controlling  the mind from its wanderings, the art of meditation is classified as meditation  upon a symbol, on a god-principle with a form, on the teacher, on the  Kundalini, on any of the Great Elements or on a chosen text in the scriptures.  Accordingly, the practitioners may be considered as followers of different  kinds of meditation.

Yoga  or union with the God which is attained through Bhakti is the highest goal. It  also means the science of concentration and stilling of the modes of the mind.  After giving a long account of the yoga discipline, the obstacles to be  overcome, the Lord concludes that the greatest among the yogins is the devotee  or the Bhakta.

This  verse, following the praise of yoga, tells that devotion to God which makes one  to cling to The Lord in utter faith and self-surrender makes yoga all the more  exalted.

Gita  stresses the importance of love of God or Ishwara and devotion to Him which make  spiritual discipline complete. It emphasizes the path of Bhakti (devotion) as  the easiest and best form of Yoga.

om  tat sat iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam yogashaastre
    sri  krishnaarjuna samvaade dhyaanayogo naama shashthodhyaayah

Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal,  the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the  sixth discourse entitled  The Yoga   of Meditation

Concepts and Issues
Entitled ‘The Yoga of Meditation’, this chapter of the Bhagavad  Gita elucidates meditation as the final gateway to Self-realization. Krishna begins with the definition of a sannyasi, a  renounced person. Renunciation is not giving up enjoyments, abandoning one’s  duties and escaping to a safe sanctuary. It is this misunderstanding that has  turned away genuine seekers and prevented them from accessing the benefits of  renunciation. Krishna describes a sannyasi as one who does what one ought to  do, fulfils one’s duties and responsibilities fully, without depending on the  fruit of action.
  A sannyasi is not one without a higher ideal, nor is he an inactive person. Krishna describes the three stages of spiritual  evolution, from an active yogi to a meditative sannyasi and, finally, to the  exalted state of a jnani, the enlightened One.
  A sannyasi has offloaded the bulk of his desires and is in contemplation of the  higher. He is fit for meditation and embarks on the path of deep reflection and  focus on reality. A jnani has reached the exalted state of enlightenment. Krishna describes the three stages in terms of mental  states rather than external appearances.
  Step by step, Krishna takes us through the  preparatory disciplines as well as disqualifications for meditation. One must  have a balanced contact with the world – neither too much nor too little. Every  activity must be carefully supervised by the intellect so that no desire  interrupts the subtle practice of meditation.
  Krishna then gives the test of enlightenment.  A realized soul is one who feels one with everyone. He sees his Self as the  Self in all beings. In the end he worships God not in a temple, but in every  living being. Thereafter, he lives in Atman, whatever his lifestyle. It is to  be understood that declaring love for God has no meaning when we cannot connect  with His images around us.

On  hearing the glory of the qualities of equanimity of mind and equal vision  Arjuna wants to know how the powerful turbulence of mind can be got over. Sri  Krishna says that mind can be controlled by dispassion and practice.

Whenever  the mind, due to its previous habits, strays away from the object of  meditation, it should be repeatedly brought back on the object of concentration  with effort. By such constant practice of meditation the meditator and the  object of meditation will become one and then he will enjoy the supreme Bliss.  The Yogi whose mind is thus harmonized will see the Self in all beings and all  beings in the Self. He never becomes separate from The Lord nor does The Lord  become separated from him. The perfected saint acts as an instrument in the  hands of God. The key words are vairagya,  dispassion and abhyasa, practice.

The  mind must be made to rest in God like a lamp placed in a windless room. When  the mind is restrained by the practice of meditation, it realizes the Self  within. It experiences such Bliss as if there is nothing else in the three  worlds worth possessing. Even the bitterest of the sorrows will not disturb  such a mind. One should practice Sadhana with determination to enjoy that  supreme joy.

In  this Chapter Sri Krishna teaches that meditation is the only means to attain  God-consciousness in all stages of human evolution and that attaining such consciousness  is the purpose of all Yogas. In all the methods of spiritual practices (Yoga)  the mind alone plays an important role.

When  the mind is directed towards God, with a comprehensive understanding, one's  perception, attitude and desires for the world change automatically. On  realizing the Self even the taste for the sense-objects ceases. Thus by  experiencing the God-consciousness through continuous meditation one perceives  the Unity in Diversity when all the desires come to an end.
  Arjuna, like us, is afraid of leaving the safe confines of his present  existence to discover the unknown realm of the Infinite. He asks Krishna what would be the fate of those who commit  themselves to a spiritual life but die before realization. Krishna  gives a fitting reply to reveal one of the most insightful laws of life. He  says, “One who is righteous will never come to grief – either now or in the  future. His efforts will not go in vain. He will carry forward the credits to his  future life”.
  A spiritually evolved person who falls short of realization will either be born  in the family of the pious and the pure  or Yogis. There, endowed with the wisdom acquired in  previous lives, he will strive even more to attain enlightenment. Thus the  diligent seeker effortlessly reaches Brahman.

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
  Meditation is the highest spiritual technique that needs to be  practiced diligently and devotedly by qualified practitioners. The essential  prerequisite is a calm mind. A mind burdened with desires and attachments is  unable to take off into subtler realms of concentration and meditation.

Yoga  brings about a disciplined mind. This can be brought about by curtailing the  outgoing tendencies of the mind. It leads to bliss. Once the state of bliss is  reached, all other worldly matters lose their influence over the body and mind.  Such a man will feel his oneness with God. He will experience unity in  diversity. Any effort towards meditation is not wasted and it will have its  benefits in the future births also.

Points to Ponder 
•State of thoroughly disciplined mind 
•State of the one who realized God 
•Process of meditation 
•Withdrawing and controlling the mind from its wanderings 
•The greatest among all types of Yogis 
•Seeing the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self

Next time we will take up Chapter 7

Harih Om

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