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 Bhagavad Gita in English >> Path of Meditation - Chapter 6

Bhagavad Gita in English - Chapter 6
 
Path of Meditation - Chapter 6

A KARMA-YOGI IS A RENUNCIANT

Lord Krishna said: One who does not perform the prescribed duty just to enjoy its fruit is both a renunciant and a KarmaYogi. One does not become a renunciant merely by not lighting the fire, and one does not become a yogi merely by abstaining from work. (6.01)

O Arjuna, renunciation (Samnyasa) is the same as KarmaYoga because, one does not become a KarmaYogi who has not renounced personal mo­tive behind an action. (See also 5.01, 5.05, 6.01, and 18.02) (6.02)

DEFINITION OF YOGA

For the wise, who seek to attain yoga of meditation or the equanimity of mind, KarmaYoga is said to be the means. For one who has at­tained yoga, equanimity becomes the means of Self-realization. A person is said to have attained yogic perfection when he or she has no desire for sensual pleasures or attachment to the fruits of work and has renounced all personal motives. (6.03-04)

Yogic perfection can be achieved only when one does all activities just to please the Supreme Lord Krishna in the spirit of total surrender. KarmaYoga or selfless service produces tranquility of mind. When one per­forms action as a matter of duty without any motive, the mind is not disturbed by the fear of failure; it becomes tranquil, and one at­tains yogic perfection through meditation. The equanimity of mind necessary for Self-realization comes only after giving up all motives and desires. Selfishness is the root cause of other impure desires in the mind. The desireless mind becomes peaceful. Thus KarmaYoga is recommended to persons desiring success in yoga of meditation. Perfection in meditation results in control over the senses, bringing forth tranquility of mind that ultimately leads to God-realization.

MIND IS THE BEST FRIEND AS WELL AS THE WORST ENEMY

One must elevate---and not degrade---oneself by one’s own mind. The mind alone is one’s friend, as well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those who have control over it, and the mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it. (6.05-06)

There is no enemy other than an uncontrolled mind in this world (BP 7.08.10). Therefore, one should first try to control and conquer this enemy by regular practice of meditation with a firm determination and effort. All spiritual practices are aimed towards the conquest of the mind. Guru Nanak said: “Master the mind, and you master the world.” Sage Patanjali defines yoga as control over the activities (or the thought waves, Chitta Vritti) of mind and intellect (PYS 1.02). Firm control of the mind and senses is known as yoga (KaU 6.11). Control of the mind and senses is called austerity and yoga (MB 3.209.53). The purpose of meditation is to control the mind so that one can focus on God and live according to His instructions and will. The mind of a yogi is under control; a yogi is not under the control of the mind. Samkhya definition of meditation is effortless control of extrovert ten­dency of mind going towards sense objects and making it introvert by tuning it with the Supreme. A one-pointed, relaxed, introvert mind of a yogi is the most powerful and creative mind---it can do anything.

The mind, indeed, is the cause of bondage as well as liberation of the living entity. The mind becomes the cause of bondage when controlled by modes of material Nature, and the same mind, when at­tached to the Supreme, becomes the cause of salvation (BP 3.25.15). The mind alone is the cause of salvation as well as bondage of human beings. The mind becomes the cause of bondage when con­trolled by sense objects, and it becomes the cause of salvation when controlled by the intellect (VP 6.07.28). Absolute control over mind and senses is a prerequisite for any spiritual practice for Self-realization. One who has not become the master of the senses cannot progress to­wards the goal of Self-realization. Therefore, after establishing con­trol over the activities of the mind, one should take the mind away from the enjoyment of sensual pleasures and fix it on God. When the mind is disengaged from sense pleasures and engaged with God, sense impulses become ineffective because the senses obtain their power from the mind. The mind is the ruler of the other five senses. One who becomes master of the mind becomes master of all the senses.

One who has control over the lower self---the mind and senses---is tranquil in heat and cold, in pleasure and pain, in honor and dishonor, and remains ever steadfast with the supreme Self. (6.07)

One can realize God only when the mind becomes tran­quil and completely free from desires and dualities, such as pain and pleasure. However, people are rarely completely free from desires and duality. But one can become free from the bonds of desire and duality if one uses the mind and senses in the service of the Lord. They who master their mind get the spiritual wealth of knowledge and bliss. Self can only be realized when the lake of the mind becomes still, just as the reflection of the moon is seen in a lake when the water is still. (See also 2.70)

A person is called yogi who has both Self-knowledge and Self-realization, who is tranquil, who has control over the mind and senses, and to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are the same. (6.08)

A person is considered superior who is impartial toward companions, friends, enemies, neutrals, arbiters, haters, relatives, saints, and sin­ners. (6.09)

TECHNIQUES OF MEDITATION

A yogi, seated in solitude, should constantly contemplate the Supreme Being only; after bringing the mind and senses under control and becoming free from desires and proprietorship. (6.10)

The place of meditation should have the serenity, solitude, and spiritual atmosphere of odor-free, noise-free, and light-free caves of the Himalayas. Massive, gorgeous buildings with ex­quisite marble figures of celestial controllers are not enough. These often come at the expense of spirituality and help religious commerce only.

The eight steps of meditation based on Patanjali’s YogaSutras (PYS 2.29) are: (1) Moral restraints, (2) Regulative principles, (3) Right posture and yogic exercises, (4) Yogic breathing, (5) Sense withdrawal, (6) Con­cen­tration, (7) Meditation, and (8) Trance or supercon­scious state of mind.

One must follow these eight steps, one by one, under proper guidance to make progress in meditation. Use of breathing and concentration techniques without necessary puri­fication of the mind and without sublimation of feelings and desires by moral conduct and spiritual discipline (See 16.24) may lead to a dangerous, neu­rotic state of mind. Patanjali says: The sitting posture for meditation should be stable, relaxed, and comfortable for the individual’s physi­cal body (PYS 2.46).

Yogic breathing is not the forcible---and often harm­ful---retention of breath in the lungs as is commonly misunderstood and wrongly practiced. Patanjali defines it as control of the Prana ---the bioimpulses or the astral life forces---that cause the breath­ing process (PYS 2.49). It is a gradual process of bringing under con­trol or slowing down---by using standard yogic techniques, such as yogic postures, breathing exercises, locks, and gestures---the bioimpulses that activate the motor and sensory nerves that regulate breathing, and over which we normally have no control.

When the body is super­charged by the huge reservoir of omnipresent cosmic current flowing through the medulla oblongata, the need for breathing is reduced or eliminated and the yogi reaches the breathless state of trance, the last milestone of the spiritual journey. The Upanishad says: No mortal ever lives by breathing oxygen in the air alone. Mortals depend on something else (KaU 5.05). One does not live by food, water, and air alone, but by the cosmic en­ergy that comes from God. The cord of breath ties the living entity (soul) to the body-mind complex. A yogi unties the soul from the body and ties it with the Supersoul during the breath­less state of trance.

The withdrawal of the senses from the sense-objects is a major obstacle in the attainment of the goal of a yogi. When sense withdrawal has been accomplished, concentration, meditation, and Samadhi become very easy to master. The mind should be controlled and trained to follow the intellect rather than let it be drawn towards and controlled by gross sense objects, such as hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell. The mind is restless by nature. Watching the natural flow of breath coming in and going out, and alternate breath­ing help to make the mind steady.

The two most common techniques of sense with­drawal are these: (1) Focus your full attention on the point between the eyebrows. Perceive and expand a sphere of white, rotating light there, (2) Mentally chant a mantra or any holy name of the Lord as quickly as possible for a long time and let the mind get completely absorbed into the sound of mental chanting until you do not hear the ticking sound of a nearby clock. The speed and loudness of mental chanting should be increased with the restlessness of the mind, and vice versa. In meditation, one may tap the power of subconscious mind to achieve a noble desired goal in life.

Concentration on a particular part of a de­ity, on the sound of a mantra, on the flow of breath, on various energy centers in the body, on the mid-brows, on the tip of the nose, or on an imaginary white light of God inside the heart, stills the mind and stops it from wandering.

One should sit on his or her own firm seat that is neither too high nor too low, covered with grass, a deerskin, and a cloth, one over the other, in a clean spot. Sitting there in a comfortable position and concentrating the mind on God, controlling the thoughts and the activities of the senses, one should practice meditation to purify the mind and senses. (6.11-12)

A yogi should contemplate any beautiful form of God until the form becomes ever present in the mind. Short meditation with full concentration is better than long meditation without concentration. Fixing the mind on a sin­gle object of contemplation for twelve (12) seconds, two and one-half (2.5) minutes, and half an hour is known as concentration, meditation, and trance, respectively. Meditation and trance are the spontaneous re­sult of concentration. Meditation occurs when the mind stops oscillating off the point of concentration.

In the lower stage of trance (Savikalpa Samadhi), the mind becomes so centered on a particular part of the deity---such as the face or the feet---that it forgets everything. This is like a dream in a wakeful state where one remains aware of one’s mind, thoughts, and the surround­ings. In the highest stage of trance (Nirvikalpa Samadhi), the body becomes still and mo­tionless, and the mind experiences various aspects of the Truth. The mind permanently loses its individual identity, the ego, and becomes one with the cos­mic mind.

The superconscious state of mind is the highest stage of trance. In this state of mind, the normal human consciousness becomes connected to (or overpowered by) cosmic consciousness; one reaches a thoughtless, pulseless, and breathless state and does not feel anything except peace, joy, and supreme bliss. In the highest state of trance, the energy center (Chakra) on the top of the head opens up; the mind is merged into the infi­nite; and there is no mind or thought, but only the feeling of His transcendental existence, awareness, and bliss. A person who reaches this state is called a sage.

Attaining the blissful state of trance seems difficult for most people. Muniji gives a simple method. He says: When you are immersed in Him and His work is flowing through you, you become ever happy, ever joyful, and ever blissful.


Click here for a Guided Meditation Video

One should sit by holding the waist, spine, chest, neck, and head erect, motionless and steady; fix the eyes and the mind steadily on the front of the nostril without looking around; make your mind serene and fearless; practice celibacy; have the mind under control; think of Me, and have Me as the supreme goal. (See also 4.29, 5.27, 8.10, and 8.12) (6.13-14)

My Kriya Guru, Swami Hariharananda, suggests keeping pinpointed attention penetrat­ing four inches deep between the eyebrows near the master gland---the pi­tuitary. Fixing the gaze on the nose tip is one of the gestures of KriyaYoga recommended by Swami Sivananda to awaken the Kundalini power located at the base of the spine. After a little prac­tice each day, the eyes will become accustomed and slightly convergent and see the two sides of the nose. As you gaze at the nose tip, concentrate on the movement of breath through the nos­trils. After ten minutes, close your eyes and look into the dark space in front of your closed eyes. If you see a light, concentrate on it be­cause this light can completely absorb your consciousness and lead you to trance according to yogic scriptures. The beginner should first prac­tice fixing the gaze at the mid-brows, as mentioned in verse 5.27, or at the cerebrum, as hinted in verse 8.12, before learning to fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. The help of a teacher and use of a mantra is highly recommended.

Celibacy helps to still the mind and awaken the dormant Kundalini. Celibacy and certain breathing exercises cleanse the subtle body. The subtle body is nourished by seminal and ovarian energy, just as the gross body needs food for nour­ish­ment. Sarada Ma warned her disciples not to be intimate with per­sons of the opposite gender even if God came in that form. The role of celibacy in spiritual life is overlooked in the West because it is not an easy task for most people. The individual should choose the right life partner for a successful spiritual journey if celibacy is not possi­ble. It is very dangerous to force celibacy on oneself or disciples who are not ready for it. The scripture says: Just as a King, protected by castle walls, wins over the enemy, similarly those who want victory over the mind and senses should try to subdue them by living as a householder (BP 5.01.18).

Sublimation of the sex impulse precedes enlighten­ment (AV 11.05.05). One sense organ, attached to its object, can drain the intellect, just as one hole in a water pot can empty the water (MS 2.99). One commits sin by engaging senses to sense objects and ob­tains yogic powers by controlling the senses (MS 2.93). Transmutation of the life force of procreative energy leads to yoga. It is difficult but possible to transcend sex by beholding the presence of the divine in the body of all human beings and mentally bowing down to them.

Thus, by always practicing to keep the mind fixed on Me, the yogi whose mind is subdued attains the Supreme peace of Nirvana and unites with Me. (6.15)

This yoga is not possible, O Arjuna, for one who eats too much or who does not eat at all, who sleeps too much or too little. (6.16)

The yoga of meditation destroys all sorrow for the one who is moderate in eating, recreation, working, sleep­ing, and waking. (6.17)


The Gita teaches that extremes should be avoided at all costs in all spheres of life. This moderation of the Gita was eulogized by Lord Buddha who called it the middle path, the right way, or the noble path. A healthy mind and body are required for successful performance of any spiritual practice. Therefore, it is required that a yogi should regulate his daily bodily functions, such as eating, sleeping, bathing, resting and recreation. Those who eat too much or too little may become sick or fragile. It is recommended to fill half of the stomach with food, one fourth with water, and leave the rest empty for air. If one sleeps more than six hours, one's lethargy, passion, and bile may increase. A yogi should avoid extreme indulgence in uncontrolled desires as well as the opposite extreme of yogic disci­pline---the torturing of the body and mind.

A person is said to have achieved yoga, union with the Self, when the perfectly disciplined mind becomes free from all desires and gets completely united with the Source in God consciousness. (6.18)

The lamp (of mind) in a spot sheltered (by wall of the Self) from the wind (of desire) does not flicker. This simile is used for the subdued mind of a yogi absorbed in Self-consciousness. (6.19)

The sign of yogic perfection is that the mind remains always undisturbed like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
When the mind, disciplined by yogic practice, becomes steady and quiet, one becomes content with the Self by beholding the Self (everywhere and in everything) with purified intellect. (6.20)

The self is present in all living beings as fire is present in wood. Friction makes the presence of fire in the wood visible to the eyes, similarly meditation makes the Self, residing in the body, per­ceivable (MB 12.210.42). A psychophysical transformation (or the superconscious state) of mind in trance is necessary for God-reali­zation. Each of us has access to the superconscious mind that is not limited by time and space.

One cannot comprehend the Infinite by reason. Reason is powerless to grasp the nature of the beginningless Absolute. The highest faculty is not reasoning but intuition, the comprehension of knowledge coming from the Self and not from the fallible senses or reasoning. Self can be perceived by the intuitive experience in the highest state of trance or by any other means. Yogananda said: Meditation can enlarge the magic cup of intuition to hold the ocean of infinite wisdom.
One feels infinite bliss that is perceivable only through the intellect, and is beyond reach of the senses. After realizing the Absolute Reality, one is never separated from it. (6.21)

After Self-realization (SR), one does not regard any other gain supe­rior to SR. Established in SR, one is not moved even by the greatest calamity. (6.22)

The state of severance from union with sorrow is called yoga. This yoga should be practiced with firm determination, and without any mental reservation. (6.23)

Yoga is attained after long, constant, vigor­ous practice of meditation (or any other Sadhana) with firm faith (PYS 1.14).
One gradually attains tranquility of mind by totally abandoning all desires, completely restraining the senses by the intellect, and keeping the mind fully absorbed in Self-perception by means of a well-trained and purified intellect and thinking of nothing else. (6.24-25)

When the mind is freed with the help of spiritual practices from the impurities of lust and greed born out of the feeling of ‘I, me, and my’, it remains tranquil in material happiness and distress (BP 3.25.16).

Wherever this restless and unsteady mind wanders (during meditation), one should bring it back under the control of Self-awareness. (6.26)

The mind plays tricks to wander and roam in the world of sensuality. The meditator should keep the mind fixed on the Self by always pondering that one is the soul, not the body. Just watch and laugh at the wanderings of the mind and gently bring it back under the supervision and control of the intellect and Self-awareness.

The natural tendency of the mind is to wander. We know from personal experience that the mind is very difficult to control. To control the mind is an impossible task like controlling the wind. The human mind can be subdued by any sincere spiritual practice such as meditation and detachment (Gita 6.34-35). Most commentators, however, have stated that the mind should be restrained and brought back under the control of the Self when it starts to wander during meditation. We know that restraining the mind is like restraining the wind.

Atma is considered supe­rior to the body, senses, mind, and the intellect. (Gita 3.42). Thus we can use the awareness of the Atma to subdue the mind. Swami Vishvas has developed a meditation technique based on a slightly different interpretation of verse 6.26. This Method of meditation, based on the theory: Never let the mind wander unsupervised, is described below:

Assume the meditative posture given in verse 6.13. It is a very good practice, before starting any work, to invoke the grace of the personal god of your choice that you believe in. Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna or one’s guru should be also invoked by Hindus.

The main aim of meditation, or any spiritual practice, is to get oneself out of the outer world and its activities, start the journey within, and become an introvert. Always keep in mind that you are not the body nor the mind nor the intellect, but Self (Atma) that is separate and superior to the body-mind-ego (BME) complex. Detach your Self from the BME and make the Self a witness during meditation. Withdraw your mind from the outside world and fix your gaze at any one center of your choice (pituitary gland, the sixth Chakra, front of the nostrils, the heart center, or the naval center) where you feel most comfortable. Witness the activities of the mind without becoming judgmental ---good or bad---about the thoughts coming to your mind. Just relax, take a joy ride in the back seat of the vehicle of mind, and watch the wanderings of mind in the thought-world. The mind will wander because this is its nature. It will not remain quiet in the beginning. Do not be in a hurry to slow down, pressure, control, or try to engage the mind in any other way, such as by chanting a mantra, concentrating on any object or thought.

Detach yourself completely from your mind and watch the play of Maya, the mind. Do not forget that your job is to see your (lower) self, the mind, with the (higher) Self, the Atma. Do not get attached or carried away by the thought waves (Vritti) of the mind; just witness or follow it. After serious and sincere practice, the mind will start slowing down when it finds out that it is being constantly watched and followed. Do not add anything to the process of witnessing the inner world of thought process (Chitta-vritti). Slowly, your power of concentration will increase; the mind will join the inward journey as a friend (Gita 6.05-06); and a state of bliss will radiate all around you. You will go beyond thought to the thoughtless world of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Practice this for half an hour in the morning and evening or at any other convenient, but fixed, time of your choice. The progress will depend on several factors beyond your control, but just persist without procrastination. Always conclude the meditation process with the triple sound vibration of Aum, and thank God.

WHO IS A YOGI

Supreme bliss comes to a Self-realized yogi whose mind is tranquil, whose desires are under control, and who is free from faults or sin. (6.27)

Such a sinless yogi, who constantly engages his or her mind and intellect in Self-awareness, enjoys the eternal bliss of contact with the Self. (6.28)

Yogananda said: In the absence of inward joy, peo­ple turn to evil. Meditation on the God of bliss permeates us with goodness.

A yogi who is in union with the Supreme Being sees every being with an equal eye because of perceiving the omnipresent Supreme Being (or the Self) abiding in all beings and all beings abiding in the Supreme Being. (See also 4.35, 5.18) (6.29)

Perception of oneness of the Self in every being is the highest spiritual perfection. Sage Yajnavalkya said: A wife does not love her husband because of his or her physical satisfaction. She loves her husband because she feels the oneness of her soul with his soul. She is merged in her husband and becomes one with him (BrU 2.04.05). The foun­dation of Vedic marriage is based on this noble and solid rock of soul culture and is unbreakable. Trying to develop any meaningful human relationship with­out a firm understanding of the spiritual basis of all relationships is like trying to water the leaves of a tree rather than the root.

When one perceives one’s own higher Self in all peo­ple and all people in one’s own higher Self, then one does not hate or injure anybody (IsU 06). Eternal peace belongs to those who perceive God existing within everybody as Spirit (KaU 5.13). One should love oth­ers, including the enemy, because all are your own self. "Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you" is not only one of the no­blest teachings of the Bible, but is an elementary idea common to all paths leading to God. When one realizes that his or her very self has become everything, whom shall one hate or punish? One does not break the teeth that bite the tongue. When one perceives none other than one’s own Lord abiding in the entire universe, with whom shall one fight? One should not only love the roses, but love the thorns also.

One who sees One in all and all in One, sees the One everywhere. To fully under­stand this and to experience the oneness of individual soul and the Supersoul, is the highest achievement and the only goal of human birth (BP 6.16.63). In the fullness of one’s spiritual development, one finds that the Lord, who resides in one’s own heart, resides in the hearts of all others---the rich, the poor, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the persecuted, the persecutor, the saint, and the sinner. Therefore, to hate a single person is to hate Him. This re­aliza­tion makes one a truly humble saint. One who realizes that the Supersoul is all-pervading and is none other than one’s own individual self, bereft of all impurities collected over various incarnations, attains immortality and bliss.

One, who sees Me everywhere (and in everything) and beholds everything as a part and parcel of Me, is not separated from Me, and I am not separated from him. (6.30)

A Self-realized person sees Me in the entire universe and in oneself and sees the entire universe and oneself in Me. When one sees Me pervading everything, just as fire pervades wood, one is at once freed from delusion. One attains salvation when one sees oneself different from body, mind, and the modes of material Nature and non-different from Me (BP 3.09.31-33). The wise see their own higher Self present in the entire universe and the entire universe present in their own higher Self. True devotees never fear any condition of life, such as reincarnation, living in heaven or in hell, because they see God everywhere (BP 6.17.28). If you want to see, remember, and be with God at all times, then you must practice and learn to see God in everything and everywhere.

The non-dualists, who adore Me abiding in all beings, abide in Me irrespective of their mode of living. (6.31)
The best yogi is one who regards every being like oneself and who can feel the pain and pleasures of others as one’s own, O Arjuna. (6.32)

One should consider all creatures as one’s own children (BP 7.14.09). This is one of the qualities of a true devotee. The sages consider all women their mother, other’s wealth a clod, and all beings as their own self. Rare is a person whose heart melts by the fire of grief of others and who rejoices hear­ing the praise of others.

TWO METHODS TO SUBDUE THE RESTLESS MIND

Arjuna said: O Krishna, You have said that the yoga of meditation is charac­terized by equanimity of mind, but due to restlessness of mind, I find it difficult to perceive it as steady. Because the mind, indeed, is very unsteady, turbulent, powerful, and obstinate, O Krishna. I think restraining the mind is as difficult as re­straining the wind. (6.33-34)

Lord Krishna said: Undoubtedly, O Arjuna, the mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by any constant vig­orous spiritual practice---such as meditation ---with perseverance, and by detach­ment, O Arjuna. (6.35)

Detachment is proportional to one’s understanding of the baselessness of the world and its objects (MB 12.174.04). Contemplation without detachment is like jewels on the body without clothes (TR 2.177.02). Anything can be achieved by years of deliberate practice (See more in verse 17.03).

Yoga is difficult for one whose mind is not subdued. However, yoga is attainable by the person of subdued mind who strives through proper means. (6.36)

DESTINATION OF UNSUCCESSFUL YOGI

Arjuna said: What is the destination of the faithful who deviate from the path and fail to attain yogic perfection due to an unsubdued mind, O Krishna? (6.37)

Do they not perish like a dispersing cloud, O Krishna, having lost both the heavenly and the worldly pleasures, supportless and bewildered on the path of Self-realization? (6.38)

O Krishna, only You are able to completely dispel this doubt of mine because there is none other than You who can dispel such a doubt. (See also 15.15) (6.39)

Arjuna asked a very good question. Because the mind is very difficult to control, it may not be possible to achieve perfection during one's lifetime. Does all the effort get wasted? The answer comes:

Lord Krishna said: Spiritual practice performed by a yogi never goes to waste either in this life or in the next life. A transcendentalist never takes a birth lower than the present one, My dear friend. (6.40)

The less evolved unsuccessful yogi is reborn in the house of the pious and prosperous after attaining heaven and living there for many years. The highly evolved unsuccessful yogi does not go to heaven, but is born in a spiritually advanced family. A birth like this is very difficult, indeed, to obtain in this world. (6.41-42)

The unsuccessful yogi regains the knowledge acq­uired in the previous life and strives again to achieve perfection from the point where he had left, O Arjuna. (6.43)

The unsuccessful yogi is instinctively carried towards God by vir­tue of latent Karmic impressions (Samskara) of yogic practices of previous lives. Even the inquirer of yoga (or union with God) surpasses those who perform Vedic rituals (for material gains). (6.44)

The yogi who diligently strives becomes completely free from all imperfections after becoming gradually perfect through many incarnations and reaches the Supreme Abode. (6.45)

One must be very careful in spiritual life, or there is a possibility of being carried away by the powerful wind of bad association created by Maya, and one may abandon the spiritual path. One should never get discouraged. The unsuccessful yogi gets another chance by starting over from where he or she leaves off. The spiritual journey is long and slow, but no sin­cere effort is ever wasted. Normally it takes many, many births to reach the perfection of salvation. All living entities (souls) are eventually redeemed after they reach the zenith of spiritual evolution.

WHO IS THE BEST YOGI?


The yogi is superior to the ascetics. The yogi is superior to the Vedic scholars. The yogi is superior to the ritualists. Therefore, O Arjuna, be a yogi. (6.46)

And I consider the yogi-devotee---who lovingly con­templates Me with supreme faith and whose mind is ever ab­sorbed in God consciousness---to be the best of all the yogis. (See also 12.02 and 18.66) (6.47)

Meditation or any other act becomes more power­ful and efficient if it is done with knowledge, faith, and devotion to God. Meditation is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for spiritual progress. The mind should be kept ever absorbed in thoughts of God. The meditative mood is to be continued during other times through scriptural study, Self-analysis, and selfless service. It is said that no single yoga alone is complete without the presence of other yogas. Just as the right combination of all ingredients is essential for prepa­ration of a good meal, similarly selfless service, chanting of Lord's name, meditation, study of scriptures, contem­plation, and devotional love are essential for reaching the supreme goal. Some seekers prefer just to stick to one path. They should try all other major paths and see if a combination is better for them or not. Any path can become the right path if one has completely surrendered to God. The person who meditates with deep devotional love of God is called a yogi-devotee and is considered to be the best of all yogis.

Before one can purify one's psyche by a mantra or meditation, one has to reach a level whereby one's system of consciousness becomes sensitive to a mantra. This means one's mundane desires must be first fulfilled---or satisfied---by detachment, and one has practiced the first four steps of Patanjali’s YogaSutra. It is just like cleaning jewelry first before gold-plating it.




OM TAT SAT

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