Bhagavad Gita English 6

आत्म संयम योगः

Dhyana Yoga, Yoga of meditationअथ षष्ठोऽध्यायः  

The main topics of this chapter are:






General disciplines for meditation

बहिरंग साधनानि      




Specific disciplines अंतरंग साधनानि 



The process of meditation ध्य़ान स्वरूप

16- 17


The fruit of meditation ध्यान फलम्



Obstacles of meditation



Arjuna’s doubts



Krishna dispels doubts



 There are two disciplines for self knowledge (आत्म ज्ञानम्); general disciplines and specific disciplines. Karma yoga is a general discipline which has been elaborately dealt with in chapters 3, 4, and 5.  In the 6th chapter yoga of meditation (dhyana yoga) has been explained. It is called nidhidhyasana. The discipline fallowed prior to meditation is  called Upasana.  Nidhidhyasana is the fruit of learning the knowledge from a guru (Shravanam) and recapitulation (mananam). It involves negation of three concepts of identification with body, belief that the world is true, and God stays somewhere out there. In 6th chapter the Lord teaches us negation of them.

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Eulogy of nishkama karma yogiश्रीभगवानुवाचअनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः ।स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥६:१॥

anāśritaḥ karmaphalaṁ kāryaṁ karma karōti yaḥ |

sa saṁnyāsī ca yōgī ca na niragnirna cākriyaḥ ||6:1||


अनाश्रितः कर्मफलम् कार्यम् कर्म करोति यः सः संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निः न च अक्रियः  

anāśritaḥ karmaphalam kāryam karma karōti yaḥ saḥ saṁnyāsī ca yōgī ca na niragniḥ na ca akriyaḥ  


अनाश्रितः-not depending  कर्मफलम्-on the fruit of actions, material benefit of action like promotion, perks कार्यम्-obligatory or prescribed by scriptures.कर्म-activity करोति-performs यः-who सः-he संन्यासी- sanyasi (renunciant) च-and  योगी-yogi   (karmayogi) च-also निरग्निः-who has merely renounced sacred fire न- is no sanyasi न च-nor अक्रियः-one he who abandons actions.


The Blessed Lord said:

One who performs the prescribed duty without seeking its fruit for personal enjoyment is both a sanyasi and a KarmaYogi. One is no sanyasi merely because he has renounced the sacred fire; just as one is no yogi because he has merely given up all activity.


अनाश्रितः कर्मफलम् कार्यम् कर्म करोति यः सः संन्यासी च योगी च– One who performs his dutiful actions without craving for its results is indeed a renunciant, a Sanyasi or yogi. In the fifth chapter karma sanyasa and karmayoga were discussed. In this chapter dhyana yoga (meditation) or atma samyama

yoga is taken up which is beneficial for both karma sanyasa and karma yoga. Meditation is practice-centric. Whatever shastras and books we may have studied do not belong to us unless the knowledge is put into practice. A bank cashier may handle a million rupees in a day but it does not belong to him. He has to carry home only his salary and perks.


There is a misconceptionin the mind of people that all those who wear ochre, have long beard and display religious stickers on their face and body is a sanyasi. Again those who sit alone in caves or temple precincts is a yogi. These are only external marks. What is important is their attitude. They have to give up desire for fruit of work and attachment to

pleasures. They have to perform their obligatory duties. They should not take up works which are prohibited by law or shastras. More over they have to forego ownership of action and sense of being beneficiary. Only then they can be called a sanyasi or yogi.

सम् न्यासः means total casting aside or renunciation. It

normally refers to a monk or a nun living in a monastery.

योगी is one who has united his mind in God consciousness.  Normally this word refers to a karma yogi. Karma yoga practiced by a house holder  is often understood as yoga of selfless (altruistic) service.

Money, entertainment, artha and kama exlusively for his own benefit are avoided by him. Scriptures talk about two types of activity one for material benefit and  the other Pancha maha yajnya where not only I benefit but society also benefits. The latter is called  selfless service (nishkama karma). Such a karma yogi is as good as a renunciate even though he has not renounced the world.

अनाश्रितः कर्मफलम् Here the Lord speaks about only the

renunciation of desire for fruits of action but not for renunciation of attachment( सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलं चैव). It is not possible to give up dependence on fruit of action without renunciation of attachment to the enjoyment of its fruit (असक्तः).  It becomes clear therefore that dependence on result of action and attachment to its enjoyment would go hand in hand. So usually Krishna uses the phrase सङगम् त्यक्त्वा फलम्  चैव.  There are instances where either of the words is used (कर्मजम् हि फलम् त्यक्त्वा; कर्मफलत्यागी; असक्तः सततम्), and in such cases we must supply the meaning of the other missing word.


कर्मफलम् –fruit of action. This includes all self-centered activities  (काम्य कर्म) for the  enjoyments of this world such as wife, progeny, wealth, honour, fame etc or heaven after death.  A man who fulfils his duties with a personal motive for its enjoyment (desire for fruits) remains bound to the wheel of birth. He escapes this karmic law, only when he performs all actions with the sole purpose of pleasing God (ईश्वरार्पण बुद्धि).

कार्यम् कर्म करोति यः –One who performs his dutiful actions. Although the words कार्यम् and कर्म both refer to action or work, here कार्यम् means such works which are obligatory in nature or own’s duty (नियतम् कर्म). All good actions such as public service, sacrifices, upasana, worship sanctioned by the scriptures are dutiful actions. One who performs his bounden duties without harbouring selfish desires for the fruit of his actions, is sanyasi or renunciant. On the contrary, one who renounces dutiful actions simply because he has relinquished the desires to be the beneficiary of the fruit of such actions is not qualified to be called a sanyasi.  Karma yogi is a sanyasi.


न निरग्निः न च अक्रियः–  निरग्निः one who has renounced sacred fire to take up the order of sanyasa.  अक्रियः one who has abandoned all forms of activity and totally absorbed in meditation. This refers to a pseudo-monk who dons the ochre robes, who has given up the fire sacrifices but has not given up the internal craze and attachment. Such a man is no sanyasi. Emphasis therefore is not necessarily on the type of the life you lead  in the world, but in spiritualizing one’s life.

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Sanyasa and yoga are same. Both of them give up sankalpa (worldly thought and desires)यं संन्यासमिति प्राहुर्योगं तं विद्धि पाण्डव ।न ह्यसन्यस्तसङ्कल्पः योगी भवति कश्चन ॥६:२॥ 

yaṁ saṁnyāsamiti prāhuryōgaṁ taṁ viddhi pāṇḍava |

na hyasanyastasaṅkalpaḥ yōgī bhavati kaścana ||6:2||


यम् सन्यसम् इति प्राहुः योगम् तम्  विद्धि पाण्डव न हि असन्यस्तसङ्कल्पः योगी भवति कश्चन

yam sanyasam iti prāhuḥ yōgam tam  viddhi pāṇḍava na hi asanyastasaṅkalpaḥ bhavati kaścana


यम्- which सन्यसम्-as sanyasa इति-thus प्राहुः-is spoken of योगम्-is yoga तम्-that विद्धि-know पाण्डव-O son of Pandu, Arjuna न-not हि-indeed असन्यस्तसङ्कल्पः -one who has not given up selfish motive, intentions or desires योगी-yogi भवति-become कश्चन-anyone


Understand O Pandava (Arjuna), that what is spoken of as renunciation in the scriptures is the same as Yoga; for he, who has not renounced the selfish motive (sankalpa) cannot be a yogi.

यम् सन्यसम् इति प्राहुः योगम् तम् विद्धि पाण्डव– Arjuna, know that what is called sanyasa is the same as karma yoga. We must understand that yoga means karma yoga. Sanyasa is nothing but karmayoga.

न हि असन्यस्तसङ्कल्पः  योगी भवति कश्चन–  unless one rejects sankalpa one cannot be a yogi or sanyasi. Renouncement of  worldy thoughts (sankalpa), is indeed yoga and sanyasa. If one rejects karma and stops doing all activities without corresponding rejection of worldly thoughts, he neither

becomes a yogi nor a sanyasi. Sanyasa is not karma tyaga. It is the tyaga of kartrutva and karma phala. Yoga is not cessation of mental thoughts (manonasha). It is the renounciation of desire occupied in the mind.

What is sankalpa?

Sankalpa is the worldly thoughts, intentions and selfish desires. It has an element of feeling of possession, attachment, and thoughts of likes and dislikes. Without wholly renouncing the thoughts of the world, the mind cannot be quietened and obtain union with God. Sankalpa is given up by three methods.


  1. A jnyana yogi or Sankhya yogi relinquishes sankalpa by realizing that the body, mind and intellect are not mine, he does all the activities and he is ever focussed in the
  2. A karma yogi does all the worldly activities just to please God, without expecting any selfish outcome.
  3. A bhakti yogi, gives up sankalpa because everything is but God.

 So in all the three paths of realization, relinquishment of sankalpa is common. Unless the sankalpa for karma phala, and sense objects are given up there can be no true spiritual progress.


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 For a devotee who wants to reach the heights of yoga , selfless action is prescribed. After mastering yoga he has to tranquilize his  mindआरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते ।योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणमुच्यते ॥६:३॥

ārurukṣōrmunēryōgaṁ karma kāraṇamucyatē |

yōgārūḍhasya tasyaiva śamaḥ kāraṇamucyatē ||6:3||

 आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः योगम् कर्म कारणम् उच्यते योगारूढस्य तस्य एव शमः कारणम् उच्यते

ārurukṣōḥ munēḥ yōgam karma kāraṇam ucyatē yōgārūḍhasya tasya ēva śamaḥ kāraṇam ucyatē


आरुरुक्षोः-desirous of climbing to the heights  मुनेः to the hermit- योगम् – to the heights of  karma yoga कर्म-disinterested action कारणम्- stepping stone उच्यते- is spoken of योगारूढस्य तस्य-for the same muni when he is established in yoga  एव-only शमः-inaction  कारणम्-the way to blessedness उच्यते-is spoken of


For the sage desirous of attaining the heights of yoga (karma yoga), selfless action is spoken as the stepping stone; for the same sage who has mastered the  yoga, tranquillity of mind is said to be the way for self realization.


आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः योगम् – for a devotee who desires to attain the top step of the yoga of realization, karma yoga is prescribed. आरुरुक्षः(ārurukṣaḥ) is  one who desires to climb up. Here the seeker desires to climb up the heights of Yoga. Gita speaks of three levels of God realization; karma yoga, bhakti yoga and jnyana yoga. Yoga means to join; to join with the supreme. Swami Chinmayanada compares this to a ladder. The ladder is the yoga because it joins an untrained man to God. The theee steps of the ladder are karma, bhakti and jnyana. In this stanza the first step is called आरुरुक्षः (ārurukṣaḥ) , one who wants to climb up.

कर्म कारणम् उच्यते  for the beginers karmayoga is suggested. Nishkama Karma yoga (selfless action) is the primary step for all seekers. He simultaneously practices the disciplines of श्रवण, मनन, and निधिध्यासन (śravaṇa manana nidhidhyāsana). Without that, there cannot be अन्तःकरण शुद्धि antaḥkaraṇa śuddhi (refinement of mind and intellect).


Karma or action is a process not our goal. Prakruti promts usto some activity. If you do such karma without self centred benefit (आसक्ति), it becomes karmayoga. Anasakti means working without any expectation of personal result.

Once we reach the state of  yogic perfection, he has to get out of karma  for self-enquiry by way of shravana, manana and nidhidhysna. Just as a child comes out of the womb after nine months and does not like to stay there any more,  a yogi working for God blessedness  has to come out of  karmayoga.  The last step is called योगारूढ (yōgārūḍha). One who tries to mount a horse is also called आरुरुक्षः. When he mounts the horse, and holds the leash, he is fully in control of the steed. Similarly a karma yogi calls the shot and is in control of his mind and senses. Then he becomes established in jnyana yoga.

योगारूढस्य तस्य एव शमः कारणम् उच्यते  योगारूढ (yōgārūḍha) is one who is established in yoga or mastered the yoga of equiability in action (quiescence) is said to be the means of growth. अश्वारूढ (aśvārūḍha) is one who is mounted on a horse. Just as a rider mounted on a horse is in full control of the horse, a yogi established in yoga is in full control of his mind and senses. At this stage he drops the karmayoga and concentrates on Nidhidhyasna meditation.   It is like crossing a stream in a boat. The boat is required as long as one has to reach the shore. Then he has to get off from the boat. Nishkama karma is required as long as transcendental knowledge is not obtained. Thereafter no karma is required. He has to practice yoga or union with God in meditation.

In meditation with his intellect refined, he is able to realize God. Karma trains us for meditation and meditation trains us for karma yoga. After jnyana siddhi for further spiritual progress he has to tranquilize his mind by constant meditation and union with God. He stops all his worldly activities and engages in contemplation. This is called Shama. He becomes action-less.


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 Definition of a yogarudhaयदा हि नेन्द्रियार्थेषु न कर्मस्वनुषज्जते ।सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते ॥६:४॥ 

yadā hi nēndriyārthēṣu na karmasvanuṣajjatē |

sarvasaṅkalpasaṁnyāsī yōgārūḍhastadōcyatē ||6:4||


यदा हि न इन्द्रियार्थेषु न कर्मसु  मनः अनुषज्जते

सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढः तदा उच्यते

yadā hi na indriyārthēṣu na karmasu anuṣajjatē sarvasaṅkalpasaṁnyāsī yōgārūḍhaḥ tadā ucyatē

यदा-when हि indeed- न-neither इन्द्रियार्थेषु-to the objects of senses न-nor कर्मसु-in selfless actions अनुषज्जते-feels attracted तदा- then सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी- one who has renounced all thoughts of the world योगारूढः-established in yoga उच्यते-is said to be


When the aspiring muni ceases to have any attachment

 either to the objects of senses or to actions, and has renounced all thoughts of the world, he is said to have climbed to the heights of yoga.


In the previous verse, Krishna introduced the word “yogarudha”(योगारूढः). Now he gives the definition of this word. He has used the words यदा  and तदा. Their meaning is ‘when’ and ‘then’. These are the words which represent two periods of time. When one set of  conditions are accomplished then the the result sets in. Let us see which are these condtions to become yogarudha.Three qualifications are given. These are:

  1. न इन्द्रियार्थेषु मनः अनुषज्जते- One who is not attracted by the sense pleasures. The sense objects are शब्द, स्पर्श, रूप, रस गन्ध, the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. The mind is attracted by these seducing objects. In a perfect sanyasi and accomplished yogi, the mind is not extorvert. It is stationed in the thought of God. So disinclination of the mind to the desires of sense objects is a prerequisite to become ‘yogarudha’.
  2. न कर्मसु मनः अनुषज्जते- nor attached to actions for procuring money and entertainment. When the antahkarana (अन्तःकरण) has become introvert and centred in the self, one is not interested in any activity. In their acquisition or departures.
  3. सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी- a muni who has renounced all ‘sankalpa’. Sankalpa is a resolve fired by strong desire, to undertake an activity. Before an activity is started there will be an inention in the mind which plans all ativities. This inntion, desire or resolve is called 

The desire could be self-centred or for common good of the people. A yogi who has done Nishkama – karmayoga for a long time, and reached mental refinement due to constant practice of meditation, reaches a stage where his desires for altruistic works also becomes zero.

He realises all karmas lieke नित्य नैमित्तिक काम्य निशिद्ध कर्म are non-productive and so gives up them.

Such a yogi is attached neither to the objects of sense or to actions. He is called Yogarudha.

सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी is one who totally stops all worldly thoughts regarding doership of activity, its enjoyment, his plans and desires for execution of sankalpa, all activites in furtherence of sankalpa etc.

Yogarudha is one who has stationed himself firmly in yoga. Swami Ramakrisha says, does one gets his  body  brandished just because it is given free? Similarly, he is not seduced by wordly pleaures, although it is available in plenty and free of cost.

The Lord has used the word सर्व सङ्कल्प संन्यासी the renunciant who has abandoned all thoughts of action

Sankalpas are of three types. sarva means all. 3 types of sankalpa are there

  1. मलिन संकल्प-  malafide thoughts.
  2. शुद्ध संकल्प- pure thoughts
  3. निस्संकल्प- no thoughts.

In his spiritual quest, the yogi moves from malina to shuddha and ultimately to no sankalpa.

The Lord has mentioned thee pre-requisites asa qualification to be called a yogarudha. These are:

  1. इंद्रिय निग्रह- control of sense organs
  2. अकर्म- cessation of activities
  3. 3. संकल्प त्याग – abandoning thoughts of action

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 One has to rescue himself by the mind  but not degrade himself,for his mind is indeed  his friend and foeउद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥६:५॥

uddharēdātmanātmānaṁ nātmānamavasādayēt |

ātmaiva hyātmanō bandhurātmaiva ripurātmanaḥ ||6:5||

उद्धरेत् आत्मना आत्मानम् न आत्मानम् अवसादयेत्

आत्मा एव हि आत्मनः बन्धुः आत्मा एव आत्मना रिपुः

uddharēt ātmanā ātmānam na ātmānam avasādayēt ātmā ēva hi ātmanaḥ bandhuḥ ātmā ēva ātmanā ripuḥ


उद्धरेत्- should uplift or rescue आत्मना-by oneself by effort आत्मानम्-oneself न-not आत्मानम्-oneself अवसादयेत्-should not degrade आत्मा एव-one’s own self हि-indeed आत्मनः बन्धुः-one’s friend आत्मा एव- one’s own self आत्मना रिपुः-one’s own foe


One should uplift oneself  by the power of  mind, and should not degrade oneself;  for the self (mind) is one’s own friend and one’s own enemy.


In this verse and the next one the Lord has played on the word आत्मा. He has used this word 12 times in different contexts. We should clearly understand the  different meanings of Atma. The word atma has been used to mean the sense organs, aggregate of mind (अंतःकरण), intellect, memory and ahankara (ego). The lower self Jiva or Jivatma is also called as atma.  Another meaning of atma is आत्मन्,  the supreme spirit or absolute consciousness or the supreme reality or Brahman. Based on the context, suitable meaning of Atma should be drawn.

उद्धरेत् आत्मना आत्मानम्– One should elevate oneself with efforts of the instruments of body, mind and senses. आत्मानम् refers to the soul or Jivatma who has fallen into the quagmire of samsara by desire and attachment to enchanting objects of senses and enjoys all happiness and grief. He has to be redeemed by self- effort. For this Upanishads give several guidelines such as विवेक (discrimination), वैराग्य (dispassion), साधना-s (disciplines) and  मुमुक्षुत्व (deliverence). Swami Paramarthananda calls this as 4D’s.  


Then thee are the well known six fold accomplishments (समाधिषट्क  संपत्ति) of शम (mind control), दम (sense control),  उपरति (withdrawl of mind), तितीक्षा (forebearence), श्रद्धा (faith) and समाधान (tranquility). In Gita only three steps have been given. These are karmayoga, bhakti yoga and jnyana yoga. Every one has in himself limitless strength of redeeming himself. We are cought in the web of samsara. We have the power to get out of quagmire and uplift ourselves. But we throw up our hands saying, “We are sinners, weak, and  ignorant.” God has given us all eqipments and means to redeem ourselves. But we do not try to use them.

Swami Ramakrishna: A man got a craze to smoke a cigarette in the dead of night. He did not have a match box. So carried a kerosene lantern with him and  went to the neighbour’s house to get a match box. The neighbour said, “What a fool you are. You have a lantern with you, but you have come here for a match box.” Similarly, we have the loght of atman which it ever lit. But we seek to get anexternal light”

Young kids Dhruva, and  prahlada had hidden power to uplift themselves by unstinted endeavors.

This is a great Mantra given by Krishna. We do not accept our mistakes but always try to find some alibi. Ask a student who is responsible for his poor show. He points out at his parents, teachers, lack of facility, poverty, and many other reasons. He never accepts that he is responsible and will correct his mistake. If he says that “I am sorry, I will correct myself, and improve now,”  he will get his hidden power and gets self-confidence.

न आत्मानम् अवसादयेत् the soul or jivatma should not be allowed to be degraded. How one degrades the jivatma? He, who indulges in sinful activities under the impulses of evil, lethargy, and negligence allows the jivatma to downgrade himself. He moves away from God towards sin. Yielding to attractions and repulsions, lust and anger, greed and infatuation, paves the way for birth into lower forms of animlas and pests.  It all starts with a small beginning  and without our knowledge it becomes a habit. Old habits die hard. In the word HABIT, if you remove ‘H -A BIT remains. If you remain ‘A’ still a BIT remains. If you remove ‘B’ also IT remains.  IT represents the ubiquitous desire. Ultimately we will end up yielding to sensual attractions, wild advertisement in media, TV, internet, drama,dance, gossips and parties. Then we try to justify our actions by some reason. It ultimately debases us leading to downfall and decline of jivatma. So with our own efforts and spiritual sadhanas we must elevate the jivatma.

आत्मा एव हि आत्मनः बन्धुः आत्मा एव आत्मना रिपुः–  self is indeed one’s own best friend as well as the worst enemy. Simply put, we may say that mind is indeed our friend and mind is indeed our enemy. There is no better friend than the mind to uplift us from the wheel of samsara. The so called friends due to attachment to worldly relations contribute to our bondage. But the company of sadhakas holy men (सत्संग), guru etc are true friends because they help us to liberate from samsara.

मन एव मनुश्याणाम् कारणम् बन्धमोक्ष्यॊः  Mind is the cause of our liberation and bondage. This is a  quotation from Amritabindu Upanishad.


VERSE 6: 06

If the jivatma is the boss of mind and senses, he behalves like a friend. If the mind and senses is the boss, jivatma behalves like an enemy बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जितः ।अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत् ॥६:६॥

bandhurātmātmanastasya yēnātmaivātmanā jitaḥ |

anātmanastu śatrutvē vartētātmaiva śatruvat ||6:6||


बन्धुः आत्मा आत्मनः तस्य येन आत्मा एव आत्मना जितः

अनात्मनः तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेत आत्मा एव शत्रुवत्

bandhuḥ ātmā ātmanaḥ tasya yēna ātmā ēva ātmanā jitaḥ  anātmanaḥ tu śatrutvē vartēta ātmā ēva śatruvat

बन्धुः-friend आत्मा-aggregate of mind, senses and body तस्य आत्मनः-to that embodied soul or jivatma येन- by whom आत्मा-एव- his very self  or senses and mind आत्मना- by the jivatma जितः-has been conquered अनात्मनः-to him who has not been able to conquer the self in the shape of senses and mind  तु-and  शत्रुत्वे-in enemity वर्तेत-behaves आत्मा- एव- his very self or senses and mind शत्रुवत्- like an enemy.


For one whose lower self (consisting of mind, senses and body) has been conquered by the soul (higher self, jivatma)  the soul indeed is his friend; and for one whose lower self has not been conquered the soul (higher self) is verily his foe.

In simple language, if jivatma is the boss of mind, senses and ego  he is indeed our friend. If mind, senses and ego is the boss, the jivatma becomes our enemy.

The quality of our mind determines the quality of our life we lead. It can be our greatest ally or our worst adversary. A mind that runs amok could steal our inner peace and undermine every productive endeavour. Yet, with proper knowledge, training, and discipline, it is possible to unleash the mind’s infinite potential.

Through the four-step process outlined in below, you will

Learn the right knowledge to make your mind your best friend

Develop your willpower

Practice implementing the techniques discussed in the book

Transform your mind and life


Only you are in control of yourself, hence, it is up to you to change the things you wish were different in your life. Take the first step by attending these sessions. Then as you start integrating these learnings in your life, share your success story with us.

How can I myself be my friend and my enemy? Krishna explains it in this verse. Any instrument is both our friend and our enemy; electicity, sword, car, gas cylinder etc.

बन्धुः आत्मा आत्मनः तस्य येन आत्मा एव आत्मना जितः

If the jivatma has subjugated देहॆन्द्रिय मनो धियः (body, senses, mind and intellect) , he becomes his own friend, guide and benefactor.

बन्धुः or friend. Who is the real friend? The popular proverb, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’ may be true in secular world, but in spiritual field, a friend indirectly puts us more and more into the material world, and to that extent we move away from God. Real friends for us are the Guru, assembly of seekers, and spiritual books.

अनात्मनः तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेत आत्मा एव शत्रुवत्– for one whose ego has not been subdued, the higher self or jivatma behaves

inimically as an enemy, and verily becomes his enemy

आत्मनः and अनात्मनः – आत्मनः refers to a seeker who has conquered the mind and senses and अनात्मनः refers to one who has not conquered the mind and senses. A self controlled seeker has a subordinate mind which can be applied for any spiritual practice. For the refinement of mind,  a seeker practices several disciplines like discretion, dispassion, desire for liberation nd deliverence (विवेक, वैराग्य, साधनानि, मुमुक्षुत्वम्).

He can redeem himself to God-realization.  On the other hand अनात्मनः has not subjugated his mind. Instead of his being the master of the mind, the mind is his master. He is a slave of the mind. He yields to egotism, feeling of possession, attraction and repulsions, lust, anger, greed, infatuation etc.  His wayward mind leads him to objects of  enjoyment, towards satanic disposition and sin.

शत्रुत्वे वर्तेत आत्मा एव शत्रुवत् –  शत्रुत्वे-in enemity वर्तेत-behaves आत्मा- एव- his very self or senses and mind शत्रुवत्- like an enemy. For one whose lower self has not been conquered the soul or jivatma behaves antagonistically like an enemy.

4D’s: discrimination, Dispassion, Disciplines and Deliverance.

VERSE 6: 07

The reward of winning over the lower selfजितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः ।शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः ॥६:७॥ 

jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ |

śītōṣṇasukhaduḥkhēṣu tathā mānāpamānayōḥ ||6:7||

जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः

शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः

jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ

śītōṣṇasukhaduḥkhēṣu tathā mānāpamānayōḥ


जितात्मनः- the self-controlled man, Self mastered. प्रशान्तस्य- who is perfectly peaceful free from stress,  a yogarudha.  परमात्मा- supreme spirit or God समाहितः- is balanced शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु- in cold and heat; pleasure and pain तथा- as also मानापमानयोः- in honour and ignominy


Yogananda translates verse like this:

The tranquil sage, victorious over the lower self (body, mind and ego) is ever fully established in the supreme self (spirit), whether he encounters cold or heat,  pleasure or pain, praise or blame.


In the previous verse the Lord said that one who has mastered the lower self is his own friend or foe, and in this verse he shows how:


जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः

A yogi who has attained a state of steady meditation (योगारूढः- yōgārūḍhaḥ)  has four qualities:

जित-आत्मानः-has controlled his lower self (indriya mano buddhi), प्रशान्तस्य- of steady and composed mind परमात्मा समाहितः- the cnsciousness or atma is completely situalted in Samadhi. The serenity spoken by Krishna comes by identification with immutable self. For such a person recognizing reality is easy.

शीत-उष्ण, सुख-दुखेषु तथा मान-अपमानयोः– accepts without mental reaction whatever comes to him, good or bad. The three opposites of heat and cold, happiness and sarrow, honour and ignomy are mere a sample of vagaries of life . No one is free from ups and downs in life.  It should not be misunderstood that a yogi is incaplable of recognizing heat or cold. If the mind is at peace the sadhaka is at peace. If the mind gets irritated at simplest provocation the sadhaka is always agitated.


This verse gives us a strong message. If we have to progress in spiritual practice, the first thing is to control the lower self consisting of mind, senses and ego. This needs a strong will power and determination (Druti) to face unhealthy reactions  like  attraction and repulsion, joy and grief, desire, fear, jealousy, lust, anger etc. A man of perfect realizastion has an equioised mind and ever remains laid back.

we must practice to take the things as they come, good or bad, favourable or unfacvourable as gift of God or a test given by God. Keep the faith steady and thank him for what has happend.


VERSE 6: 08

The attitude of a yogi towards material objectsज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थो विजितेन्द्रियः ।युक्त इत्युच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः ॥६:८॥ 

jñānavijñānatr̥ptātmā kūṭasthō vijitēndriyaḥ |

yukta ityucyatē yōgī samalōṣṭāśmakāñcanaḥ ||6:8||

 ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थः विजितेन्द्रियः युक्तः इति उच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः 

jñānavijñānatr̥ptātmā kūṭasthaḥ vijitēndriyaḥ

yuktaḥ iti ucyatē yōgī samalōṣṭāśmakāñcanaḥ

ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा-one who is absorbed in knowledge of self and its application. कूटस्थः-anvil-like changeless unshaken by any by experiences in life. विजितेन्द्रियः-one who has conquered the body mind complex युक्तः- united with God इति- thus उच्यते-is spoken of योगी- such a Yogi समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः-one to whom a lump of earth, a stone and gold are the same. Samatava is freedom from raga and dwesha.  A person is called a yogi who is happy being absorbed in the knowledge of self and its application; has total control over the body and senses, and treats equally a clod of mud, a stone and gold.  ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थः विजितेन्द्रियः युक्तः इति उच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः – 

ज्ञान विज्ञान तृप्तात्मा – Jnana is the knowledge of nirguna brahma gained through study of scriptures and teaching by Guru. Vignyana, the knowledge of manifest diviniy  is the applied jnyana, applied knowledge (self-realization). Knowledge of cooking by the study of books is jnyna. Learning by practical experience of cooking is vijnyana. We know the milk has butter in it. This is jnyana. Preperation of curds and beating it to get butter is vijnyana.

By renunciation and constant practice of jnyana the seeker experiences first -hand union with the self in himself. This is called vignyana, direct perception of God without any external help.

तृप्तात्मा (truptātmā) means one who is satisfied or satiated, self -satisfied. The yogi has discovered a perfect contentment due to his subjective experience of onesss with the higher self. He revels in a perfect state of griefless bliss in sacchidananda. It is not koshananda, it is  Brahmhananda.

कूटस्थः– unchangable, immutable. कूटे तिष्टति इति कूटस्थः  This is the technical term used for eternal self. Kuta is the name for ‘anvil’, the tool used by the blacksmith. A bit of red hot iron is set on the anvil and hammered into required shape. The iron bit gets the desired shape, but the anvil which is the support, never changes in spite of repeated beatings. Similarly a yogi who remains as a kootastha (remains anvil -like) suffers no change in spite of repeated exposure to hardships and pleasures. He remains firmly established in thought of God. He is not interested in any mundane pleasure because he has tasted the joy of Brhamhan. All other worldy joys becomesa a shade pale.

विजितेन्द्रियः-who has conquered lower self of ego and mind . His mind is the master of senses but not a slave. He has strong will power to resist any temptations.समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः-The same attitude in a lump of mud, stone and gold. There is no problem in having the same disinterest in mud or stone. But having the same disinterest in gold requires special sadhana for the mind. As he sees God in eferything he makesw no difference. There is a storey of Purandhara dasa. He and his wife renounced all the wealth in quest of God. Whle going in a forest trail, his wife said, “Dear, I am scared of robberers”. To this Purandhara said, “we do not have any thing in our possession to be robbed, or do you carry with you any valuables?” For that she showed an ear-ring. Purundhara immediately threw it away, and said, “Now come on. Ther is no fear”. युक्तः इति उच्यते योगी-The yogi is called a yukta or Yogarudha. Yoga means a plan or technique by which the jivatma connects to Ishwara and totally identifies with him. A yogi has the following features.

  1. 1. Mind balance

2 Self-confidence.

  1. Self-effort
  2. Self-management or mastery.

VERSE 6: 09

The attitude of a yogi towards his companionsसुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु ।साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते ॥६:९॥

suhr̥nmitrāryudāsīnamadhyasthadvēṣyabandhuṣu |

sādhuṣvapi ca pāpēṣu samabuddhirviśiṣyatē ||6:9||



साधुषु अपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिः र्विशिष्यते

सुह्रुत् मित्र अरि उदासीन मध्यस्थ द्वेष्य बन्धुषु


सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु-in the good hearted, in friends, foes, neutrals, mediators, in haters, and in relatives (सुह्रुत्-good hearted  मित्र-friend अरि-foe उदासीन- neutrals मध्यस्थ-mediator, arbitor द्वेष्य-hater बन्धुषु-relative) साधुषु- in the righteous अपि-also च-and पापेषु-in sinners समबुद्धिः-same mind र्विशिष्यते-excels

A person is considered a supreme yogi who is impartial towards well-wishers, friends, enemies, neutrals, arbiters, objects of hatred, relatives, saints, and sinners.


In the previous stanza, the lord spoke about the attitude of a yogi towards the material creation with an equal eye. In this stanza he says that a yogi treats equally all his companions irrespective  of their attitudes towards him.


सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु– This is a compound word made up of the following words: सुह्रुत्- (suhrut) well-wisher मित्र- (mitra) friends अरि-(ari) foe उदासीन- (udāsīna) neutrals मध्यस्थ- (madhyastha) arbiters द्वेष्य – (dvēṣya) or  द्वेशी (dvēśī) objects of hatred or haters बन्धुषु- (bandhuṣu) relatives.

सुह्रुत् means good hearted. He is a well-wisher. He obliges others without any motive or self-inerest, out of love. He does not expect any thing in return. Friendship involves mutual benevolence and service. That is the difference.

मित्र –friend. In friendship there is mutual give and take, mutual help

अरि is an enemy who seeks to harm you without any provocation, whereas  द्वेशी (dvēśī)  or hater  is one who behaves inimically towards you. An enemy harms you whether you harm him or not, but a hater harms one who also harms him.

उदासीन- (udāsīna) neutrals मध्यस्थ- (madhyastha) arbiters. Goyandaka writes” A neutral is one who is unconcerned with either of contending parties. He has no bias and is therefore not partial to any one. An arbitrator or a mediator on the other hand wants to do justice to both  parties. So he intervenes between two contending parties and brings about a win-win situation.

साधुषु अपि च पापेषु– one who has same attitude in saints as well as sinners.

समबुद्धिः र्विशिष्यते He stands supreme bcause of his equal attitude, freedom from attachment and hatred. The lord says that an exhalted yogi (युक्त योगारूढ) is one who has the same equal attitude in nine types of people. This can be classified into three groups:

  1. सुह्रुत्, मित्र, बन्धु and साधु –A life of dharma . They are Well-wishers, friends, relatives and saints. They oblige others
  2. उदासीन and मध्यस्थ –neutral and arbitrators are non-aligned
  3. अरि, द्वेशी, पापी – enemies, haters and sinners a life of adharma cause you harm.

It is natural for an ordinary person, inded to men of judgment as well, to be partial to one’s well-wishers and friends, neutrals, mediators, men of virtue and relatives. It is extremely difficult to be free from attraction or repulsion in such people of antagonistic characters. The Lord says that one who is always established in the self, does not see their bodies or attitude of his detractors or benefactors. He sees the substratum of all, who is but the Lord.

A man put a dime on his palm and asked ten people “What is this”? All of them said, “It is a dime”. But a yogi said it is the palm. The yogi sees the substratum but not the packaging or content..

विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि |

शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन: || 5:18||


The truly learned, with the eyes of divine knowledge, see with equal vision a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.


VERSE 6:10

Specific disciplines अंतरंग साधनानि  10-15Preperations for  meditationयोगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः ।एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः ॥६:१०॥

yōgī yuñjīta satatamātmānaṁ rahasi sthitaḥ |

ēkākī yatacittātmā nirāśīraparigrahaḥ ||6:10||


योगी युञ्जीत सततम् आत्मानम् रहसि स्थितः

एकाकी यत चित्तात्मा निराशी अपरिग्रहः

yōgī yuñjīta satatam ātmānam rahasi sthitaḥ ēkākī yata cittātmā nirāśī aparigrahaḥ

 योगी-the yogi युञ्जीत-should engage in meditaion of God सततम्-constantly आत्मानम्-God रहसि-in solitude स्थितः-remaining एकाकी-alone यत-चित्तात्मा- who has controlled his body alongwith mind and senses निराशीः- free from desisres अपरिग्रहः-not craving for possessions.


A yogi who has controlled his mind and senses (lower self), who is free from desires and craving for possession; must retire to a quite place and constantly engage in meditation of God

With this shloka general description of a yogi is temporarily stopped. The lord takes up specific description or antaranga sadhanani.  Actual meditation shlokaaare verses 10 to 15.

The Lord explains 8 stages or steps of meditation.


योगी युञ्जीत सततम् आत्मानम् रहसि स्थितः A yogi should constantly engage in meditation of God retiring to a quite place.

The word atma stands for mind and intellect, the lower self. The mind is ever connected with the thought of God. A yogi sits in contemplation of the higher self by the control of the lower self (body and senses).

एकाकी यत चित्तात्मा निराशी अपरिग्रहः

यत चित्तात्मा : one who has conquered body, mind and senses. All these cardinals are prerequisite. Here the word atma means the inner equipment (अन्तःकरण) consisting of mind, intellect, ego. He has blocked all distractions  (विक्षेप) of the mind and focuses on the supreme. निराशीः free from desires. अपरिग्रहः –Accumulation of objects of enjoyment is called parigraha. Aprarigraha means one who has renounced all objects of enjoymet. In case of a househoder, as Mahatma Gandhi said, he should develop a sense of trusteeship for the property. It is God’s property and I am only a trustee to manage it. Here the word yogi should be understood to mean a seeker rather than an accomplished yogi. Such seekers are called अभ्यासी.

एकाकी रहसि स्थितः- living in solitude. रहसि means a secluded place.  In the olden days people used to go to forest and caves to practice medition. Now it is not possible. So as Ramaskrishna Paramahamsa said, any room like a Puja room should be good for meditation. एकाकी living alone. Impotant thing is we must be alone in the mind. Early mornings when one cannot be disturbed by the telephones, continous messages  by texting, WhatApp, mail etc is ideal. Nirmalanda Giri speaks of a lady who used to shut off the door of her room for several days and sit in meditation. Food used to be served at the steps of the door. She had stopped speaking to anyone.


VERSE 6:11

peperation of seat of meditationशुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मनः ।नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् ॥६:११॥

śucau dēśē pratiṣṭhāpya sthiramāsanamātmanaḥ |

nātyucchritaṁ nātinīcaṁ cailājinakuśōttaram ||6:11||


शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरम् आसनमम् आत्मनः

 न अत्युच्छ्रितम् न अति नीचम्  चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम्

śucau dēśē pratiṣṭhāpya sthiram āsanamam ātmanaḥ na atyucchritam na ati nīcam  cailājinakuśōttaram


शुचौ-in a clean देशे-place प्रतिष्ठाप्य-having established himself स्थिरम्-firm आसनमम्- seat आत्मनः-his own न-neither अत्युच्छ्रितम्-very high न-nor अति-very नीचम्-low चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम्- with kusha grass, a (deer) skin, and  a cloath spread one upon the other. चैल- cloath अजिन-deer skin कुश- kusha grass उत्तरम्-one above the other)

One should sit on a personal firm seat which is clean and free from dirt and other impurities,  that is neither too high no too low, covered wth holy Kusha grass, a deerskin, a clean cloth, one above the other.


शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरम् आसनमम्  आत्मनः –having established his seat in a clean and firm place.  The seat of a yogi should be situated in a frm, clean spot, neither too elevated nor depressed. The seat should be cleaned regularly. There should be no dirt and debris. It should be firm which shows that a place covered with marbles, jelly stones are not good. You cannot sit for meditation perched on a tree, or on the precipice of a hill. आसनमम् means a seat. It could be make of kusha grass, a stone slab, or a rock or a wooden plank.

आत्मनः one’s own. Each one has to carry his own medition mat. The mat belonging to others should not be used. It is personal.

न अत्युच्छ्रितम् न अति नीचम्  चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् which is neither too hgh nor too low

चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् –covered with a cloath, a deerskin and holy Kusha grass one below the other. This is to avoid dampness. Kusha grass is not available, it does not mean that meditation should be stopped. Alternatives like a plastic mat, a wooden plank or a carpet can be used.


VERSE 6:12

The practice of meditaion sitting on a meditation seatतत्रैकाग्रं मनः कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः ।उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद्योगमात्मविशुद्धये ॥६:१२॥ 

tatraikāgraṁ manaḥ kr̥tvā yatacittēndriyakriyaḥ |

upaviśyāsanē yuñjyādyōgamātmaviśuddhayē ||6:12||


तत्र एकाग्रम् मनः कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः

उपविश्य आसने युञ्ज्यात् योगम् आत्मविशुद्धये


tatra ēkāgram manaḥ kr̥tvā yatacittēndriyakriyaḥ upaviśya āsanē yuñjyāt yōgam ātmaviśuddhayē


Seated firmly on it, the yogi should strive to purify the mind by focusing it in meditation with one pointed concentration, controlling all thoughts and activities. 


तत्र एकाग्रम् मनः कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः –There seated on the mat, having made the mind single pointed on contemplation  control the thoughts of the mind and activity of senses.

Having made the mind single pointed means not thinking of anything other than the object of upasana. It may be a personal God or a formless consciousness. Single pointedness has a great potential. Only a refracted sun light can burn a paper.

उपविश्य आसने युञ्ज्यात् योगम् आत्मविशुद्धये

the yogi, seated on the mat should strive to purify the mind by focusing it in meditation.  There are a number of meditative asanas described in hata yoga. These are padmasan, ardha padmasana, dhyanveera asana, siddhasana, vajrasana and sukhasana. We may adopt any āsaan in which we can comfortably sit, without moving, during the period of the meditation. Maharshi Patañjali states: sthira sukhamāsanam (स्थिर सुखासनम्).

यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः –one who has controlled the thoughts of mind and senses; neither roaming mentally or reacting to sense stimuli.  The mind remains free from agitation and fully silenced. The sense organs cannot play because the mind is non-reactive. Give auto-suggestion to the mind that  you have a an appointment with yourself and so do not disturb me.

युञ्ज्यात् योगम् – let him engage in yoga. Yoga means meditation yoga or samatva yoga.

आत्मविशुद्धये – For purification of mind. What is the purpose of meditation आत्मविशुद्धये for the purification of mind but not for mukti मुक्तये. Purification means removing the dirts and dross of the mind accumulated in several lives.  What are the impurities of the mind? Agitations and distractions, raga dwesha, ignorance and duality are the impurites of the mind. By steady and regular meditation Krishna promises purification of mind. Only such a steady single pointed mind is qualified for self-realization.


VERSE 6:13

Method of dhyana yogaसमं कायशिरोग्रीवं धारयन्नचलं स्थिरः ।सम्प्रेक्ष्य नासिकाग्रं स्वं दिशश्चानवलोकयन् ॥६:१३॥ 

samam kayah -shiro -grivam dharayann achalam sthirah
sampreksya nasikagram svam dishaschanavalokayan


Holding the spine (body), neck and head erect, still, and motionless, let the yogi focus his gaze at the tip of his nose, without looking elsewhere.


With the instructions regarding the position of the eyes, this stanza completes the Gita’s instructions on the right posture for meditation. To summerrize the instructions – preparation of seat, gait for meditation, and composure of the mind have been discussed. Adding some more points about the posture Krishna adds in this verse –

samam kayah -shiro -grivam – One should hold the middle of the body -spine, neck and head straight without movement. This is best suited to keep the body still.

dharayann achalam sthirah -Hold the spine, neck and head firm without moving or shaking. This is how the physical body should be. What about sense organs?

sampreksya nasikagram svam – looking at the tip of the nose, is the verbatim translation.  Some translatiors have taken the mening of nasikagram as the tip of the nose. There is nothing spiritual to be gained by gazing at the tip of the nose. The right meaning as Shankara indicated is that one shoud concentrate his gaze at starting point of the nose . which is fused to the  head in between the eyebrows.

Dishaschanavalokayan – Not looking at disha or directions (around).This is an important instruction. One should concentrate his gaze at a central point in beween the eyes I.e where the nose starts. This is an indication of mind’s restlessness.

Krsihan does not talk about breathing regulation.  

VERSE 6:14

Method of dhyana yoga continued प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीर्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थितः ।मनः संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्परः ॥६:१४॥ 

praśāntātmā vigatabhīrbrahmacārivratē sthitaḥ |

manaḥ saṁyamya maccittō yukta āsīta matparaḥ ||6:14||


प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीः र्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थितः

मनः संयम्य मच्चित्तः युक्तः आसीत मत्परः


प्रशान्तात्मा –serene विगतभीः- being fearless र्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते- in the vow of celebecy स्थितः- situated मनः-the mind  संयम्य- having controlled मच्चित्तः- the mind settled in me युक्तः-engaged  आसीत-shuld sit  मत्परः- having me as the supreme goal


Keeping himself perfecty calm and free from fear, with steadfastness in Brahmacharya, with the mind fully controlled and the thoughts centered on me, the yogi should sit meditating on me as the final goal.


प्रशान्तात्मा –- When the meditatator has thus practiced contemplation for long period of time, he comes to experience a larger share of quietude and peace in his mind. This is prashanti -the inner silence, a reveling in an atmosphere of extreme joy and contentment. Atma is mind. For the mind to be serene it must be free from raga and dwesha or likes and dislikes and has to be trained to be in silence for a long time. The subconscious mind also becomes quietened.

विगतभीः– free from ear. What is the fear the mediator entertains? The fear of the future, fear of failure in spiritual progress and above all the fear of disease and death. The fear of future wears off as one realizes that the supreme will provide for everyone. He is the supporter of all. There can be no fear of attrition because the Lord has assured that every sadhana will be accouted for either in this birth or next. The lord says न हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चिद्‌दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति (6:40) a performer of good deed has no evil plight.Moreover for one who knows that there is nothing other than self, there so question of any fear.

र्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थितः –One who meditates for self purification has to fallow the vow of chastity and celibacy. Desire and sex are the greatest distracters of mind. र्ब्रह्मचारी व्रत also means one who moves about in the thoughts of Brahman in his body, mind and speech. Brahmacharya indeed is not only practice of sexual control but also self -control of all avenues of sense -impulses and sense -satisfaction. Sex impulse is only one of the many enchantments. It should be stressed that being married should never be taken by any sincere seeker as a license of sexual over-indulgence. True seekers should always make a sincere effort to be temperate.

Does a man or woman who lived in a hostel in a long time with the supply of fixed food and beverages induge in overeating when they have their own kitchen? No they practice temper the craving.

मनः संयम्य – Having tamed the mind, and keeping it away from its endless dissipations. Krishna has given certain guidelines of general and specific desciplines of meditation for quietning the mind. In Vedanta shama, dama, uprama, Titiksha and samadhana are the tools prescribed. (शम, दम, उपरम, तितीक्षा, and समाधान).

मच्चित्तः –Mind fixed in me

मत्परः –having me as his goal. I am the object of meditation and goal of meditation; seeking nothing but me.

युक्तः आसीत –Let him sit in yoga. He must continue meditation and at suitable time he will get fulfilment of meditaion. Keep the single pointed mind in the contemplation of divine Self and His Eternal Nature. With the silence and quietude within, the seeker will wake up to relize his own infinite, eternal, blissful and quite Nature. (Sachidannda Brahma)


VERSE 6:15

The fuits of meditationयुञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी नियतमानसः ।शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति ॥६:१५॥ 

yuñjannēvaṁ sadātmānaṁ yōgī niyatamānasaḥ |

śāntiṁ nirvāṇaparamāṁ matsaṁsthāmadhigacchati ||6:15||

युञ्जन् एवम्  सदा आत्मानम् योगी नियतमानसः

शान्तिम् निर्वाणपरमाम् मत्संस्थाम् अधिगच्छति ॥६:१५॥


युञ्जन् –engaging in the yoga of meditation एवम् –like this (described in previous verses)  सदा –always आत्मानम् –his mind or thoughts योगी-the yogi नियतमानसः –of controlled mind शान्तिम् –everlasting peace निर्वाणपरमाम् –that which culminates in nirvana    मत्संस्थाम् –my being अधिगच्छति -attains


Thus constantly practising to keep his mind fixed on me  in meditation, the yogi of disciplined mind attains everlasting peace of my being; the final nirvana (deliverance).


युञ्जन् एवम् सदा आत्मानम्– always engaging the mind in ceaseless meditative union with spirit (Brahman) . So far the Lord has described the specific desciplines posture, seat of meditation, how by stopping the sankalpa or thoughts of mind, it has to be fixed on the formless God. This is what is meant by the word एवम् or ‘in this way’

नियतमानसः योगी –the yogi of controlled mind. That means the mind does not wander and remains focussed on God, the object of meditation

शान्तिम् निर्वाणपरमाम् –attains everlasting peace which culminates in nirvana.

The yogi reaches the absolute peace that is my own nature. Self is the absolute peace because there are no physical excitements, mental agitations and intellectual disturbances in the self.

The peace referred to here is the same as ‘immortal peace’ शाष्वच्छांतिंम् mentioned in 9:32 and ‘ supreme peace” पराम् शान्तिम्  referred to in 18:62. It has been variously described as God realization, attainment of supreme goal etc


क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शाष्वच्छांतिं निगच्छति ।

कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति ॥९:३१॥

तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत । तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम् ॥१८:६२॥


निर्वाण परमाम् –The word Nirvana has much been abused by the Buddhists. It has been mistaken by them as the extinction of consciousness.  Nirvana is indeed the extinction of individuality. Individuality is an aspect of maya, which makes all waves on the ocean of Brahman appear as separate and real. The waves have no individual existence. – Yogananda 

मत्संस्थाम् अधिगच्छति –and comes to me. The yogi can meditate on three forms of God. ऎक रूप, (in one form of Rama, Krishna etc) अनॆक रूप or विश्व रूप (many forms or universal spirit)  and अरूप (formless consciousness). When the Lord says, that the yogi comes to me, he comes to my being, we must understand that the meditator gets merged into the meditated. 


The dualists argue that the words mat -samstham adhigacchati indicates that the seeker reaches unto the supreme self. That means the supreme self is different from the yogi. In that case the goal of the meditaton becomes an ‘object’. The truth is the seeker finds supreme peace in himself which is nothing but the self.

VERSE 6:16

moderation regarding eating,and  sleeping for one who practices yogaनात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः ।न चाति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन ॥६:१६॥


nātyaśnatastu yōgō:’sti na caikāntamanaśnataḥ |

na cāti svapnaśīlasya jāgratō naiva cārjuna ||6:16||

न अत्यश्नतः तु योगः अस्ति न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः

न च अति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतः न एव अर्जुन


न- not अत्यश्नतः- one who eats too much तु- however योगः-yoga  अस्ति-is there  न-not  च-and  एकान्तम्-at all अनश्नतः-abstining from eating  न-not  च-and  अति-too much  स्वप्नशीलस्य-of one who sleeps  जाग्रतः-of one who foregoes sleep  न-not  एव-ineed अर्जुन-Arjuna


O Arjuna, yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, or who deos not eat at all, or for one who sleeps too much or too little.


न अत्यश्नतः तु योगः अस्ति Yoga is not possible for one who eats too much. It is impotant that a practitioner eats food to keep his body and mind in sound condition. The word ‘eating’ should be understood as inputs not only by mouth but from other senses like sound, smell, etc. Too much of food or recreation should be avoided. It is recommended that half the stomach should be filled with food, one fourth with water and leave the rest one fourth empty. We should eat to live but not live tp eat.


It is necessary to keep the body fit and healthy for spiritual progress. Sushruta Samhita says: शरीर माध्यम् खलु धर्म साधनम्.

The body is an important tool for gaining spiritual progress. Maitreyi Upanishad says देहॊ देवालय प्रोक्तः the body is a temple which yo0u have to keep fit.


न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः योगः अस्ति– Yoga is not possible for one who fasts exceedingly.

न च अति स्वप्नशीलस्य  योगः अस्ति– One who habitually oversleeps cannot master yoga. Exessive sleep induces lethargy and passion.

जाग्रतः न एव योगः अस्ति अर्जुन –the one who keeps awake and sleeps too little is also not fit for yoga. Foregoing sleep may result in medical problems.

A yogi should avoid extreme indulgence in uncontrolled desires as well as the opposite extreme of yogic discipline  of  torturing of the body and mind.

Nowhere in Gita does Krishna more clearly teach moderation than in these two stanzas. Moderation is the basic teaching of all religions. Krishna, Buddha, Jesus etc.

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. समत्वम् योगमुच्यते


VERSE 6:17

The yoga of meditation destroys all suferingsयुक्ताहारविहारस्य  युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ॥६:१७॥ 

yuktāhāravihārasya  yuktacēṣṭasya karmasu |

yuktasvapnāvabōdhasya yōgō bhavati duḥkhahā ||6:17||

युक्ताहारविहारस्य  युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु

युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगः भवति दुःखहा

yuktāhāravihārasya  yuktacēṣṭasya karmasu |yuktasvapnāvabōdhasya yōgō bhavati duḥkhahā ||6:17||


युक्तः आहार विहारस्य  युक्तः चेष्टस्य कर्मसु

युक्तः स्वप्ना अवबोधस्य योगः भवति दुःखहा


युक्तः-moderate आहार-in eating विहारस्य- in recreation युक्तः-moderate चेष्टस्य कर्मसु-balanced in working युक्तः-moderate स्वप्ना- sleep and अवबोधस्य-wakefulness योगः- the yoga भवति-becomes दुःखहा-slayer of sorrows


But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yoga.


Yoga is the union of the soul with God. The opposite of Yog is bhoga, which means engagement in sensual pleasures. Indulgence in bhoga violates the natural laws of the body, and results in roga (disease). As stated in the previous verse, if the body becomes diseased, it impedes the practice of Yoga. Thus in this verse, Shree Krishna states that by being temperate in bodily activities and practicing Yoga, we can become free from the sorrows of the body and mind.

The same instruction was repeated two-and-a-half millennium after Shree Krishna by Gautam Buddha, when he recommended the golden middle path between severe asceticism and sensual indulgence. There is a beautiful story regarding this. It is said that before gaining enlightenment, Gautam Buddha once gave up eating and drinking, and sat in meditation. However, after a few days of practicing in this manner, the lack of nourishment made him weak and dizzy, and he found it impossible to steady his mind in meditation. At that time, some village women happened to be passing by. They were carrying water pots on their heads that they had filled from the river nearby, and were singing a song. The words of the song were: “Tighten the strings of the tānpurā (a stringed Indian musical instrument, resembling a guitar). But do not tighten them so much that the strings break.” Their words entered the ears of Gautam Buddha, and he exclaimed, “These illiterate village women are singing such words of wisdom. They contain a message for us humans. We too should tighten our bodies (practice austerities), but not to the extent that the body is destroyed.”—Swami Mukundananda


युक्ताहारविहारस्य –temperate or regulated in food and recreation. The regulation applies with regard to the nature of food, and its quatity. The food should be sattvik, should have been obtained by ethical and legal means. There is a rule regarding the quantity of food. Half of the tummy should be filled with food, one-fourth with water and leave the balance one fourth empty. The word Yukta – means “controlled”. One who controls eating, walking (ahara, vihara), and controls actions such as speech (Cheshta) during performance of both material and spiritual duties

युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु – Regulated in activity. We should be very discrete in selecting an action as also in its due performance. Yukta cheshthasya means one who performs proper and approprioate actions. Having selected a divine work we get bound and enslaved by its deadline and thus put in more number of hours than the body can sustain. Or, we may become more enchanted in the activity than to the goal. Both cases create more vasanas or tendencies in us and we sink into more and more agitations in the mind. Thus our effort instead of redeeming us may create more bondage. Hence the work yukta, which means temperate, appropriate and not over -indulgence.


युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य –One who has controlled his sleeping and waking habits. Just as too much of eating or fasting is bad, too much of sleep or walking also jeopardise our health and progress.

योगः भवति दुःखहा –Yoga ensures zereo suffering. ‘ha’ means ‘harati’ or takes away. It takes away or destroys all our  miseries or the body and mind. Yoga here refers to Dhyna yoga


VERSE 6:18

The charecteristics of consummation of dhyana yogaVeerse 18 to 26 Actual mediationयदा विनियतं चित्तमात्मन्येवावतिष्ठते ।निःस्पृहः सर्वकामेभ्यो युक्त इत्युच्यते तदा ॥६:१८॥ yadā viniyataṁ cittamātmanyēvāvatiṣṭhatē |niḥspr̥haḥ sarvakāmēbhyō yukta ityucyatē tadā ||6:18|| यदा विनियतम् चित्तम् आत्मनि एव अवतिष्ठतेनिःस्पृहः सर्वकामेभ्यः युक्तः इति उच्यते तदायदा- when विनियतम्-perfectly desciplined  चित्तम्-mind आत्मनि-on God एव-exclusively अवतिष्ठते-rests focussed निःस्पृहः-free from longing सर्वकामेभ्यः-from all desires युक्तः-established in dhyana Yoga इति-as उच्यते-spoken of तदा-then 

When the chitta (mind) is completely calmed and centred in the self, the yogi, freed from every attachment and desire, attains the state known as union with God.

 Ater describing the general and specific desciplines for the control of mind, Krishna takes up the subject of actual mediation from Verse 18 to 26.  यदा विनियतम् चित्तम्-When the mind is thoroughly disciplined as described form verses 10 to 17, starting from  योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः to योगो भवति दुःखहा. This  includes specific desciplines like selection of seat for meditation, posture, centring  the mind to  single point, withholding it from flowing to other objects, moderation in life style, food and relaxation. When the yogi sits in meditation centring the mind on a personal God or a formless God he comes ‘Yukta’ and ‘macchitta’.  When the seeker disciplines the mind irrevocably in God in this way, आत्मनि एव अवतिष्ठते– the mind gets established in the self. It looses consciousness of all other objects and gets focussed on God. निःस्पृहः सर्वकामेभ्यः-free from longing and attachment for all desires of the world or the next.  युक्तः इति उच्यते तदा Then he becomes Yukta i.e. in communion or united with God.  http://www.ashtangayoga.info/source-texts/yoga-sutra-patanjali/chapter-2/item/yama-niyama-asana-pranayama-pratyahara-dharana/ यम नियमासन प्राणायाम प्रत्याहार धारणा ध्यान समाधयोऽष्टावङ्गानि yama niyamāsana prāṇāyāma pratyāhāra dhāraṇā dhyāna samādhayō:’ṣṭāvaṅgāni  The limbs of the eight-fold path are as follows: respect for others (yama) and yourself (niyama); harmony with your body (asana), your energy (pranayama), your thoughts (dharana), and your emotions (pratyahara); contemplation (dhyana); ecstasy (samadhi). ||29|| yama = respect for others; ethical and moral codes of conduct; codes of conduct niyama = respect for yourself; code of conduct vis-à-vis yourselfāsana = body posture; seat; harmony with your body prāṇāyāma = breath control; harmony with vital energy pratyāhāra = withdrawal of the senses; harmony with emotions dhāraṇā = concentration; harmony with thoughts dhyāna = contemplation; meditation samādhayaḥ = (ecstasy; samadhi; goal of yoga; enlightenment; transcendent state aṣṭa = respectaṅgāni = limbs Preparatory stagesThe preparatory stages along the path to yoga – yama and niyama – for the basis for the actual practice of yoga. Practice of yogaThe practice of aṣṭāṅga-yoga itself comprises āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra and dhāraṇā, i.e. from the physical to the ethereal, as follows: āsnana: harmony with the physical body; prāṇāyāma: harmony with the energetic body; pratyāhāra: emotional harmony; dhāraṇā: harmony of thought.

VERSE 6:19

 Description of a yogi’s tranquil mindयथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता ।योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ॥६:१९॥

yathā dīpō nivātasthō nēṅgatē sōpamā smr̥tā |

yōginō yatacittasya yuñjatō yōgamātmanaḥ ||6:19||


यथा दीपः निवातस्थः न इङ्गते सा उपमा स्मृता

योगिनः यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतः योगम् आत्मनः

यथा-just as दीपः-a lamp निवातस्थः-kept in a windless place न- does not इङ्गते- flicker सा-that उपमा-simili स्मृता-is thought योगिनः-of the yogi यतचित्तस्य-of one with controlled mind युञ्जतः-of the practising योगम्-yoga of meditation आत्मनः-on the self or God


‘As a lamp placed in a windless place’ is a simili used to describe the yogi of a controlled mind, practising the yoga of the self.


यथा दीपः निवातस्थः-just as a lamp kept in a windless place

न इङ्गते सा उपमा स्मृताdoes not flicker. The sign of yogic perfection is that the mind remains always undisturbed like the flame of a lamp in a windless place. If the doors and windows are open the flame agitates. Similarly, if the mind  succumbs to the sense impulses, it gets distracted and becomes unfit for the practice of yoga.

योगिनः यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतः योगम् आत्मनः– A yogi of controlled mind engages in the meditation of the self. Such a mind can remain immovably in mediation not the  one which agitates and flickers like a lamp kept in a windy place.


VERSE 6:20

 Description of a man  self- realization by dhyana yogaयत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया ।यत्र चैवात्मनात्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति ॥६:२०॥

yatrōparamatē cittaṁ niruddhaṁ yōgasēvayā |

yatra caivātmanātmānaṁ paśyannātmani tuṣyati ||6:20||


यत्र उपरमते चित्तम् निरुद्धम् योगसेवया

यत्र च एव आत्मना अत्मानम् पश्यन् आत्मनि तुष्यति


यत्र-where उपरमते-attains quititude, becomes still चित्तम्-the mind निरुद्धम्-controlled योगसेवया-by the practice of yoga यत्र-where च- and एव-only आत्मना-by the little self or jiva पश्यन्-perceives iself अत्मानम्-as the self or Paramatma (Brahman) आत्मनि तुष्यति-revels in the self.


The state of complete tranquility of the mind, attained by the practice of yoga of meditation in which the self (the soul) beholds itself as the spirit (sachidananda Paramatma) or Bahman and rejoices in it. This state is Self Realization.


यत्र उपरमते चित्तम् निरुद्धम् योगसेवया– Where the mind becomes completely tranquil and free from distractions by the practice of yoga of meditation.  यत्र means where. It refers to samadhi or absorption of mind by the continued pactice of Dhyanayoga or meditation. How the mind is निरुद्धम् controlled? By yoga sevaya practice of meditation?  It becomes quite, drops the world, relations like father, son, wife, guru and shishya. Stops all chitta vrutti. योगसेवया refers to several external and internal practices to quiten the mind. Shravana, manana and nidhidhyasana. Such a mind is called samadhi. So, yatra means  the state of samadhi.

 and perceives Atma and stays in it enjoying the beatitude. This is the meaning of yatra.


यत्र च एव आत्मना अत्मानम् पश्यन् आत्मनि तुष्यति– In this state of absorption of mind, one experiences Atma with and rejoices in it. The jiva beholds itself as sachidnanda paramatma and revels in it.  The yogi realizes the transcendental consciousness.  In the very state of samadhi. अत्मानम् पश्यति  experiences the self. आत्मनि एव in the mind. Here he does not see the transcendental God seated on a throne. He experiences the self within his mind.

One cannot comprehend the infinite by the mind or reasoning. The senses whch are finite in nature cannot perceive the infinite. The highest faculty is not reasoning but intuition. When the intellect becomes subtle by continued practice of yoga of meditation, by the faculty of intuition, it can experience the self and the bliss.


VERSE 6:21

 The state of self realizationसुखमात्यन्तिकं यत्तद् बुद्धिग्राह्यमतीन्द्रियम् ।वेत्ति यत्र न चैवायं स्थितश्चलति तत्त्वतः ॥६:२१॥sukhamātyantikaṁ yattad buddhigrāhyamatīndriyam |vētti yatra na caivāyaṁ sthitaścalati tattvataḥ ||6:21||


सुखम् अत्यन्तिकम् यत् तत् बुद्धिग्राह्यम् अतीन्द्रियम्

वेत्ति यत्र न च एव अयम् स्थितः चलति तत्त्वतः

सुखम्-the bliss अत्यन्तिकम्-infiinte यत्-which तत्-that बुद्धिग्राह्यम्-can be comprehended only by subtle and purified intellect अतीन्द्रियम्-beyond the senses वेत्ति- experiences यत्र-in which state न-not च-and एव-aslo अयम्-this yogi स्थितः-establisehd चलति-moves तत्त्वतः-from reality of God.

The state in which the yogi experiences the eternal, super-sensory bliss of Brahman by his awakend intuitive intellect, wherein established he never moves from that truth. This state is Self Realization.


सुखम् अत्यन्तिकम् यत् तत् बुद्धिग्राह्यम् अतीन्द्रियम् The joy experienced by the yogi has been qualified by three adjectives. अत्यन्तिकम् eternal; बुद्धिग्राह्यम् experienced only through purified and subtle intellect; and अतीन्द्रियम् beyond the realm of senses. The lord has referred to three types of joy in chapter 18, verses 36 to 39. They are sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika. All these joys are temporary, experienced by the senses. They are called koshananda or the joy experienced by the body and mind.  The bliss experienced by the yogi is not this type of ordinary, fleeting happiness. It is

अत्यन्तिकम्  सुखम् -limitless ananda. The pleasure and gratification provided by the senses has a limited shelf life. It wears of in time. So you have to recharge it. In the joyous state of samadhi one experiences Brahananda which is beyond time, space and object.

बुद्धिग्राह्यम् अतीन्द्रियम् सुखम्

This pleasure is experienced only by purified subtle intellect. This phrase looks like a paradox. If it is beyond the senses, how it could be comprehended by the intellect? Yes it is beyond the reach of intellect; nevertheless, just as a sky is reflected by a clean mirror, the infinite bliss is reflected into a pure and subtle intellect. The yogi experiences this eternal joy by his intuitive faculty. That is why it is called buddhigrahyam.

वेत्ति यत्र न च एव अयम् स्थितः चलति तत्त्वतः– wherein established the yogi does not move from the truth on any account. Tattva means reality. Tattvatah means from the reality of God. The yogi who has irrevocably immersed in God by meditation, who experiences joy of eternal consciousness will never get disunited from him. God is the reality; and God is bliss.

The soul yearns for infinite bliss. रसो वै सः God is bliss imself. The individual soul becomes blissful on attaining him.


VERSE 6:22

 After obtaining the treasure of self-realization all other treaures look a bit trifleयं लब्ध्वा चापरं लाभं मन्यते नाधिकं ततः ।यस्मिन्स्थितो न दुःखेन गुरुणापि विचाल्यते ॥६:२२॥yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyatē nādhikaṁ tataḥ |yasminsthitō na duḥkhēna guruṇāpi vicālyatē ||6:22|| यम् लब्ध्वा च अपरम् लाभम् मन्यते न अधिकम् ततः यस्मिन् स्थितः न दुःखेन गुरुणा अपि विचाल्यते यम्-which लब्ध्वा-having obtained च-and अपरम्-any other gain लाभम्-gain मन्यते-thinks न-not अधिकम्-greater ततः-than that यस्मिन्-in which स्थितः-established न-not दुःखेन-by suffering गुरुणा-heavy अपि-also विचाल्यते-is shaken The state which having obtained, the yogi considers as the treassure beyond all treasures and once established in it, he is not moved even by the greatest calamity. This state is Self Realization.यम् लब्ध्वा च अपरम् लाभम् मन्यते न अधिकम् ततः– having obtained that treasure, all other treasures look a bit trifle. The greatest treasure a man can get is self realization (आत्म लाभ). There is a saying आत्मलाभान्न परं विद्यते , there is no gain greater than the gain of knowledge of self. All the super gains obained by the vedik rites such as heaven, Brahma Loka, Shiva Loka, Vaikuntha are all relatively tempoarary and not free from faults. A man looks for gain in all his transactions. When a merchant weighs paddy bags, the first one is counted as labha or gain.  All the gains are fleeting in nature and experiential gains. The gain of God realization is the ultimate, infinite, and is not tainted with suffering. यस्मिन् स्थितः न दुःखेन गुरुणा अपि विचाल्यते Once established in this Brahmananda, he is not moved by any calamity. A God Realized yogi is not shaken by any trials and tribulations, greatest ordeals, pain, bereavement, insult, injury, or any form of suffering. He remains disjointed with the body and mind and exists in this last leg of the mortal world till his prarabdha (destiny) is exhausted. Swami Muktananda: —

In the material realm, no extent of attainment satiates a person totally. A poor person strives hard to become rich, and feels satisfied if he or she is able to become a millionaire. But when that same millionaire looks at a billionaire, discontentment sets in again. The billionaire is also discontented by looking at an even richer person. No matter what happiness we get, when we perceive a higher state of happiness, the feeling of unfulfillment lingers. But happiness achieved from the state of Yoga is the infinite bliss of God. Since there is nothing higher than that, on experiencing that infinite bliss, the soul naturally perceives that it has reached its goal.

God’s divine bliss is also eternal, and it can never be snatched away from the yogi who has attained it once. Such a God-realized soul, though residing in the material body, remains in the state of divine consciousness. Sometimes, externally, it seems that the Saint is facing tribulations in the form of illness, antagonistic people, and oppressive environment, but internally the Saint retains divine consciousness and continues to relish the bliss of God. Thus, even the biggest difficulty cannot shake such a Saint. Established in union with God, the Saint rises above bodily consciousness and is thus not affected by bodily harm. Accordingly, we hear from the Puranas how Prahlad was put in a pit of snakes, tortured with weapons, placed in the fire, thrown off a cliff, etc. but none of these difficulties could break Prahlad’s devotional union with God.



VERSE 6:23

 A man of perfection  ever remains free from contact with sorrow I.e samsaraतं विद्याद्‌दुःखसंयोगवियोगं योगसंज्ञितम् ।स निश्चयेन योक्तव्यो योगोऽनिर्विण्णचेतसा ॥६:२३॥ 

तम् विद्यात् दुःखसंयोगवियोगम् योगसंज्ञितम्

सः निश्चयेन योक्तव्यः योगः अनिर्विण्णचेतसा


तम्-that state विद्यात्-let him (sadhaka) know दुःखसंयोगवियोगम्-free from contact with union of pain, disasociation with association of sorow. योगसंज्ञितम्-called by the name of yoga सः-that योगः-yoga निश्चयेन-with determination योक्तव्यः-should be practised अनिर्विण्णचेतसा-with undeviating mind


The state of severance fom union with sarrow is called yoga. This yoga should be practiced with firm determination and without mental weariness.


Krishna has been teaching Vedanta dhyna from verse 18:20 onwards. He has not prescribed meditation for aquiring self-knowledge but for internalizing knowledge we have already acquired. Shankaracharya says, वेदान्त वाक्यादेव आत्म ज्ञानम् उदति. Self knowledge comes only from teachings of Vedanta. Swami Chinmayanada says, you may have gone throough 10 Upanishads, but the main point is how many Upanishads have gone through you. Whatever you have learnt in Shravanam has to be assimilated in nidhidhyasanam. First withdraw the mind from world personality and bring it to  the teaching. This process  is called dharana. Then dwell upon the teaching. It is called dhyana. When I am absorbed in the teaching I disassociate with the realm of the world. I am completely dipped in the realm of God. Iam absorbed in the satchidanta swarupa. This is nirvikalpa samadhi.

He gives definition for Nirvikalpa samadhi from verse no 20.


The frst definition we saw was चित्त उपरमम् or quietening the mind. It is not a thoughtless state. It is a state where the mind is not disturbed by any external or inernal factors.  Really speaking, he mind constantly dwells on the higher spirit or Brahman. Verse 20


The second definition was आत्म दर्शनम्. That means becoming aware of my real nature that I am not the body or mind but I am infinite Consciousness and bliss. Verse 20


The third definition was  आत्यंतिकम् सुखम् unfathomable happiness . Verse 21 Object produced happiness is time bound. But self happiness is unlimited.


The fourth definition was तत्त्व निष्ट which means he is ever established in his true nature. He will not slip out of this state , what may come by. It is like a Rolly Polly toy which always keeps the centre of gravity.

A tattva nishta always keeps in his centre of gravity which is Aham Brahmasmi.


The fifth definition is आत्यन्तिक लाभम् which means endless or infinite gain. That is discovering that peace and fullness are my own nature or swarupa.


The sixth definition is आत्यन्तिक दुःख निवृत्तिः which means he will not be shaken by any calamity. The third definition was आत्यंतिकम् सुखम्. This sukha or happiness is not a product of meditation. If it were so, the happiness should wither out as soon as meditation is stopped. So the definitioin is removal of misery. A man is happy and peaceful by nature. It is an

account of the shroud of  ajnyana that he does not experience the happiness. In shravana, manana and nidhidhyasana this envelope of ignorance is removed. Slo Jyna or happiness is disclosed.


दुःखसंयोगवियोगम् योगसंज्ञितम् –severance of contact with sorrow. Samyoga is contact. So it means cessation of contact with sorrow, diassociation with association of sorrow.  It would have been suffient to say दुःखवियोगम् (Dukha viyogam) which means freedom from sorrow. The lord has added the word samyoga in between. So the meaning is not freedom from sorrow but freedom from contact with sorrow.  What is sorrow or Dukha? Decay, disease, death, fear of future etc  are the major source of sorrow. Krishna says in 8:15 that the world is in the realm of maya and it is दुःखालयम् ,अशाष्वतम्, full of misery and temporary.

 In other words, contact with the world is sorrow. When the soul of the yogi is for ever united in Nirvikalpa Samadhi to the Brahman it cannot again experience any  physical and  mental suffering. Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the ultimate state of union with God-soul.

सः योगः निश्चयेन योक्तव्यः– This yoga should be practised  with firm determination and अनिर्विण्णचेतसा without mental weariness. If a seeker does not find that his perseverant and genuine practice is not yielding results he should not be impatient. “He should continue with his practice undauntedly uniting his ego with his soul and his soul with spirit until he reaches the final beatitude in which the soul is never again to be separated from spirit” (–Yogananda).

In the Nilgiri Hills in South India, a crop of exotic flowers called “Kurunji” bloom once in a few years. It makes a spectacular sight of decorating the mountain with violet and blue flowers.  The people who want to enjoy this sight have to visit the hills several times. Similarly it takes several years or births of  effort of meditation to achieve union with God.


Swami Paramatnananda adds:

In the verses from 20 to 26, Krishna introduces the advanced stage of yoga or vedantik meditaiton that is focussing on formless God, or Nirguna Ishwara. The following transformations take place in him.

  1. Tranquility of mind (Chitta Uparamanam). Verse 20. The complete tranquillity is not a thoughtless state, but there is no disturbing thought.
  2. Atma darshanam (Self-realization). He owns up his real nature. He loses the body identification and gets God identification; identification with consciousness. (यत्र चैवात्मनात्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति) Verse 20
  3. Atyantikam Sukham (Extreme Bliss). He owns up the fact that his very nature is reality-consciousness-bliss. It is not experiential happiness which is bound by time and space. सुखम् अत्यन्तिकम् Verse 21.
  4. Tattva Nishta. A state in which a person abides in his true nature and will never skip from that. स्थितश्चलति तत्त्वतः Verse 21
  5. Atyantikam labham (Greatest accomplishment in life). He perceives everywhere peace and completeness (Shanti and purnatva) यं लब्ध्वा चापरं लाभं मन्यते नाधिकं ततः Verse 22
  6. Atyantika Dukha Nivratti (freedom from any form of suffering). दुःखसंयोगवियोगम् Verse 23

VERSE 6:24

Completely renouncing all the desires in the mind, one should restrain the whole group of senses  संकल्पप्रभवान्कामांस्त्यक्त्वा सर्वानशेषतः ।मनसैवेन्द्रियग्रामं विनियम्य समन्ततः ॥६:२४॥saṁkalpaprabhavānkāmāṁstyaktvā sarvānaśēṣataḥ |manasaivēndriyagrāmaṁ viniyamya samantataḥ ||6:24|| 

संकल्पप्रभवान् कामान् सर्वान् त्यक्त्वा अशेषतः

मनसा एव इन्द्रियग्रामम् विनियम्य समन्ततः

संकल्पप्रभवान्-arising from the thoughts of the world कामान्-desires सर्वान्-all त्यक्त्वा-having abandoned अशेषतः-completely without trace मनसा-by mind एव-verily इन्द्रियग्रामम्-the whole group of senses विनियम्य-restraining समन्ततः-from all sides


Completely renouncing without reserve all desires born of sankalpa (idea, conception), and restraining the whole group of senses by the mind from all sides..


संकल्पप्रभवान् कामान् सर्वान् त्यक्त्वा अशेषतः– Relinquish without exception all longings born out of sankalpa. Sankalpa is a mental thought of planning and designing material activities for the fulfilment of planned ends. At meditation even if you  voluntarily switch off the mind with great efforts, the subconscious mind initiates restless sankalpa or fancying. अशेषतः scoop out without traces of latent desires, and attachments from the mind. Shesha means remainder. Ashesha means without any balance or traces. The saffron stored in a container smells saffron.  Complete renunciation of all desires includes abrasion or erasing of the traces of vasana.

मनसा एव इन्द्रियग्रामम् विनियम्य समन्ततः –restraining the whole group of senses with the mind.  इन्द्रियग्रामम् means the group of sensory organs, the sensory powers, and their contact with the sense objects. It is the nature of the senses to run wildly after the sense objects namely sensation of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell (श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षु: रसना घ्राणम् इति पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि). If the mind is weak they drag it with them. If the mind is strong and resolute with the practice of desciplines explained in verse 11 to 13 above the group of senses become ineffective.

It becomes therefore adequately clear that it is only the mind which can lead us astray and it is only mind again which can redeem us.

मन एव मनुष्याणाम् कारणम् बंधमोप्क्ष्यॊः


VERSE 6:25

 Little by little  a yogi should quiten the mind firmly with will power and fix it on God शनैः शनैरुपरमेद्‌बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया ।आत्मसंस्थं मनः कृत्वा न किंचिदपि चिन्तयेत् ॥६:२५॥ śanaiḥ śanairuparamēd–buddhyā dhr̥tigr̥hītayā |ātmasaṁsthaṁ manaḥ kr̥tvā na kiṁcidapi cintayēt ||6:25|| शनैः शनै उपरमेत् बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया आत्मसंस्थम् मनः कृत्वा किंचित् अपि  न चिन्तयेत् शनैः-slowly and शनै-gradually उपरमेत् – let the yogi obtain quietitude बुद्ध्या- by intellect , (intuitive discrimination) धृतिगृहीतया- steadfastness (unwavering, resolute mind), by the will power आत्मसंस्थम्– focussed on God मनः-the mind कृत्वा-having made किंचित्- anything (other than God) अपि-even न चिन्तयेत्-sould not think of Little by little, let the yogi attain quietitude by firm intellect, and  fix the mind on the self, not thinking  of anything alse.  शनैः शनै उपरमेत् बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया let the yogi slowly and gradually attain tranquillity. (उपरमेत्).  This process of quititude of mind should be slow and gradual (शनैः शनै).  In the seat of meditation, when the mind wanders into the material objects of the world, it should be brought back in contemplation of God. A strong steadfast intellect can control the unruly mind and wean it from the external attractions. There is no quick-fix solution. One has to practice the contemplation over long periods of time  शनैः शनै  slowly and gradually, to stop the invasion of restless thoughts.  आत्मसंस्थम् मनः कृत्वा having established the mind on God or self. Atma being all pervading is everywhere including the mind. We have to become aware of it.  The mind by continued practice of the yoga of meditation gets immersed in God. किंचित् अपि चिन्तयेत्-the yogi should not think of anything else other than God. He should free the mind from all sankalpas and extrovertness and continuously focus on God alone.So the process of fixing the mind on God can the summerized as below:1. Specific desciplines described in verse 10 to 15 2. Free the mind of all sankalpa (thoughts) and withdraw the mind from objects of the world. Verse 243. Slowly and gradually visualizing the emptiness of the sky which is all- pervading.  Practice auto-suggestion to the mind that my physical body of five koshas, the mind including its emotions and vruttis (thoughts) are not mine. I am different from them. I am the the consciousness. The jiva or soul is imprisoned in the third third party body. Uplift the jiva and try to submerge it into the consciousness or spirit. Since it is a subjective meditation, all objective elements should be eliminated from the mind. Emotion is a part of the mind. It does not belong to me. The objects of external world, my own body made up of five kohsas do not belong to me. They belong to a third party. Shift the attention to the observer of the mind i.e awareness. ‘Slowly your power of concentration will increase and the mind will join the inward journey as a friend as described in Gita 6: 05 which is quoted below.  उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् । आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥६:५॥ 

VERSE 6:26

Whenever the recalcitrant mind strays into field of objects,it should be brought back and fixed on Godयतो यतो निश्चरति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् ।ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ॥६:२६॥

yatō yatō niścarati manaścañcalamasthiram |

tatastatō niyamyaitadātmanyēva vaśaṁ nayēt ||6:26||


यतः यतः निश्चरति मनः चञ्चलम् अस्थिरम्

ततः ततः नियम्य एतत् आत्मनि एव वशम् नयेत्


यतः यतः –in whatever objects (of senses such as sound, touch, sight, taste, smell) निश्चरति- wanders मनः-the mind चञ्चलम्-restless, fidgety अस्थिरम्- unsteady ततः ततः –from that very object of senses नियम्य-restrianed or pulling back एतत्-this (mind) आत्मनि-in God (self) एव-alone वशम्–under conrol नयेत्-let him (the sadhaka) bring


Whenever this restles and unsteady mind runs away after the sense objects, it should be drawn back  repeatedly under the sway of self (God) alone.


In these three verses, 24, 25 and 26 Krishna gives a clear plan of action of fixing the mind on God. In verse 24  he spoke about giving up of all desires arising from  the sankalpa or intention of action and withdrawing the mind from its object of desire. In 25 he referres to the quietitude of the mind by focussing it on God and stop thinking anything but God (आत्मसंस्थं मनः कृत्वा न किंचिदपि चिन्तयेत्). In verse 26 he speaks about the technique of bringing back the mind from multiple thoughts it entertains.


यतः यतः निश्चरति मनः चञ्चलम् अस्थिरम्– For whatever reason the mind which is naturally restless (चञ्चलम्) and unsteady (अस्थिरम्) , runs after the objects of attraction.

The Lord has made three points clear in this paragraph. One is the mind is ever unstead and fidgety. He has qualified the mind by two adjectives: चञ्चलम्  and अस्थिरम् wavering and unruly. Because of this  fickle character, the seeker will experience that when he tries to concentrate the mind on the self, in a short time the mind unregistrably thinks of some past experience, of an object in its proximity, association of ideas, some attachment or aversion. Krishna’s statement is very categorical. For whatever reason or no reason if the mind moves away from the object of focus, bring it back and fix it on the Atman.

ततः ततः नियम्य एतत्– by calling back the mind from the objects toward which it has gone astray. The seeker should remain alert and should not let the mind entertain the object.

आत्मनि एव वशम् नयेत्-focus it on the Atman only. Having called back the mind from its object of desire, the sadhaka has to give the mind some work to do. Otherwise the mind becomes a devil’s workshop. He has to fix the mind on the Atman. This process has to be repeated slowly and gradually, many times all over until the mind becomes free from thoughts and perfectly serene (प्रशान्तमनसम्).

VERSE 6:27

 The yogi experiences  the  supreme bliss of GodFruit of Meditaiton 27 to 32 प्रशान्तमनसं ह्येनं योगिनं सुखमुत्तमम् ।उपैति शान्तरजसं ब्रह्मभूतमकल्मषम् ॥६:२७॥

praśāntamanasaṁ hyēnaṁ yōginaṁ sukhamuttamam |

upaiti śāntarajasaṁ brahmabhūtamakalmaṣam ||6:27||


प्रशान्तमनसम् हि एनम् योगिनम् सुखम् उत्तमम्

उपैति शान्तरजसम् ब्रह्मभूतम् अकल्मषम्


प्रशान्तमनसम् –A yogi whose mind is perfectly serene हि-indeed एनम् योगिनम्-to this yogi सुखम्-happiness उत्तमम्-supreme उपैति-obtains शान्तरजसम्-one whose passions are subdued ब्रह्मभूतम्-to him who is identified with Brahman अकल्मषम्-sinless


The yogi whose mind is perfectly serene whose passions are subdued and is free from sins, and who has identified with Brahman, supreme bliss comes to him as a matter of course.

In this verse the Lord speaks about the reward of meditation of Yoga.

प्रशान्तमनसम् हि एनम् योगिनम् – One whose mind has been stilled by perseverent yogic practice. Several desciplines have been discussed for silencing of the mind. These include cessation of sankalpa (fancying or indulgence in the thoughts of the world), management of Indriya grama (stimuli from contact with group of sense objects, and sense organs), fixation of mind on God, without thinking of anything else. Such a stilled mind is internalized on God. This  yogi is called प्रशान्तमनसम्.  Such a man is emotionally cool and does not react to any siuation. He has no hatred, jealousy, desires etc.

शान्तरजसम् अकल्मषम् – Attachment, the feeling of want, greed, self-interested activities are the causes of rajas and in turn rajas increases these qualities. शान्तरजसम् is one who has subdued rajoguna. Rajas alo includes restlessness. But this quality has been taken care of in the word शान्तरजसम्

अकल्मषम्- Kalmasha or taint is the tamasa vrutti. It is the same as ignorance. All its products such as carelessness, lazyness, procrastination, and the various forms of vices and sins are the impurities of the mind. One who is absolutely free from the impurities is calld अकल्मषम्. How to remove these impurities? Just as darkness in a room is removed by opening its windows and letting in the sunlight, knowledge of all pervading Brahman, the truth removes the darkness of the mind. The trashes like kama, krodha, dwesha etc (longing, rage, hatred) can be driven out by fallowing Bhakti, vairagya and viveka.

ब्रह्मभूतम्– Three qualifications have been given as a prerequisite for stilling the mind. These are complete quietening of mind by management of sankalpa and the host of senses-sense objects reactions, control of passions, clearing up of impurities of mind.  A yogi who has managed these three qualities in his daily transactions as well as the seat of meditation attains deep interiorized state of Samadhi and blissful oneness with spirit.

Goyandka points out that the word ब्रह्मभूतम् (become one with Brahman) has been used at two other times in Gita Chapter 5, verse 24, the Lord uses the word बह्मभूतः (bahmabhūtaḥ)

योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः ।स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥५ – २४॥

One who possesess inner bliss, one who is firmly centred in the inner self, and is illuminated by inner light (dependent on nothing outside the self), he attains absolute freedom (nirvanam) himself becoming  Brahman.

In verse 54 of chapter 18 the Lord says:

ब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति ।समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिं लभते पराम् ॥१८:५४॥

Established in identity with Brahman, cheerful in mind, the yogi no longer grieves nor craves for anything. Being the same to all, the yogi attains supreme devotion to me


सुखम् उत्तमम् उपैति– The yogi will obtain supreme happiness.This joy is not derived from any bodily conditions or external source. It is my own inherent nature and I come to experience it.

The lord refers to Sukha at two other times. In chaper 5, verse 21 he says,

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् । स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥५ २१॥

A person who has realized Brahman feels no attraction for the sensory world; he lives in the ever new joy of his own being. United to the Brahman, he attains perfection in the absolute bliss.


Again in chapter 5 of verse 24 he reiterates:

योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः ।स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥५ २४॥

One who possesess inner bliss, one who is firmly centred in the

inner self, and is illuminated by inner light, , he attains absolute freedom (nirvanam) himself becoming a Brahman.

In the next verse the Lord speaks of extreme joy obtained by a yogi.


VERSE 6:28

 By practicing the sadhanas, the yogi obtains the eternal bliss of spiritयुञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी विगतकल्मषः ।सुखेन ब्रह्मसंस्पर्शमत्यन्तं सुखमश्नुते ॥६:२८॥

yuñjannēvaṁ sadātmānaṁ yōgī vigatakalmaṣaḥ |

sukhēna brahmasaṁsparśamatyantaṁ sukhamaśnutē ||6:28||

युञ्जन् एवम् सदा आत्मानम् योगी विगतकल्मषः

सुखेन ब्रह्मसंस्पर्शम् अत्यन्तम् सुखम् अश्नुते


युञ्जन्-engaging the mind as described in earlier verses एवम्-in this way सदा-ceaslessly आत्मानम्-the mind योगी-the yogi विगतकल्मषः-free from any impurity सुखेन-easily ब्रह्मसंस्पर्शम्-the bliss of touch of spirit अत्यन्तम्-infinite सुखम्-joy अश्नुते-enjoys


The sinless yogi thus ceaslessly uniting his mind with God, easily attains the eternal bliss of touch of spirit.


युञ्जन् एवम् सदा आत्मानम्-with ceasless effort to unite his mind with unmanifest or formless divinity. The technique has been explained in the verse 20.

योगी विगतकल्मषः free from impurities.

सुखेन ब्रह्मसंस्पर्शम् अत्यन्तम् सुखम् अश्नुते– easily attains supreme bliss by contact with Brahman.

The word sukha or happiness as we know in our daily life is not completely free from miseries. It is dependent on several factors and not of the same degree all the time. It varies with time and space and our mood. This is diminidshing returns.   But the sukha mentioned here is in Vedanta called as bliss is infinite and not dependent on anything. It is the same at all the time. Ther is no trace of misery in it. So it is called atyantam sukham or inifinte bliss. Goyandkla points out that in chapter 5, verse 21, the Lord calls it as Akshaya sukha or joy which knows no diminution.

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् ।स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥५ २१॥

A person who has realized Brahman feels no attraction for the sensory world; he lives in the ever new joy of his own being. United to the Brahman, he attains perfection in the absolute bliss.


VERSE 6:29

 The yogi’s soul being united with all pervading supreme consciousness,  obtains a vision of equality to all beingsसर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः ॥६:२९॥sarvabhūtasthamātmānaṁ sarvabhūtāni cātmani |īkṣatē yōgayuktātmā sarvatra samadarśanaḥ ||6:29||सर्वभूतस्थमात्म् आत्मानम् सर्वभूतानि च आत्मनिईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः सर्वभूतस्थमात्म्-abiding in all beings आत्मानम्-self (spirit) सर्वभूतानि-all beings च-and आत्मनि-in the self (spirit) ईक्षते-sees योगयुक्तात्मा-one who is united in identity with all-pervading spirit  सर्वत्र- समदर्शनः-one who has the vision of equality  everywhere A yogi whose soul is united with all pervading supreme consciousness has a vision of equality for all beings. He beholds the supreme self in all beings and all beings in the supreme self.  सर्वभूतस्थमात्म् आत्मानम् सर्वभूतानि च आत्मनि-the supreme being as abiding in all beings and all beings abiding in the supreme self. The following text has been taken from the Gita Society Pdf. “Perception of oneness of the self in every being, animate or inanimate, is the highest spiritual perfection. Sage Yajnavalkya said: “A wife does not love her husband because of his physical attraction or security, but she loves him because she feels oneness of her soul with his soul. She is merged in her husband and becomes one with him (Brahadaranyaka Upanishad 2.04.05). Their bodies are two but Atma is one. Jesus said, “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you”.A realized yogi understands 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”. ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः The yogi who is united in God consciousness has an equal vision for all things and beings. योगयुक्तात्मा –  the soul united with the spirit, the absolute Brahman  is same as Brahmabhuta said in verse 27. He is none other than सच्चिदानन्द (सत् चित् आनंद  truth-consciousness-bliss).  

VERSE 6:30

 He beholds all beings existing in me and I, in all beingsयो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति ।तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति ॥६:३०॥ yō māṁ paśyati sarvatra sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati |tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi sa ca mē na praṇaśyati ||6:30|| यः माम् पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वम् च मयि पश्यति तस्य अहम् न प्रणश्यामि सः च मे न प्रणश्यति यः–who (the jnyani spoken of in previous verses) माम्-me पश्यति-sees सर्वत्र-everywhere सर्वम्-everything च-also मयि-in me पश्यति-sees तस्य-to him अहम्-I न-never प्रणश्यामि-lose sight of him सः-he च-also मे न प्रणश्यति –loses sight of me He who sees me, the universal self present in all beings, and all beings existing within me, never loses sight of me nor I lose sight of him.  In this verse mainly deals with the basic question of where is God. If God were to be present at a particular place, it means that he is not present elsewhere. There is no place where there is no God. He is all pervading, not bound by time and place. Just as butter is present in the milk, juice in sugar cane, oil in the seeds he is present as the very self of all beings and objects. Instead of saying that the Lord pervades everything, it would be better to say that everything is lord.  In this verse the Lord speaks about God realization through the practice of seeing God everywhere. यः माम् पश्यति सर्वत्र  सर्वम् च मयि पश्यति One who sees ‘Me’ in the entire universe and in oneself; and sees the entire universe and oneself in me. The wise sees the image of the Lord and his own image as well in the entire universe. He also sees the existence of entire universe in his own self. Just as ether is present in the cloud and the cloud in the ether, the yogi sees the Lord in everything including himself and himself in everything. The yogi who has gone beyond his personal identity of body and mind, becomes one with God. So he sees himself or the all pervading atman everywhere. Just as an actor who dons different garbs and roles can be recognized by his voice, gait etc. The yogi sees the Lord residing in the heart of hearts of every one. Once Shri Ramakrishna was returning from a bathing ghat, his disciples saw  a prostitute coming from the other direction. They asked her to go back since she is coming in the way of the saint. Ramakrishna prostrated before her and said,” O Mother! Have You appeared before me today in this garb?. Krishna’s brother Balarama saw Krishna’s image in the calves and cowherd boys. The Gopikas of Vraja saw Krishna image everywhere and each of them danced with Krishna. तस्य अहम् न प्रणश्यामि सः च मे न प्रणश्यति– He never loses sight of me and I never lose sight of him.  Paramarthananda says that this is higher form of bhakti seeing lord everywhere. In lower form of bhakti, the lord is only appears in the in the object of devotion, apara bhakti, dvaita bhakti or bheda bhakti. The all pervading atman is real bhagavan.  The personal god is not all pervading. The Lord says in Chapter 9:11  

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम् ।

परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम् ॥९:११॥

The ignorant, oblivious of my transcendental nature as Lord, as creator of all beings, discount also my presence within the human form. They do not know that I am the lord in the heart of every one.

 The purport of this verse is to establish the unity of Jiva and Shiva or Ishwara. In the limitation of my body (उपाधि) they appear as different. If the upadhi is removed there is no difference. 

VERSE 6:31

 The yogi who abides in me , and also beholds me in all beings, although transacts in the world  outside , indeed transacts in me alone.  सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां भजत्येकत्वमास्थितः ।सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि स योगी मयि वर्तते ॥६:३१॥sarvabhūtasthitaṁ yō māṁ bhajatyēkatvamāsthitaḥ |sarvathā vartamānō:’pi sa yōgī mayi vartatē ||6:31|| सर्वभूतस्थितम् यः माम् भजति एकत्वम् आस्थितः सर्वथा वर्तमानः अपि सः योगी मयि वर्तते सर्वभूतस्थितम्-existing in all beings as their very self यः-who माम्-me (formless consciousness) भजति-adores एकत्वम् आस्थितः-established in unity with me सर्वथा-in every way वर्तमानः-remaining, engaged अपि-also सः-that योगी-yogi मयि-in me वर्तते-abides The yogi who is established in union with me and worships me as residing in all beings (as their very self) abides in me, no matter what he does. In this verse the marks of a realized yogi is explained. सर्वभूतस्थितम् यः माम् भजति एकत्वम् आस्थितः– One who is established in union with me, adores me as the self in all beings. एकत्वम् आस्थितः established in union with me actually refers  to  a yogi who has lost his consciousness of separate existence and immersed in God consciousness. He who adores the Lord in this way has been spoken of the greatest saint in Gita Chapter 7:18.

बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते ।

वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ॥७:१९॥

After many births the enlightened wise man attains me by realizing that everything is indeed my manifestation. Such an

illuminated soul is hard to find.

सर्वथा वर्तमानः अपि सः योगी मयि वर्तते whatever actions he performs, he always abides in me. A realized yogi need not necessarily abstain from doing his worldly activities. But there is a difference in the motive of his actions. The actions done by him by his body, speech and mind are performed in relation to God. While working with hands he renders the service o God. In seeing, speaking, breathing, bathing in rest and activity, he devotes to God. The phrase सर्वथा वर्तमानः अपि should not be understood as doing illegal and prohibition activity. A yogi cannot think of such sins because he is Godly.  

VERSE 6:32

 Consider all living and non-living beings as an extension of your body and feel their plain and pleasure as your own. आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन ।सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं स योगी परमो मतः ॥६:३२॥ātmaupamyēna sarvatra samaṁ paśyati yō:’rjuna |sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ sa yōgī paramō mataḥ ||6:32|| आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समम् पश्यति यः अर्जुन सुखम् वा यदि वा दुःखम् सः योगी परमः मतः आत्मौपम्येन-in the analogy of one’s own self सर्वत्र-everywhere समम्-as one पश्यति-looks यः-whoअर्जुन-O Arjuna सुखम्-in joy वा-or यदि-even दुःखम्-sorrow सः-he योगी-yogi परमः-is greatest मतः-in my view Arjuna! One who regards every being in his own image and one who can feel the pain and pleaures of others as his own, is the best yogi in my view. आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समम् पश्यति यः अर्जुन– आत्म उपमा  भाव is the vision of identifying oneself equally with the whole universe, animate or inanimate creation. Just as a man identifies himself with all parts of his body such as limbs, head etc., the yogi identifies himself equally with the whole world. There remains nothing in the world which has a separate identity from him. सुखम् वा यदि वा दुःखम् सः योगी परमः मतः– he feels the pain and pleasures of every being as his own. Rare is a person whose heart melts by the fire of grief of others and who rejoices hearing the praise of others. Universal BrotherhoodGoyandka points out: The universal brotherhood recommended by Semitic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) is a high ideal indeed. It calls upon its followers to look upon all the followers of the religion as their own brothers. Here in Gita, Krishna recommends us to consider all the animate and inanimate beings of the world as an extension of our own body. Like, just as I look upon all the parts of the body as our own, I have to consider every individual as my own, and have a feeling for his merit or miseries.

VERSE 6:33

 Arjuna expresses his doubt if the yoga of meditation advocted by Krsihna so far, is practical to practice in view of the wavering nature of mind.Obstacles of meditation and how to handle them Verse 33-36 अर्जुन उवाचयोऽयं योगस्त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदन ।एतस्याहं न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात्स्थितिं स्थिराम् ॥६:३३॥yō:’yaṁ yōgastvayā prōktaḥ sāmyēna madhusūdana |ētasyāhaṁ na paśyāmi cañcalatvātsthitiṁ sthirām ||6:33|| यः अयम् योगः त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदनएतस्य अहम् न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात् त्स्थितिम् स्थिराम् यः-which अयम्-thisयोगः-yoga of meditation त्वया-by you प्रोक्तः-has been spoken of साम्येन-in the form of equanimity मधुसूदन-slayer of Demon Madhu, refers to Krishna एतस्य-its अहम्-I न-not पश्यामि-see चञ्चलत्वात्-due to the restlessness (of the mind) त्स्थितिम्-position, status स्थिराम्-enduring. Lasting Arjuna said:O Krishna! You have spoken about Yoga of meditation characterized by equanimity of mind. But due to its restlessness, I do not perceive its enduring effect.   The doubts raised by the celebrated disciple Arjuna in the next two conversations are universal in nature and is phased by all the seekers. The first question was about stability of mind.  The mind is invaded by several sankalpa and distractions. Equanimity of mind is possible when there is no restlessness. A thread can be needled only when it is not shaking. You get a good photograph only if you do not shake.  In the next conversation Arjuna asks the second question. What is the fate of a yogi who after genuine efforts passes away before obtaining perfection. The divine preceptor Krishna’s explanations have a salutary impact on all devotes that there is redemption for them too.  यः अयम् योगः त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदन O Krishna, the yoga of meditation explained by you. The Lord has explained Dhyana Yoga from verse 10 to 32 elaborately. Paramarthananda points out that in Mandukya Karaka; Gouda Padacharya speaks about four types of obstruction for the mind. Krishna does not mention all of them.The distractions of the mind are:  1. लय- dullness of drowsiness of mind2. विक्षेप- Instead of becoming underactive, the mind becomes overactive. It travels everywhere in the world except on God3. कषाय- the mind gets into a state of inactivity or gets stunned; does not function at all4. रसास्वाद- Ecstasy experienced by the mind during meditation. It is not available later. It not Brahmananda  एतस्य अहम् न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात् त्स्थितिम् स्थिराम्– I do not see the enduring effect of the yoga of  meditation. 

VERSE 6:34

 Krishna, the mind is unsteady and obstinate. Controlling it is catching the wind in your handsचञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद्‌दृढम् ।तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोरिव सुदुष्करम् ॥६:३४॥ cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kr̥ṣṇa pramāthi balavad–dr̥ḍham |tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manyē vāyōriva suduṣkaram ||6:34||चञ्चलम् हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवत् द्‌दृढम्तस्य अहम् निग्रहम् मन्ये वायोः इव सुदुष्करम् चञ्चलम्-restless हि-indeed मनः-the mind कृष्ण-Krishna प्रमाथि-agitating, turbulent बलवत्-powerful द्‌दृढम्-unyielding तस्य-its अहम्-I निग्रहम्-control मन्ये-admit वायोः-as of the wind इव-like सुदुष्करम्-difficult Krishna! The mind is unsteady, turbulent, powerful and obstinate. I consider controlling it is as difficult as control the wind. Continuing his argument that equanimity of mind may not be long lasting, Arjuna adds further. चञ्चलम् हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवत् द्‌दृढम् Krishna the mind indeed is unsteady, turbulent, powerful and obstinate. प्रमाथि is churning. When the curd is churned with a churner, it creates a lot of agitation, swirling, tumbling and turbulence.   तस्य अहम् निग्रहम् मन्ये वायोः इव सुदुष्करम्– I understand that mastering the mind is as difficult as catching a wind.

Arjuna speaks for us all when he describes the troublesome mind. It is restless because it keeps flitting in different directions, from subject to subject. It is turbulent because it creates upheavals in one’s consciousness, in the form of hatred, anger, lust, greed, envy, anxiety, fear, attachment, etc. It is strong because it overpowers the intellect with its vigorous currents and destroys the faculty of discrimination. The mind is also obstinate because when it catches a harmful thought, it refuses to let go, and continues to ruminate over it again and again, even to the dismay of the intellect. Thus enumerating its unwholesome characteristics, Arjun declares that the mind is even more difficult to control than the wind. It is a powerful analogy for no one can ever think of controlling the mighty wind in the sky.


VERSE 6:35

 Mind can be trained by constant practice and dispassionश्रीभगवानुवाचअसंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलम् ।अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते ॥६:३५॥asaṁśayaṁ mahābāhō manō durnigrahaṁ calam |abhyāsēna tu kauntēya vairāgyēṇa ca gr̥hyatē ||6:35|| असंशयम् महाबाहो मनः दुर्निग्रहम् चलम् अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते असंशयम्-undoubtedly महाबाहो-O mighty armed one मनः-the mind दुर्निग्रहम्-is difficult to control चलम्-restless अभ्यासेन-by practice तु-but कौन्तेय-O son of Kunti वैराग्येण-by dispassion च-and गृह्यते-is restrained असंशयम् महाबाहो मनः दुर्निग्रहम् चलम्– Undoubtedly, Arjuna, the mind is fickle and difficult to subdue. In response to the prayer of ideal devotee, Krishna admits that mind is boisterous and unruly in nature. It does not mean that a seeker should get intimidated at despair at that. The Lord immediately adds that it is possible to control the mind by two methods. The Lord uses the word दुर्निग्रहम् (durnigraham) but not अनिग्रहम् (anigraham) impossible to control. A mighty elephant can be controlled with a spur, and a strong buffalo with its nose string. अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते– It is possible to control the mind, by constant practice and dispassion. अभ्यास is genuine, perseverant practice of meditation. He keeps the mind away from external and internal temptations. For Abhyasa to be successful the devotee should have faith and reverence in the practice which should be continued for a pretty length of time. When the mind flows towards external objects, it should be brought back and fixed on God. Mind has to be vanquished by mind alone just as a iron smith heats a hot iron with another iron hammer to shape it.   वैराग्य is dispassion from the desires of pleasure and attractions. He also renounces the attraction of the pleasure of the other world. Goyandka adds: Abhyasa and Vairagya are complimentary to each other. Abhyasa is a channel for the flow of thought in the direction of God. Vairagya is like its embankments to restrain the flow of mind towards sense objects. Practice promotes dispassion and dispassion promotes practice. 

VERSE 6:36

 Yoga of meditation can  be achieved only by disciplined mind by constant practice and not otherwise असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मतिः ।वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः ॥६:३६॥asaṁyatātmanā yōgō duṣprāpa iti mē matiḥ |vaśyātmanā tu yatatā śakyō:’vāptumupāyataḥ ||6:36|| असंयतात्मना योगः दुष्प्रापः इति मे मतिः वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्यः अवाप्तुम् उपायतः असंयतात्मना-by a man of uncontrolled mind योगः-the yoga of meditation दुष्प्रापः-is difficult to achieve इति-thus मे-my मतिः-conviction वश्यात्मना-by a man of controlled mind तु-but यतता-by effort शक्यः-possible अवाप्तुम्-to obtain उपायतः-by practice The yoga of meditation is not possible for a man of uncontrolled mind; but it is attainable for a man of controlled mind. This is my conviction.  असंयतात्मना योगः दुष्प्रापः इति मे मतिः– आत्मना (atmana) by the self or the mind. The mind of a man which is not refined by efforts of Abhyasa and vairagya (practice and dispassion) becomes slave to material attractions and repulsions (दुष्प्रापः)  So the attainment of samatva (equability) becomes extremely difficult for him. तु- but, on the other hand. This word has been used to describe the position as regards a man of controlled mind. वश्यात्मना यतता शक्यः अवाप्तुम् उपायतः– Yoga of meditation is achievable by ceaseless efforts by one whose mind is subjugated. The words यतता   and उपायतः (ceaseless effort, and practice) indicates that mere subdual of mind is not sufficient to attain the yoga. One has to put in ceaseless efforts in the form of disciplines and dispassion.  

VERSE 6:37

What happens to a yogi who tries to attain yoga of perfection but fails due to distraction of mind Arjuna’s doubts 37-39अर्जुन उवाचअयतिः श्रद्धयोपेतो योगाच्चलितमानसः ।अप्राप्य योगसंसिद्धिं कां गतिं कृष्ण गच्छति ॥६:३७॥ ayatiḥ śraddhayōpētō yōgāccalitamānasaḥ |aprāpya yōgasaṁsiddhiṁ kāṁ gatiṁ kr̥ṣṇa gacchati ||6:37|| अयतिः श्रद्धया उपेतः योगात् चलितमानसः अप्राप्य योगसंसिद्धिम् काम् गतिम् कृष्ण गच्छति अयतिः-one who is not self-controlled श्रद्धया-by faith उपेतः-endowed with योगात्-from yoga चलितमानसः-whose  mind is diverted अप्राप्य-not having attained योगसंसिद्धिम्-perfection in yoga काम्-what गतिम्-fate कृष्ण-Krishna गच्छति-meets Krishna, what is the fate of a  faithful who has devotedly tried to meditate but has failed to control himself because of the distraction of the mind from the path of yoga of meditation? 

In the previous verse the Lord emphasised the importance of subjugation of mind  (संयम) for attaining yoga of perfection. A doubt arises in the mind of Arjuna. What happens to a yogi who has faith in the yoga, has put in genuine efforts to attain perfection, but gets diverted before death?

 अयतिः श्रद्धया उपेतः योगात् चलितमानसः– A man whose mind is uncontrolled, and has distracted from the path of yoga  but endowed with faith. अयतिः has two meanings. One who is lacking in effort, and the other is one is possessed of unstudied mind.  In this context, the second meaning is applicable. योगात् means from Yoga of equanimity of mind attained through jnyana yoga, karma yoga,  or dhyana yoga. चलितमानसः is one whose mind is diverted from his practice of God realization. The diversion may be due to several obstructions like आधिदैविक, आध्यात्मिक आधिभौतिक.    अप्राप्य योगसंसिद्धिम् काम् गतिम् कृष्ण गच्छति– failing to achieve perfection of yoga or God realization, Krishna, what would befall of him? In this case, since the Lord speaks about the fate of such a yogi after death, it becomes clear that diversion has come due to death.   

VERSE 6:38

 Damned from both sides, of material and heavenly enjoyment does he suffer like a dispersed cloud?  कच्चिन्नोभयविभ्रष्टश्छिन्नाभ्रमिव नश्यति ।अप्रतिष्ठो महाबाहो विमूढो ब्रह्मणः पथि ॥६:३८॥ kaccinnōbhayavibhraṣṭaśchinnābhramiva naśyati |apratiṣṭhō mahābāhō vimūḍhō brahmaṇaḥ pathi ||6:38||कच्चित् न उभयविभ्रष्टः छिन्नम् अभ्रम् इव नश्यति अप्रतिष्ठः महाबाहो विमूढः ब्रह्मणः पथिकच्चित्-is that न-not उभयविभ्रष्टः-damned from both sides छिन्नम्-dispersed अभ्रम्-cloud इव-like नश्यति-perishes अप्रतिष्ठः-support -less महाबाहो-O mighty armed विमूढः-deluded ब्रह्मणः-of Brahman पथि-in the path O mighty armed one! Damned from both sides and devoid of any support, does he not perish like a dispersed cloud, from the path of God realization?  कच्चित् न उभयविभ्रष्टः– side tracked from both paths due to the obstruction in the practice of Abhyasa and vairagya. He is deprived form the two paths of  God-realization as well as enjoyment of heaven. Since he did not perform yagna for material benefit, he won’t get to heaven. Since he failed to get union with soul bliss by dhyana yoga, he will not have it either. छिन्नम् अभ्रम् इव नश्यति– Does not such a seeker perish like a dispersed cloud?. If a part of the cloud gets separated from the mass, it has to wait to join with some other clouds so that it can precipitate rain. अप्रतिष्ठः महाबाहो विमूढः ब्रह्मणः पथि– O mighty armed Krishna, such a yogi who missed the path of God realization has no standing. He is neither here nor there a la-trishanku.   

VERSE 6:39

 Krishna, I think you are the only one fit  to  dispel my doubtएतन्मे संशयं कृष्ण छेत्तुमर्हस्यशेषतः ।त्वदन्यः संशयस्यास्य छेत्ता न ह्युपपद्यते ॥६:३९॥ētanmē saṁśayaṁ kr̥ṣṇa chēttumarhasyaśēṣataḥ |tvadanyaḥ saṁśayasyāsya chēttā na hyupapadyatē ||6:39|| एतत् मे संशयम् कृष्ण छेत्तुम् अर्हसि अशेषतः त्वत् अन्यः अस्य संशयस्य अस्य छेत्ता न हि उपपद्यते एतत्-this मे-my संशयम्-doubt कृष्ण-Krishna छेत्तुम्-to slash(to dispel) अर्हसि-you are capable अशेषतः-completely त्वत्- than you अन्यः-other अस्य- this संशयस्य-of doubt छेत्ता-smasher(dispeller) न-notहि-indeed उपपद्यते-would be available Krishna please clear my doubt forever, I do not find any other person who can do this for me.  एतत् मे संशयम् कृष्ण छेत्तुम् अर्हसि अशेषतः– Krishna you are the fit person to completely dispel my doubt regarding the fate of failed yogi after his death. Arjuna expresses his full confidence in Krishna’s ability. Arjuna was already aware of Krishna’s power and glory. Moreover the Lord himself had acknowledged elsewhere that only he knows the past, present and future. Being the Lord of universe, he posses the secret and mystery of the world. He is unborn, immortal and Lord of creatures. He created three Gunas. So Arjuna professes his faith in Krishna. त्वत् अन्यः अस्य संशयस्य छेत्ता न हि उपपद्यते Other than you, I don’t think anyone else can dispel my doubt. 

VERSE 6:40

Every individual who has genuinely done good actions has never to despair  Krishna dispels Arjuna’s doubtश्रीभगवानुवाचपार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते ।न हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चिद्‌दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति ॥६:४०॥ pārtha naivēha nāmutra vināśastasya vidyatē |na hi kalyāṇakr̥tkaścid–durgatiṁ tāta gacchati ||6:40|| पार्थ न एव न अमुत्र विनाशः तस्य विद्यते न हि कल्याणकृत् कश्चित् दुर्गतिम् तात गच्छति पार्थ-O son of Pritha! Arjuna न-not एव-either न-not अमुत्र-in the next world विनाशः-destruction तस्य-of him विद्यते-there is न-not हि – verily कल्याणकृत्-one does good कश्चित्-anyone दुर्गतिम्-evil plight तात-my Son गच्छति-meets with The blessed Lord said:Arjuna! My dear, a performer of good actions never meets destruction either here or in heaven. He never falls into evil plight.  पार्थ न एव न अमुत्र विनाशः तस्य विद्यते Arjuna, a performer of spiritual sadhana has no destruction either in this world or in the next. His efforts will be rewarded although he may stop the sadhana for any obstruction. What you do will be done unto you. न हि कल्याणकृत् कश्चित् दुर्गतिम् तात गच्छति A performer of good action shall never fall. कल्याणकृत् means doer of good actions for the public for his own spiritual edification. By implication it may be said that performer of sinful actions will be punished either in this world or in next. Thanks to Arjuna’s questions, in these three verses Lord Krishna, the divine preceptor, assures the seekers that there is always light at the end of tunnel, there is redemption for those who try to reach him. Every individual who has genuinely put in efforts to unite with God soul has never to despair. Yogananda says, “Soul joy, no matter how elusive, is every man’s forgotten heritage”.  The Lord has explained the benefit of karrmayoga in chapter 2. He says in karmayoga, there is no unfinished job or contrary result. Her is the Shloka. नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥२:४०॥ 

In this path of action,  (karma yoga) there is no loss of effort, nor is there fear of contrary results. Even a little practice of this discipline saves one from the terrible fear of birth and death.


VERSE 6:41

 One who has fallen from yoga, lives in higher world for several years and takes rebirth in the family of pious and wealthy men प्राप्य पुण्यकृतां लोकानुषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः ।शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योगभ्रष्टोऽभिजायते ॥६:४१॥prāpya puṇyakr̥tāṁ lōkānuṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ |śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gēhē yōgabhraṣṭō:’bhijāyatē ||6:41|| प्राप्य पुण्यकृताम् लोकान् उषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः शुचीनाम् श्रीमताम् गेहे योगभ्रष्टः अभिजायते प्राप्य-having attained पुण्यकृताम्-inhabited by those who perform meritorious deeds लोकान्-the worlds उषित्वा-having resided there शाश्वतीः-countless समाः-years शुचीनाम्- pure and pious श्रीमताम्-wealthy गेहे-in the house योगभ्रष्टः-one fallen from yoga अभिजायते-is born. Goyandka translates this as below: One who has fallen from yoga obtains the higher worlds (such as heaven), to which men of meritorious deeds only are entitled, and having lived there for countless years takes birth in the family of pious and wealthy men.  What happens to an unsuccessful yogi who has progressed in his pursuit of uniting with God? Krishna gives two modules or possibilities.  The first one is for a yogi who has attempted in his sadhana but had to abandon it due to some obstruction. The second module is a yogi who has gone so near to his goal but could not reach it due to his death. In the verse 41 the Lord describes the first module and in the verse 42 he describes the second module.प्राप्य पुण्यकृताम् लोकान् उषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः– One who has fallen from yoga  being unsuccessful to connect with God by Abhyasa and vairagya has not to despair. The Lord assures that he will enjoy life in heavenly abodes exclusively made for men of virtuous deeds. From this we can conclude that men who have worked diligently and untiringly for union with God but failed for any reason will not go to hell or take birth in lesser species. After enjoying their nice time in higher worlds they are reborn in the family of pious and wealthy men.शुचीनाम् श्रीमताम् गेहे योगभ्रष्टः अभिजायते– One who has  fallen from yoga will take birth in the family of wealthy and pure people. योगभ्रष्टः is one who has diverted from his practice of connecting to the higher. He will be born in the family of wealthy and pious people who posses moral character. He will continue his practice from what he left.

VERSE 6:42

 Or instead of going to higher world he is reborn in a spiritually advanced familyअथवा योगिनामेव कुले भवति धीमताम् ।एतद्धि दुर्लभतरं लोके जन्म यदीदृशम् ॥६:४२॥athavā yōgināmēva kulē bhavati dhīmatām |ētaddhi durlabhataraṁ lōkē janma yadīdr̥śam ||6:42|| अथवा योगिनाम् एव कुले भवति धीमताम् एतत् हि दुर्लभतरम् लोके जन्म यदीदृशम् अथवा-or योगिनाम्-of yogis एव-indeed कुले -in the family  भवति-is born धीमताम्-enlightened एतत्-this हि-verily दुर्लभतरम्-hard to obtain लोके-in the world जन्म-birth यदीदृशम्-like this 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 to obtain in this world. अथवा योगिनाम् एव कुले भवति धीमताम्– or he is born to a family of enlightened yogis. अथवा means OR. A highly advanced yogi need not go to heaven and waste his time. He will take birth in the family of spiritually advanced men where he has a lot of opportunities for his spiritual practice. The Lord says in the first module that he will take birth in the family of rich and pious men. In the second module he drops the word rich and retains pious. That means for a spiritual practice wealth is not a factor. He needs to get opportunity. Every spiritual giant of the present is a yogabhrashta of previous janma. एतत् हि दुर्लभतरम् लोके जन्म यदीदृशम्– A birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this world. Shukha Muni (son of Vyasa), Samarth Ramdas, Ramakrishna Paramahasa, Akka Mahadevi, Shridhar Swamiji are some examples of rare yogis who realized God in this world.  

VERSE 6:43

 In this new body , he regains the spiritual knowledgegained  in earlier births and strives to attain perfection तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम् ।यतते च ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन ॥६:४३॥tatra taṁ buddhisaṁyōgaṁ labhatē paurvadēhikam |yatatē ca tatō bhūyaḥ saṁsiddhau kurunandana ||6:43|| तत्र तम् बुद्धिसंयोगम् लभते पौर्वदेहिकम् यतते च ततः भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन तत्र-there (in that birth) तम्-that बुद्धिसंयोगम्-union with the knowledge लभते-obtains पौर्वदेहिकम्-acquired in his former body यतते-strives च-and ततः through that- भूयः-again संसिद्धौ-for perfection (in the form of God Realization) कुरुनन्दन-O delighter of Kurus (Arjuna)  Arjuna! There, the unsuccessful yogi regains the knowledge acquired in his previous body and strives again to achieve perfection. तत्र तम् बुद्धिसंयोगम् लभते पौर्वदेहिकम्– There, in the family of enlightened people, the yogabhrashta regains the spiritual knowledge acquired by his earlier body. The spiritual knowledge was obtained by him by practice of Abhyasa and vairagya. बुद्धिसंयोगम् union with knowledge. The bondage between the jiva and subtle body continues till liberation. पौर्वदेहिकम् The word earlier body refers to subtle body and vasana of his previous birth. यतते च ततः भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन- The yogi strives again to achieve God realization . संसिद्धि is perfection. It means God realization. Krishna replies to Arjuna’s doubt as to what happens to a yogi who dies before achieving his goal. Will he be damned in this world as well as the next? A yogi who has taken up spiritual journey has no dropout (yogabhrashta). He will take up the thread in the next janma and continue his spiritual pursuit. This is like an olympic relay runner. The baton is passed to the next runner till the anchor receives it. The same baton reaches the goal. The different runners are the different gross bodies the sadhaka obtains during his passage to immortality. 

VERSE 6:44

 The unsuccessful yogi who is born in the family of pious and wealthy men, by his vasanas seeks enlightenment, and transcends the self-motvated rituals of vedas पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोऽपि सः ।जिज्ञासुरपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्मातिवर्तते ॥६:४४॥ pūrvābhyāsēna tēnaiva hriyatē hyavaśō:’pi saḥ |jijñāsurapi yōgasya śabdabrahmātivartatē ||6:44|| पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेन एव ह्रियते हि अवशः अपि सःजिज्ञासुः अपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्म अतिवर्तते तेन पूर्वाभ्यासेन-by the force earlier practice (acquired in previous birth) एव-only ह्रियते-feels drawn (towards God) हि-indeed अवशः-helplessly अपि-also सः-he (the one who takes birth in the family of wealthy men) जिज्ञासुः-seeker of enlightenment अपि-even योगस्य-of yoga (of even mindedness) शब्दब्रह्म-letters of Brahma (meaning the Vedas and their self motivated rituals) अतिवर्तते-transcends  The unsuccessful yogi is instinctively attracted towards divine path by the virtue of his vasanas (impressions) acquired in previous birth. He becomes seeker of enlightenment and transcends the fruit of actions of self-interested rituals prescribed in the Vedas.  पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेन एव ह्रियते हि अवशः अपि– The unsuccessful yogi is instinctively attracted towards the path of God. Without his deliberate actions due to his previous vasana he is unknowingly drawn towards God realization. सः जिज्ञासुः अपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्म अतिवर्तते– he, the seeker of enlightenment by yoga of even mindedness transcends the word-Brahman (शब्दब्रह्म). Word-Brahman refers to the rituals of Vedas which are prescribed to attain rewards such as wealth, health and other material benefits or good life in heaven. The fallen yogi by continuing his practice of yoga of even mindedness crosses over the temptations of material enjoyment and attains God. सः – he. This refers to the first module discussed in the verse 41, a yogi who is born in the family of rich and pious. The Lord has already dealt with the fate of the second module that is a yogi who is born in the family of enlightened seekers.  

VERSE 6:45

But the yogi who has strives for perfection in many births, attains the supreme goalप्रयत्नाद्यतमानस्तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिषः ।अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम् ॥६:४५॥prayatnādyatamānastu yōgī saṁśuddhakilbiṣaḥ |anēkajanmasaṁsiddhastatō yāti parāṁ gatim ||6:45|| प्रयत्नात् यतमानः तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिषः अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धः ततः याति पराम् गतिम् प्रयत्नात्-by undaunted efforts यतमानः-one who practices तु-but योगी-the yogi (even minded yogi) संशुद्धकिल्बिषः-freed from impurities अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धः-attaining perfection by efforts in many births  ततः-then याति-reaches पराम्- supreme गतिम्-goal  The yogi however, who diligently practices the yogic path, attains perfection in this very life by his efforts of many births, becomes completely free from all karmic taint and finally enters the supreme goal.  तु- However. In the verses 41 o 44, two modules of rebirth of a yogabhrashta were discussed; one takes birth in the family of wealthy and pious people and the other takes birth in the family of enlightened souls. The indeclinable ‘tu’ is used to distinguish the fate of a yogi who is bon in the family of wise people. प्रयत्नात् यतमानः– one who ceaselessly indulges in practice of yoga of even mindedness. योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिषः The yogi who becomes free from all impurities. Impurities or sins are in the form of vasanas which are fully purged by his yogic practice.अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धः attaining perfection by efforts in many births. संसिद्धि means perfection. It was said in verse 43 that the yogi strives harder than ever to gain perfection I.e.  God realization यतते च ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन ॥६:४३॥ the yogi, it was pointed out that had two advantages. One he is drawn towards God instinctively, and he puts in more efforts. ततः याति पराम् गतिम्– he enters the supreme goal. The supreme goal is attainment of eternal peace. Thus the yogi born in the enlightened family attains supreme beatitude.  

VERSE 6:46

A yogi of equal mindedness is superior to an ascetic,a  jnyani or a sakama karma yogiतपस्विभ्योऽधिको योगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपि मतोऽधिकः ।कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिको योगी तस्माद्योगी भवार्जुन ॥६:४६॥ tapasvibhyō:’dhikō yōgī jñānibhyō:’pi matō:’dhikaḥ |karmibhyaścādhikō yōgī tasmādyōgī bhavārjuna ||6:46|| तपस्विभ्यः अधिकः योगी ज्ञानिभ्यः अपि मतःअधिकः कर्मिभ्यः च अधिकः योगी तस्मात् योगी भव अर्जुन तपस्विभ्यः-than the ascetics अधिकः- is superior योगी-the yogi of equal mindedness ज्ञानिभ्यः-than the jnyanis or those experts in sacred literature अपि-also मतः-in my opinion अधिकः-superior कर्मिभ्यः-than those who perform self motivated actions च-and अधिकः-superior योगी- the yogi of equal mindedness तस्मात्- therefore योगी- the yogi of equal mindedness भव-become अर्जुन-Arjuna The yogi is superior to the ascetics; he is deemed superior to those who are versed in sacred lore. The yogi is also superior to those who perform action with interested motive. Therefore Arjuna, be a yogi. तपस्विभ्यः अधिकः योगी– the yogi is superior to ascetics. They are body disciplining yogis. They endure hardships as a form of religious duty with interested motive. Such action is called tapas and the practitioner as tapasvi (तपस्वी).  ज्ञानिभ्यः अपि मतः अधिकः– the yogi is superior to the jnyani who is versed in sacred lore. This should not be confused with wise men who have realized God (Jnyana yogi). The wise man referred to here is theoretically   well read but he lacks practice. This is अपरोक्ष jnyana obtained from books and who has not realized God. The wise man described in jnyana yoga has direct or intuitive knowledge of God. This is called परोक्ष ज्ञान.कर्मिभ्यः च अधिकः योगी– The yogi is superior performer of rituals (Karmi, कर्मी). A performer of Vedic rites has a sankalpa of material gain.तस्मात् योगी भव अर्जुन– Arjuna therefore become a yogi. Goyandka adds: The word yogi referred to here indicates jnyana yogi, who has performed Shravana, Manana and nidhidhyasana.  He has attained perfection in the form of even-mindedness through jnyanayoga, dhyana yoga, bhakti yoga or karma yoga. Gita recognizes only two main disciplines, the path of knowledge (Jnyana yoga) and the path of action (Karma yoga). Other yoga like dhyana and Bhakti are a part of karma yoga.  

VERSE 6:47

The yogi who contemplates on me with faith and love, is the best of all yogisयोगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना ।श्रद्धावान् भजते यो मां स मे युक्ततमः मतः ॥६:४७॥yōgināmapi sarvēṣāṁ madgatēnāntarātmanā |śraddhāvān bhajatē yō māṁ sa mē prayatnādyatamānastu mataḥ ||6:47|| योगिनाम् अपि सर्वेषाम् मद्गतेन अन्तरात्मना श्रद्धावान् भजते यः माम् सः मे युक्ततमः मतः योगिनाम्-even among the yogis अपि-also सर्वेषाम्-all मद्गतेन-merged in me अन्तरात्मना-with inner self श्रद्धावान्-endowed with faith भजते-worships यः-who माम्-me सः-he मे-to me युक्ततमः-most devout मतः-is my opinion And I consider the yogi who lovingly contemplates on me in supreme faith, with his mind ever absorbed in me, as the best of all yogis. योगिनाम् अपि सर्वेषाम् Among all the types of yogis. Yoga is the culmination of all practices for God realization. Several types of Yogas are mentioned, the major among them being karma yoga and jnyana yoga. Other Yogas such as bhakti yoga (prayer and devotion), dhyana yoga, mantra yoga (path of chanting), laya yoga (dissolve the ego in infinite), Hata yoga ((severe bodily disciplines) are also practiced. मद्गतेन अन्तरात्मना with the mind merged in me, The mind should be ever absorbed in the thoughts of God.श्रद्धावान् भजते यः माम् contemplates on me with faith and devotion. Meditation becomes more powerful and efficient if it done with knowledge, faith, and devotion to God. If the mind is fixed on God through fear or hatred he cannot be called a yogi. In the next chapter the Lord starts with the words मय्यासक्तमनाः पार्थ (with the mind attached to me). The word माम् or I indicate Krishna or any other God in qualified or absolute aspect. भजते means worships or adores  withdrawing the mind and intellect from all other objects and riveting exclusively on God. सः मे युक्ततमः मतः I consider such a yogi as the best. Such a yogi performs actions in a state of ecstasy. He maintains unbroken inner union with spirit both in meditation as well as external activities. He is the greatest.  ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रेश्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे आत्मसंयमयोगो नाम षष्ठोऽध्यायः ॥ ६ ॥


Summary of 6th chapter


The sixth chapter is one of the most important topics of Bhagavad Gita. It discusses meditation as a supportive tool for the emancipation of the self. The lord discusses several important steps for the successful culmination of mediation. These are:


Preparation of mind

This is the first sadhana or discipline. It is a prerequisite for successful silencing of mind. The mind is unsteady and wanders into worldly objects and entertainment which gives it immediate pleasure. It has to be trained  and towed into the single point of contemplation. Supposing a seeker skips the first sadhana of preparation of mind and comes to the fourth stage of meditation, his self-knowledge will be only bookish and for academic purposes. He will not proceed to the next stage of God realization.  Preparation of mind is dealt with in two stages; general disciplines and specific disciplines.


  1. General disciplines (बहिरङ्ग साधनानि) V: 1 to 9 and 16-17

The lord gives a list of eight general disciplines which are a prerequisite for successful meditation. These are:

A). Karma yoga. In verse 1 the lord says that one who does all the activities without attachment and expecting selfish outcome is a sanyasi as well as a yogi.

अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः । स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥६:१॥

A karmee or practitioner of vedantic rituals performs with self interest whereas a karma yogi practices just to please God or as his bounden duty.

B). Self confidence. It is you who has to uplift yourself and it is only you who can destroy yourself.  Never look down upon yourself.

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् । आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥६:५॥ C). Self-control. The lord has given us a wonderful human body, senses and mind. With a strong mind if we keep the body and senses under control we can get to God-bliss. If we become a slave of senses, we will move away from God. The choice and decision is entirely on us. We have a free-will.  D). Moderation. This is the key to success. You should be moderate in your food, habits, sleep, entertainment, resting etc. Never indulge too much in anything. The Lord says:युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ॥६:१७॥

  1. Specific disciplines (अंतरङ्ग साधनानि) Verse 10 to 15

A). Place of meditation

B). Time factor: when the mind is sattvik and neither Rajasik nor Tamasika. It should be available for the job.

C). Seat of meditation

D). Subdue the sense organs and fix your gaze as though in between the eyes or the tip of your nose.

E). Regulated breathing. It should be smooth and slow. Prana apanau samau kritva

वायु रॊदनात् नेंगते मनः जाल पक्षिवत् रॊध साधनम्


F). Condition of mind. You can mentally become a sanyasi by dropping all your relationships, attachment and dislikes.

G). Condition of intellect. One should be convinced of the value of meditation.


  1. Actual process, and benefit of meditation

ध्यान स्वरूप, ध्यान फल Verses 18-32

Meditation is dwelling upon a chosen object or idea. Krishna discusses it in verses 18 to 20. The chosen object could be a God with attributes or attributes less God. The mind is a flow of thoughts. In meditation it is freed from all thoughts and silenced. It is switched off. It is not tranquilization as you get from medication. The mind is available to the seeker any time when he wants. It is just quitened.

When the mind is at perfect rest, the seeker replays the Shravanam or the teachings of Guru. He gives auto suggestion that he is different from the body, mind and senses which are but the instruments given by God for my self-edification. My identity is different. My true nature is truth-consciousness-bliss. (सच्चिदानंद स्वरूप)

  1. Benefits of mediation

A). Equanimity of mind सर्वत्र समदर्शनम्  transformation of personality. I reject the world and identify myself with all beings; universal consciousness. There is no change in my body but there is change in my vision of the world.

B). Samadhi verses 20-23. This includes withdrawal of mind, God realization, extreme bliss, and establishment in one’s own true nature.  (चित्त उपरमणम्, आत्म दर्शनम्, अत्यन्तिक सुखम्, सत्त्व निष्ट)  

  1. Obstacles in meditation and their remedy,

 ध्यान प्रतिबन्ध परिहार Verse 33-36

The obstacles are: distraction of mind (विक्षेप), संकल्प विकल्प. wandering of mind into past and future events, internal dialogues, activity of sub-conscious mind etc. The Lord gives us two tools to handle this problem.  They are vairagya and Abhyasa. Vairagya is reducing attachment and aversion (raga, dwesha). Abhyasa is continuous practice.


  1. Arjuna’s doubt Verse 37 to 39

What is the fate of a yogi who after diligent practice and genuine efforts fails to unite with God soul due to some distractions in life? Will he be not damned from obtaining the earthly or heavenly pleasures or damned by his failure to completely unite with God?


  1. Krishna dispels Arjuna’s doubt Verse 40-47

The Lord assures that no genuine devotee will suffer and his efforts go wasted. The Lord assures to all devotees through Arjuna that there are two possibilities for such a devotee who dies with his incomplete sadhana.  In the first module, he will take rebirth in the family of rich and noble people where he will get opportunities to continue his unfinished sadhana. In the second module, a devotee who was so close to Moksha but fails to reach there will be incarnated in the family of spiritually advanced people. He will recover the gains that were made in the previous birth.  He completes his unfinished sadhana and reaches infinite consciousness.

By this divine assurance, the lord reiterates the basic vedantic theory that bondage of jiva with subtle body and vasanas continue till liberation. In rebirth, the devotee gets back his subtle body and its baggage of antahkarana and vasana.

तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम् ।यतते च ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन ॥६:४३॥

Krishna concludes 6th chapter by declaring that a jnyana yogi is superior to a body disciplining hermit, or a ritualistic devotee. He goads Arjuna to become a devotee. He further says that even among the yogis his favourites are the ones who are ever immersed in him with faith and devotion.







Since the knowledge of saguna Ishwara (Jnyanam) and Nirguna Ishwara (Vijnyanam) are highlighted in this chapter, it is called jnyana-vijnyana yoga.