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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita By Acharyas > Gita 06 Dhyana Yoga

Ch 6. Dhyana Yoga

Yoga Through Meditation

The sadhaka understands from the instructions of the tattva-vid guru that one can only meditate on Bhagavan when the heart has been purified. A genuine yogi or sannyasi is devoid of any mundane desire, because noone can attain perfection in yoga as long as he still has desires for material enjoyment. It is necessary to regulate eating and recreational activities if one wants to attain perfection in yoga. This perfection means:

1) Seeing Bhagavan as Antaryami in the hearts of all living entities, and

2) Realising that all jivas exist only due to the support and shelter of Bhagavan. It is also clearly stated in this chapter that a bhakta is superior to a karmi, a jnani and a yogi.

The Glories of Chapter Six (Mahatmya)

Lord Vishnu said, ďNow I will tell you the glories of the Sixth Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. Whoever hears this description, will be liberated from the material world.
On the bank of the Godavari river, there is a beautiful town of the name Pratishthanpur (Paithan), where I am famous by the name of Pippalesh. In that town there was a king of the name Janshruti, Whom the people loved very much and whose qualities were unlimited. He performed daily fire sacrifices, which were so opulent and large that the smoke from them reached the Heavenly pleasure garden known as Nandanvan, and made the leaves of the Kalpavrksa trees black. Those trees appeared as if they were offering their respects to king Janashruti. Due to the pious activities of that great ing, demigods always resided in Pratishthanpur.

When Janshruti would give charity, he would distribute just as the clouds distribute the rain. Due to Janshrutiís pure religious activities, rain always comes at the right time. And the fields were always full of crops, which were not disturbed by the six types of rodents. He was always digging wells and lakes for the welfare of the citizens. The demigods, being very pleased with Janashruti, went to his palace in the form of swans to bless him. They were flying through the sky, one behind the other, talking together. Bhadrashva, along with two or three other swans, flew ahead of the rest. At that time, the other swans addressed Bhadrashva, ďOh, brother, why are you flying ahead? Do you not see in front of you the great king Janashruti, who is so powerful that he can burn up his enemies by his desire.Ē When Bhadrashva heard the words of the other swans, he started to laugh and said, ďOh brothers, is this king Janashruti as powerful as the great sage Raikva?Ē
When the king heard the words of the swans, he immediately came down from the roof of his high palace and happily sat on his throne. At that time he called his chariot driver and instructed him to go and find the great sage Raikva. When the chariot driver of the name Maha heard the kingís instructions, he became very happy, and left immediately to search out Raikva. First he traveled to Kashipuri, where Lord Vishvanath resides, for the welfare of all beings. Next, he went to Gaya, where the lotus-eyed Lord Gadadhara who is capable of freeing all beings from the bondage of birth and death, stays. After having traveled to many holy places, he came to Mathura, which is capable of destroying all sins. In this place the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, resides. All of the great sages, demigods, also the Vedas, and other shastras, in their personal forms, perform austerities, and render service to Lord Krishna. Mathura which is in the shape of a half-moon, and is situated on the bank of the beautiful devotion-giving river Jamuna. In that area is the beautiful Govardhana hill, which adds to the splendor and glory of Mathura-Mandala like a large jewel in a crown. It is surrounded by pure trees and creepers. There are twelve wonderful forests surrounding Mathura in which Lord Krishna enjoys His wonderful pastimes.

After leaving Mathura, Maha traveled to the West, and then to the North. One day, he came to a town known as Kashmir in which he saw a very large and shining white place. At that place all of the people, even the foolish men, looked as beautiful demigods due to the fact that many sacrificial fires were burning continuously. It looked as if a row of clouds always hung over the town. The Deity of Lord Siva, known as Manikeshvara, resided in that town. The king of Kashmir had just returned from defeating many kings, and was engaged in worshipping Lord Siva. Due to his great devotion to Lord Siva, that king was known as Manikeshvar. Just close to the door of the temple, sitting on a small cart, underneath a tree, Maha saw the great sage Raikva. When he recognized Raikva from the description of Janashruti, he immediately fell at his feet and inquired from him. ďOh, great sage, where do you live? And what is your full name? You are such a highly elevated person. Why are you sitting in this place?Ē When Raikva heard the words of Maha, he thought for some time, and then replied, ďI am fully satisfied, I do not require anything.Ē

When Maha heard this reply, in his heart he could understand everything. He immediately left on the long journey, back to Pratishthanpur. When he reached his destination, he immediately went and offered his respects to the king, and with folded hands informed the king of all the events, which had taken place. After the king had heard everything from Maha he decided to leave at once, to take the darshan of the great sage Raikva. Sitting in a beautiful chariot, and taking with him many valuable gifts, he left for Kashmir. When he reached the place, where the sage Raikva was staying, he fell at his feet and placed the entire valuable silks and jewels, which he had brought with him before Raikva. At that time, the great sage Raikva became very angry. He said, ďOh foolish king, you take all these useless things and put them in your chariot, and leave from this placeĒ. The king immediately with great devotion, fell at the feet of Raikva, and begged his forgiveness, asking him to be merciful upon him. He inquired from Raikva, ďOh, sage, how have you attained such a high state of renunciation and devotion to the Lord?Ē

Becoming pleased with the kingís submissive attitude, Raikva replied ďDaily I recite the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita Ē. After that, king Janashruti heard from Raikva the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. And thereafter, he engaged in daily reciting that Sixth Chapter. And in course of time a flower airplane arrived and took him to Vaikuntha. Meanwhile, that great sage, who was reciting the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita daily, went to Vaikuntha, where he engaged in the service of the lotus-feet of the Supreme Lord Vishnu.
Anyone, who recites this Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, will very soon attain service to the lotus-feet of Lord Vishnu, of this there is no doubt.

Ch 6 Verse 1

shri bhagavan uvaca
anashritah karma-phalam / karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca / na niragnir na cakriyah

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shri bhagavan uvaca---Shri Bhagavan said; yah---he who; karoti--- performs; karma---work; karyam---as prescribed; anashritah---unattached; karma-phalam---to the fruit of his action; sah---he; (is) sannyasi---in the renounced order; ca---and; (is) yogi---a yogi; ca---and; na---not; niragnih---one who ceases activities such as the practice of fire yajnas; ca---and; na---not; akriyah---one who performs no work.

Shri Bhagavan said: Those who perform prescribed duties without desiring the results of their actions are actual sannyasis and yogis. Those who cease performing yajnas, such as the agni-hotra-yajna, are not sannyasis, and those who merely abandon all bodily activities are not yogis.


The Sixth Chapter deals with the various types of yoga performed by yogis whose minds are self-controlled. It also explains the means to control the flickering mind.

A person who is engaged in the practice of ashtanga-yoga (the eightfold yoga system) should not suddenly give up nishkama-karma (selfless action), which purifies the heart. For this reason Shri Bhagavan says, "Those who perform their prescribed duties knowing them to be obligatory, without desiring the results, and who have renounced the fruits of their actions, are actual sannyasis. Since their minds are free from desires for sense enjoyment, such persons are also called yogis." Niragni means that a person is not called a sannyasi simply because he has abandoned all karma (action) such as performance of the agni-hotra-yajna. Akriyah means that a person is not called a yogi simply because he has given up all bodily activities, and sits motionless with half-closed eyes.


Ashtanga-yoga was described in a condensed form (sutra) in three shlokas at the end of the Fifth Chapter. In the Sixth Chapter, the subject of these three shlokas is explained in detail. The word agni-hotra mentioned in the commentary is a special type of Vedic yajna performed to satisfy the agnidevat a. According to this procedure, at the end of a marriage ceremony, the brahmanas should perform a yajna by establishing the fire and chanting Vedic mantras prescribed for the spring season. At that time, one makes a determined vow to perform the yajna with some particular substance (such as ghee). After that, it should be performed with that substance only for the rest of one's life. On the amavasya (dark-moon) night, the person has to perform the yajna himself with barley water. On other days there is no discrepancy, even if there is some variation. When one has performed a hundred yajnas, one must perform a yajna to the sun during the morning, and to the fire at twilight. It is imperative to commence dasha purnamasa-yajna while meditating on the fire on the first full-moon day. Besides that, one has to perform three yajnas on the purnima and three on the amavasya, and must perform these six yajnas for the rest of his life. The shat-pathabr ahmana section of the Vedas explains in great detail the results obtained by performing this yajna.

Ch 6 Verse 2

yam sannyasam iti prahur / yogam tam viddhi pandava
na hy asannyasta-sankalpo / yogi bhavati kashcana

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pandava---O son of Pandu; viddhi---know; iti---that; hi tam--- very thing; yam---which; prahuh---they (the wise) call; yogam--- unmotivated yoga of work; (is also) sannyasam---renunciation of work; asannyasta-sankalpah---without renouncing desire; na kashcana---no one; bhavati---can become; yogi---a yogi.

O Arjuna, know that what the wise call nishkama-karmayoga is non-different from karma-sannyasa, because one who is unable to give up the desire for the fruits of action and sense enjoyment can never become a yogi.


To renounce the fruits of action is the factual meaning of the word sannyasa, and to stabilise the mind so that it is not disturbed by sense objects is the meaning of the word yoga. Therefore, the meaning of both sannyasa and yoga is one. Those who are asannyasta-sankalpa, who have neither given up the desire for the fruits of their action nor the desire for sense enjoyment, can never be called yogis.

Ch 6 Verse 3

arurukshor-muner yogam / karma karanam ucyate
yogarudhasya tasyaiva / shamah karanam ucyate

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muneh---for the sage; arurukshoh---who is beginning; yogam--- the process of dhyana-yoga; karma---nishkama-karma-yoga; ucyate---is said; (to be) karanam---the sadhana; tasya yoga- arudhasya---for that person who has attained to dhyana-yoga; eva---certainly; shamah---renunciation; ucyate---is said; (to be) karanam---the sadhana.

For a sage who is aspiring to become situated in unwavering dhyana-yoga, nishkama-karma is said to be the sadhana, and when he ascends to that stage of yoga called dhyana-nishtha (steadiness in meditation), renouncing actions which distract his mind from dhyana is said to be the sadhana.


One may question whether or not an ashtanga-yogi of the quality mentioned in Gita (6.1) must perform nishkamakarma for the rest of his life. That doubt is removed by this shloka beginning with the word arurukshoh, which establishes a limit for nishkama-karma. Muni means that, in order for aspirants to become situated in yoga, they must perform nishkama-karma, because it purifies the heart. Once they have attained steadiness in meditation, they must then stop performing any action which may distract them. Those who desire to attain dhyana yoga, but whose minds are not yet completely purified, should perform nishkama-karma.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Yoga is compared to a unique ladder. The lowest rung is compared to the life of the jiva caught in degraded worldliness, in which his consciousness is absorbed in mundane matter. This yoga ladder consists of the steps from that level up to the stage where the jiva is in pure conciousness. The various rungs of the ladder have different names, but yoga is a common term for them all. This yoga has two divisions (for two types of yogis): 1) For the yoga-arurukshu munis who desire to practise yoga and who have just begun climbing the ladder, nishkama-karma is said to be the only means and, 2) for an arudha-yogi, who has already ascended the ladder and achieved perfection in yoga, the only aim is the attainment of shama (cessation of desire for fruitive karma) or eternal bliss. These two gross divisions are called karma and shanti." In other words, performance of nishkama-karma-yoga and eternal bliss are their respective goals.

Ch 6 Verse 4

yada hi nendriyartheshu / na karmasv anushajjate
sarva-sankalpa-sannyasi / yogarudhas tadocyate

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yada---when; na anushajjate---one is neither attached; indriyaarthe shu---to the objects of the senses; na---nor; karmasu---to actions; tada---then; ucyate---it is said; hi---that certainly; yoga- arudhah---he has attained to yoga; (since he is) sannyasi---a renouncer; sarva-sankalpa---of all his desires.

A tyagi who has become free from attachment to the sense objects and the performance of actions is called yoga-arudha (adept in yoga), for he has given up all desires for the fruits of his actions .


Only those whose hearts have become completely pure are called yoga-arudha. In this shloka beginning with the words yada hi, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the symptoms of such a person. Indriya-artheshu means that they are neither attached to sense objects such as sound, nor to actions which are the means of attaining those sense objects.

Ch 6 Verse 5

uddhared atmanatmanam / natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur / atmaiva ripur atmanah

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uddharet---one should deliver; atmanam---the soul; atmana--- through the mind; na avasadayet---one should not degrade; atmanam---the soul; atmana---through the mind; hi eva atma--- the very mind; (which is) bandhuh---the friend; atmanah---of the soul; eva---indeed; atma---that mind; (is also) ripuh---the enemy; atmanah---of the soul.

One must deliver the self by detaching his mind from the material world and not allow it to degrade him, because the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the jivatma.


The self (atma) falls into the ocean of the material world only because of his attachment to sense objects. With great endeavour one must deliver the self. Atmana, the mind which is detached from sense objects, delivers atmanam, the jiva. Na avsadayet means that the mind which is attached to sense objects should not cause the atma to fall into the material ocean. In this way the atma (mind) is the friend and also the enemy of the jiva.


The mind which is free from any attachment is one's friend, and the mind which is full of attachment is one's enemy. It is said:

mana eva manushyanam / karanam bandha-mokshayoh
bandhaya vishayasango / muktyair nirvishayam manah
Amrita-bindu Upanishad 2

A man's mind is the sole cause of bondage and of moksha. A mind absorbed in sense objects causes bondage and when it is detached from them, it is the cause of mukti.

Ch 6 Verse 6

bandhur atmatmanas tasya / yenatmaivatmana jitah
anatmanas tu shatrutve / varttetatmaiva shatru-vat

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atma---the mind; eva---certainly; (is) bandhuh---the friend; tasya atmanah---of that soul; yena atmana---by which person; atma--- the mind; jitah---has been disciplined; tu---but; anatmanah--- for a person without spiritual knowledge; atma---the mind; vartteta---engages; shatrutve---in harmful activity; eva---just; shatruvat---like an enemy.

For one who has conquered his mind, the mind is his friend, but for the jivatma who has no control over his mind, it works against him just like an enemy.


Whose friend and whose enemy is the mind? To answer this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the word bandhuh. For the atma, that is, the jiva who has conquered his mind, the mind is his friend. But for one who is anatma, whose mind is uncontrolled, it acts harmfully like an enemy.

Ch 6 Verse 7

jitatmanah prashantasya / paramatma samahitah
shitoshna-sukha-duhkheshu / tatha manapamanayoh

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jita-atmanah---for the person whose mind is controlled; prashantasya---and who is peaceful; sukha-duhkheshu---amidst happiness and distress; shita-ushna---cold and heat; tatha---as well as; mana-apamanayoh---honour and dishonour; atma---soul; parama samahitah---has attained eternal trance.

One whose mind is controlled is free from the dualities of heat and cold, happiness and misery, honour and dishonour, attachment and envy. The soul of such a yogi is deeply absorbed in samadhi.


Now, in these next three shlokas the characteristics of one who is yoga-arudha are being described. A person who is jita- atmanah (one who has conquered his mind) and prashanta (free from attachment, envy and so forth) is properly situated in samadhi and is not disturbed by heat or cold, honour or dishonour.


In the original shloka, the word paramatma does not mean Parameshvara-Paramatma, but it indicates the atma, or the jivatma. Here, the meaning of the word parama with the word samahitah is that a person endowed with the above symptoms is deeply absorbed in samadhi. Both Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana have said that the word parama here indicates intensity.

Ch 6 Verse 8

jnana-vijnana-triptatma / kutastho vijitendriyah
yukta ity ucyate yogi / sama-loshtashma-kancanah

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atma---the soul; tripta---who is satisfied; jnana-vijnana---through transcendental knowledge and its realisation; kuta-sthah. whose consciousness is unaffected by material transformation; vijita-indriyah---who has conquered the senses; sama---and looks equally; loshta-ashma-kancanah---on sand, stone and gold; iti--- thus; ucyate---is said to be; yogi---a yogi; yuktah---yoga-arudha purusha.

A person whose mind is satisfied by jnana and vijnana, whose consciousness is unaffected by material transformation, who has conquered the senses, and who looks equally upon sand, stone and gold is yoga-arudha, adept on the path of yoga.


Those whose hearts have become free from hankering, and are satisfied due to having both jnana (knowledge) and vijnana (direct realisation of this knowledge) are kuta-sthah, that is, they are always situated in the true nature of their selves and remain detached from all mundane objects. For them, a grain of sand, gold and so on are all the same.

Ch 6 Verse 9

suhrin-mitrary-udasina / madhyastha-dveshya-bandhushu
sadhushv api ca papeshu / sama-buddhir vishishyate

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(one who sees with) sama-buddhih---his impartial intelligence; suhrit---towards well-wishers; mitra---friends; ari---enemies; udasina---neutral persons; madhyastha---arbitrators; dveshya---the envious; bandhushu---relatives; sadhushu---saints; api ca---and also; papeshu---sinful persons; vishishyate---is more advanced.

One who looks upon well-wishers, friends, enemies, neutral people, arbitrators, envious people, relatives, saintly persons and sinners with equal vision is even more exalted.


Suhrid means one who is a well-wisher by nature. Mitra means one who performs welfare work out of affection. Ari refers to one who is violent or a killer. Udasina means one who is indifferent to quarrelling parties. Madhya-stha means one who is an arbitrator for opposing parties. Dveshya means one who is envious and acts harmfully. Bandhu means a relative, sadhu means a saintly (dharmika) person and papi means a sinful (adharmika) person.

One who regards all of these types of people with an equal mind, seeing them all alike, is considered to be a most distinguished and excellent person. Such a person is superior to those who look upon a grain of sand, stone and gold equally.


In the previous shloka, a person who has equal vision towards a grain of sand, stone, gold and so forth, was called a yogi. But among persons who are yoga-arudha (ascending the path of yoga), those who see with equal vision a well-wisher, a friend, an enemy, a neutral person, an arbitrator, an envious person, a relative, a saint and a sinner are even more highly situated than those who see inert matter equally.

Ch 6 Verse 10

yogi yunjita satatam / atmanam rahasi sthitah
ekaki yata-cittatma / nirashir aparigrahah

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ekaki---living alone; sthitah---situated; rahasi---in a solitary place; (he should be) nirashih---free from desire; aparigrahah---not accepting sense objects; yata-citta-atma---controlling his mind and body; yogi---a yogi; satatam---always; yunjita atmanam--- should absorb his mind in samadhi.

While residing alone in a solitary place, controlling his citta (thoughts) and body, devoid of desires and not accepting sense objects, a yogi should absorb his mind in samadhi.


Now, from this shloka beginning with yogi yunjita up to the shloka ending with sa yogi paramo matah (Gita 6.32), Shri Bhagavan explains the process of dhyana-yoga along with its limbs. A yogi should be yoga-arudha-atma (fix his mind in trance).


After explaining the symptoms of one who is a yoga-arudha (adept in yoga), Bhagavan gives instruction on yoga-sadhana. A yoga-sadhaka should withdraw his mind from the objects of sense enjoyment and practise nishkama-karma-yoga offered to Bhagavan. In this way, he should try to fix his mind in samadhi, meditating deeply on Shri Bhagavan. He should perform his sadhana without any material desires, and with staunch renunciation, reside in a solitary place, control his mind, and refrain from all activities which are unfavourable to yoga.

Ch 6 Verses 11-12

shucau deshe pratishthapya / sthiram asanam atmanah
naty-ucchritam nati-nicam / cailajina-kushottaram

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tatraikagram manah kritva / yata-cittendriya-kriyah
upavishyasane yunjyad / yogam atma-vishuddhaye

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shucau deshe---in a clean place; pratishthapya---establishing; atmanah---his; sthiram---steadfast; asanam---seat; (placing) uttaram---in sequence; kusha---a mat of kusha grass; ajina---a deerskin; caila---and a cloth; na ati-ucchritam---neither too high; na ati-nicam---nor too low; upavishya---sitting; tatra---there; asane--- on the seat; kritva---having fixed; manah---his mind; eka-agram. one-pointedly; yata---controlling; kriyah---the activities; citta--- of his mind; indriya---and senses; yunjyat yogam---he should practise yoga; atma-vishuddhaye---for the purification of his mind.

In a sanctified place, one should make an asana by placing kusha grass, deerskin and then cloth on the ground. It should be neither too high nor too low. Sitting on that asana, one should practise yoga to purify the mind with one-pointed concentration, and control all of his thoughts and activities.


Pratishthapya means 'after establishing'. Cailajina-kushottaram indicates that one should put deerskin on a mat made from kusha and on top of that a seat made of cloth. A yogi should continue his practice to purify the atma (mind). In other words, after becoming free from the distraction of trying to become qualified to realise brahma, one's intelligence should remain one-pointed. It is said in the Katha Upanishad (1.3.12): drishyate tv agryaya buddhya. "One can see brahma with one-pointed intelligence."

Ch 6 Verses 13-14

samam kaya-shiro-grivam / dharayann acalam sthirah samprekshya nasikagram svam / dishash canavalokayan

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prashantatma vigata-bhir / brahmacari-vrate sthitah
manah samyamya mac-citto / yukta asita mat-parah

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dharayan---holding; kaya---his body; shirah---head; grivam--- and neck; samam---equipoised; acalam---unmoving; sthirah---steadfast; ca---and; samprekshya---gazing; svam nasika-agram---at the tip of his nose; anavalokayan---not glancing; dishah---to the (other) directions; prashanta-atma--- filled with peace; vigata-bhih---free from fear; sthitah---fixed; brahmacari-vrate---in a vow of celibacy; samyamya---controlling; manah---the mind; yuktah---engaged in; mat-cittah. thinking of Me; asita---should sit; mat-parah---engrossed in Me.

Keeping one's body, neck and head erect and steady, one should fix one's vision solely on the tip of the nose. Thus, following strict celibacy, becoming fearless, peaceful and controlling the mind, one should practise yoga by meditating on Me with one-pointed attention, remaining always devoted to Me.


The middle part of the body is called kaya, the torso. Samam means not crooked, or in other words, straight, and acalam means not moving, steady. "Keeping the torso straight and steady and restraining the mind from sense objects, one should become dedicated to My bhakti while meditating on My beautiful four-handed Vishnu form."


If the sitting posture is firm and comfortable, it helps in one's spiritual practice. There are sixty-four types of postures such as svastika, mayura, garuda and padma. Patanjali has also said:

sthira-sukham asanam.
"The asana should be firm and comfortable."

In Shvetashvatara Upanishad (2.8) the process of asana has been explained: "Keeping the torso, head and neck in a straight line and controlling all the senses, one should practise yoga by absorbing one's mind in meditating on brahma situated in the heart. Such learned sadhakas cross over the terrible ocean of kama and krodha in the material world by the boat of brahma."

If one doubts the need to adopt an asana (posture) for the gross body while remembering Bhagavan within the mind, Vedanta-sutra (4.1.7) says: asinah sambhavat. "One should remember Shri Hari while sitting in a firm asana." Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana explains in his Govinda-bhashya, "It is not possible to concentrate the citta (thoughts) without an asana. While walking, moving, standing and sleeping, the thoughts remain distracted. In such circumstances it is not possible to make the citta one-pointed." This is also cited in Shrimad-Bhagavatam from: shucau deshe pratishthapya (3.28.8) up to hetutvam apy asati (3.28.36), and also (11.14.32) sama asana asinah. These shlokas are of great value in helping to understand this topic in more detail. In the yoga-shastra also it is said: antar-lakshyo. bahir drishtih sthira-cittah susangatah. "One's outer perception should be directed within, and one's mind should be stable due to auspicious association."

Ch 6 Verse 15

yunjann evam sadatmanam / yogi niyata manasah
shantim nirvana-paramam / mat-samstham adhigacchati

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evam---thus; sada---always; yunjan---engaging; atmanam---the mind; yogi---the yogi; niyata-manasah---of controlled mind; adhigacchati---attains; shantim---peace; (in) mat-samstham---My form of nirvishesha-brahma; nirvana-paramam---complete cessation of material existence.

Thus, constantly keeping the mind absorbed in Me through yoga by following this process, a yogi whose mind is controlled, can become situated in My svarupa ( nirvishesha-brahma) and attain shanti in the form of complete emancipation.


"Yogis whose minds are beyond thoughts of sense objects and are self-controlled, absorb their minds in Me through the practice of dhyana-yoga and attain nirvana (emancipation). Thus becoming firmly situated in My nirvishesha-brahma svarupa, they attain shanti, complete emancipation from bondage to the material world."


Here, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the result of practicing dhyana-yoga. Tam eva viditvati-mrityum eti. ."By the practice of yoga, having attained knowledge of Bhagavan (in His impersonal feature), he crosses beyond the cycle of birth and death in the form of material existence,"(Shvetashvatara Upanishad 3.8). In this way, the yogi attains nirvishesha-brahma (featureless brahma).

Ch 6 Verse 16

natyashnatas tu yogo.sti / na caikantam-anashnatah
na cati-svapna-shilasya / jagrato naiva carjuna

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.16 <>

arjuna---O Arjuna; ca---and; tu---however; yogah---union with the Paramatma; asti---is; eva---certainly; na---not (attained); atia shnatah---by one who eats excessively; ca---and; na---not; ekaantam anashnatah---by one who does not eat sufficiently; ca---and; na---not; ati-svapna-shilasya---by one who sleeps excessively; na---nor; jagratah---by one who does not sleep enough.

O Arjuna, yoga cannot be perfected by a person who eats too much or too little, or by one who sleeps too much or too little.


In two shlokas, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the symptoms of a person who has become steadfast in the practice of yoga. Aty-ashnatah means one who eats too much. It is said in yoga-shastra:

puryed ashanenarddham tritiyam udakena tu vayoh sancaranartham tu caturtham avasheshayet.

"One should half-fill the belly with food, one-fourth with water, and should leave one-fourth empty for the movement of air."


To attain perfection in sadhana, a yogi should not practise yoga when he is hungry or tired, or when his mind is disturbed. One should not practise yoga when he is too cold, too hot or in a hurry, because in doing so he will not attain perfection. While chanting hari-nama, following the various angas (limbs) of bhakti, and specifically while remembering Krishna's lila, one should carefully observe the above principles. In order to keep the citta concentrated, the sadhaka should spend some time chanting hari-nama in a solitary place with one-pointed attention. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given such instructions in his book Hari-nama-cintamani.

Ch 6 Verse 17

yuktahara-viharasya / yukta-ceshtasya karmasu
yukta-svapnavabodhasya / yogo bhavati duhkha-ha

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.17 <>

viharasya---for one whose recreation; ahara---and eating; yukta--- are balanced; ceshtasya---whose movements; karmasu---in (all) activities; yukta---are balanced; avabodhasya---whose waking; svapna---and sleeping; yukta---are balanced; yogah---the process of linking with the Supreme Lord; bhavati---becomes; duhkhah a---a slayer of material miseries.

For one who is moderate in eating and recreation, balanced in work and regulated in sleeping and wakefulness, his practice of yoga destroys all material miseries.


A person's worldly and transcendental activities will lead to success if he is regulated in eating (ahara) and recreation (vihara).


If a person is not moderate in eating and recreation, he faces various miseries that become an obstacle in his sadhana. Similarly, if the mind is flickering and agitated because of various anxieties, it is also not possible for him to attain perfection in his sadhana. Therefore, in a balanced manner, the sadhaka should eat food which is easily digestible and nourishing. It is imperative for the bhakti-sadhaka to follow the instructions given by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his book, Shri Upadeshamrita, wherein it is said that only a person who controls the urges of the mind, anger, tongue and genitals can perform sadhana properly. Additionally, one should always keep a distance from the six unfavourable activities: over-eating, over-endeavouring, talking unnecessarily, having undue attachment to or disregard for rules and regulations, taking bad association and maintaining a strong desire to follow false philosophy. In this shloka, the words yukta-svapnavabodhasya mean regulated sleep and regulated wakefulness.

Ch 6 Verse 18

yada viniyatam cittam / atmany evavatishthate
nisprihah sarva-kamebhyo / yukta ity ucyate tada

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.2 <>

yada---when; cittam---the mind; viniyatam---is fully controlled; avatishthate---and stays; atmani---in the soul; tada---then; ucyate--- he is said; (to be) yuktah iti---connected in yoga; eva---certainly; nisprihah---free from cravings; sarva-kamebhyah---for all sense enjoyment.

When the mind becomes completely controlled and firmly fixed in the self alone, at that time one is said to be yukta (perfected in yoga), and is free from the craving for all sense enjoyment.


"When is one's yoga complete?" In reply to this, Shri Krishna speaks this shloka beginning with yada. "One has become a nishpanna-yogi (has attained perfection in yoga) when he can situate the controlled citta (mind) unwaveringly in the atma (self)."


The yogi is said to have attained perfection in yoga when, during his yoga practice, his citta becomes steady, free from desires for sense enjoyment, and situated within his self alone.

Ch 6 Verse 19

yatha dipo nivata-stho / nengate sopama smrita
yogino yata-cittasya / yunjato yogam atmanah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.19 <>

yatha---as; dipah.a lamp; nivata-sthah---situated in a windless place; na ingate---does not flicker; sah---that; upama---analogy; smrita---is taught (by the wise); yoginah---of a yogi; yata-cittasya--- whose mind is controlled; yunjatah yogam---while practicing connection; atmanah---with the atma.

Just as a lamp in a windless place does not flicker, so a yogi whose citta is controlled remains steady in his concentration on self-realisation.


A lamp does not flicker in a place where there is no breeze, therefore the citta (mind) of a yoga-yukta-yogi is compared to a lamp.

Ch 6 Verses 20-25

yatroparamate cittam / niruddham yoga-sevaya
yatra caivatmanatmanam / pashyann atmani tushyati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.20 <>

sukham atyantikam yat tad / buddhi-grahyam atindriyam
vetti yatra na caivayam / sthitash calati tattvatah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.21 <>

yam labdhva caparam labham / manyate nadhikam tatah
yasmin sthito na duhkhena / gurunapi vicalyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.22 <>

tam vidyad duhkha-samyoga / viyogam yoga-samjnitam
sa nishcayena yoktavyo / yogo.nirvinŽa-cetasa

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.23 <>

sankalpa-prabhavan kamams / tyaktva sarvan asheshatah
manasaivendriya-gramam / viniyamya samantatah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.24 <>

shanaih shanair uparamed / buddhya dhriti-grihitaya
atma-samstham manah kritva / na kincid api cintayet

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.25 <>

eva---certainly; yatra---when; cittam---the mind; niruddham--- being controlled; uparamate---becomes peaceful; yoga-sevaya--- through the practice of yoga; ca---and; yatra---when; pashyan--- perceiving; atmanam---the soul; atmana---through the mind; tushyati---one becomes satisfied; atmani---in the soul; eva---certainly; yatra---situation in which; vetti---one understands; tat--- that; atyantikam---limitless; sukham---happiness; yat---which; (is) buddhi-grahyam---perceived through the intelligence; ca--- and; ati-indriyam---transcendental to the senses; sthitah---being so situated; ayam---this (yogi); na---never; calati---moves away; tattvatah---from that truth; ca---and; labdhva---having obtained; yam.which; manyate---he considers; na aparam---no other; labham---gain; (is) adhikam---greater; tatah---than that; sthitah---being situated; yasmin---in which; na vicalyate---he is not deviated; api---even; guruŽa---by the greatest; duhkhena. suffering; vidyat---one should understand; tam---that; yogasa mjnitam---realisation of yoga; viyogam---which dissociates one; duhkha-samyoga---from association with suffering; sah--- that; yogah---yoga; yoktavyah---should be practised; nishcayena--- with determination; anirviŽŽa-cetasa---and undeviating consciousness; eva.certainly; tyaktva---having abandoned; asheshatah---completely; sarvan---all; kaman---desires; sankalpaprabhav an---born of desire; (and) viniyamya.regulating; indriya-gramam---the group of senses; samantatah---on all sides; manasa---through the mind; shanaih shanaih---very gradually; uparamet---one should detach; manah---the mind; buddhya--- through intelligence; dhriti-grihitaya---achieved through conviction; ca---and; kritva---having fixed (the mind); atmasa mstham---in transcendence; cintayet---one should think; na kincit---of nothing else; api---at all.

In that state of yoga called samadhi, the yogi's mind is controlled by the practice of yoga. He becomes detached from the sense objects, and is satisfied within by realising the self through that purified citta (mind). In that state, the yogi experiences eternal bliss through his transcendental intelligence, which is beyond the realm of the senses. Being thus established, he never deviates from his atma-svarupa (intrinsic nature) and upon attaining atma-sukha (the bliss of the self), he considers there to be no greater acquisition. When he is situated on that platform, he does not become perturbed even by the greatest of miseries. Know that state to be devoid of any contact with the duality of mundane happiness and misery. This yoga should be performed with full patience of mind, having completely given up all whimsical desires and, with the mind controlling the senses from all directions, one should follow the instructions of shastra and sadhu with determination. One should make his intelligence resolute and determined, and should gradually become detached by establishing the mind in the self and by not thinking of anything else.


The word yoga in the shloka, naty-ashnatas 'tu yoga 'sti (Gita 6.16) and in other shlokas means samadhi. This samadhi is of two types, namely samprajnata, in which one is conscious of the difference between knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower, and asamprajnata, in which no such difference is perceived. Samprajnata has various divisions such as sa-vitarka (argument) and savic ara (philosophical research). What is spontaneous or asamprajnata-samadhi-yoga? To answer this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking three and a half shlokas beginning here with the word yatroparamate.

When one attains samadhi, the citta becomes fully detached from sense objects and has no contact with them, because one has achieved self-restraint (niruddha). This is confirmed in Patanjali's Yoga-sutra: yogash citta-vrittinirodha h. "When the citta-vritti (attention) is fully restrained from sense enjoyment and absorbed in the blissful realisation of the self and Paramatma, it is called yoga."

The qualified yogi realises Paramatma by his purified mind and remains satisfied with that alone. This is his blissful state, samadhi. This samadhi is attained by an intellect which has become qualified to experience the self and Paramatma. This is because it is atindriya (beyond the senses), and beyond the happiness attained by contact of the senses with the sense objects. Wherever this yogi lives, he does not deviate from his atma-svarupa and thus, after attaining this blissful state, he considers the pursuit of any other type of acquisition as insignificant. Even if there is contact with misery, he does not experience it. This is yogasa mjnitam, or simply yoga, and only this can be called samadhi. A yogi should not lament, "I have not attained perfection after so much time, so what is the purpose in undergoing all this pain?" Rather, within his mind, he should maintain firm patience. "Whether perfection comes in this life or in the next, I will continue to endeavour. Why should I become impatient?"

In this regard, Shri Gaudapada, Shankaracarya's paramagurudeva, has given the example of vowing to dry up the ocean by taking out a drop of water at a time with the tip of a piece of kusha grass. Similarly, by untiring, determined endeavour, a person can control the mind.

In this regard there is a story. Once a bird laid her eggs on the shore of an ocean, but the waves carried the eggs away. The bird resolved to dry up the ocean, and began to take water out, drop by drop, in her beak. Other birds came to convince her that her endeavour was futile, but she did not stop her work. By chance, Shri Naradaji came to that place, and he also tried to convince the bird to stop, but the bird took a vow in his presence: "I will not rest until I dry up the ocean, whether it is in this life or in the next." Merciful Narada then sent Garuda to help her. When Garuda heard that the ocean had carried away the eggs of someone in his own caste, he began to dry up the ocean by fanning it with his wings. The ocean became terrified, and immediately gave the eggs back to the bird.

Thus it is certain that when a person begins the process of yoga, jnana or bhakti with faith in such statements of shastra, Shri Bhagavan will definitely bless such enthusiastic endeavour.

In the two shlokas beginning with the word sankalpa, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the initial and ultimate activities of a person engaged in such yoga. Abandoning all material desires (Gita 6.24) is the initial act and not worrying about anything else, as spoken in Gita (6.25), is the final act.


Words cannot describe the happiness that manifests in the yogi's pure heart when he attains perfection in yoga, and his heart becomes cleansed by samadhi. It can only be realised with one's purified mind. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "In this way, by the practice of yoga, the mind gradually becomes detached from sense enjoyment and free from the control of all mundane objects. At that time, the stage of samadhi appears. In that state, the mind becomes qualified to realise and experience Paramatma, thus realising the happiness born from that union. Patanjali Muni's philosophical literature is the only bona fide literature on ashtanga-yoga. Because commentators do not understand its factual meaning, they say that, according to the vedanta-vadis (propounders of Vedanta), the attainment of bliss and the conscious state of the self is called moksha. This is unreasonable because, if bliss is accepted in the kaivalya (liberated) stage of impersonal monism, then the duality of the experience and the one who has the experience will exist. Thus it will not be kaivalya (oneness). But these commentators do not understand what Patanjali Muni means, because in his last sutra he has said:

purushartha-shunyanam guŽanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam svarupa-pratishtha va citi-shaktir iti
Yoga-sutra 3.34

The function of the real self (cit-dharma) awakens when one is free from the four goals of human life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha), and when the guŽas do not cause any worldly disturbance. This state is called kaivalya (oneness). In this state one becomes situated in one's own svarupa. It is then called citi-shakti. "

If we deeply deliberate on this it becomes clear that Patanjali Muni does not accept that the functions of the self are annihilated in its ultimate state; rather, he accepts that at that stage no transformation or perversion of its function takes place. Citi-shakti means cit-dharma. When there are no perverse transformations in the proper functioning of the self, then svarupadharma, the true nature of the self, awakens. When that state of the self is in contact with the material energy, it is called atma-guŽa-vikara (the transformation of the constitutional functions of one's self). If perverse transformations are removed, then ananda, which is an intrinsic characteristic of the atma, will awaken. This is the opinion of Patanjali. Ananda awakens when one is free from any perversion by the guŽas and is of a blissful nature. It is the supreme end of yoga. Later, it will be explained that this and nothing else is called bhakti.

Samadhi is of two types: samprajnata and asamprajnata.

Samprajnata-samadhi has many divisions such as sa-vitarka (argument) and sa-vicarana (philosophical research). But asamprajnata-samadhi is only of one type. In the state of asamprajnata-samadhi, one attains eternal bliss, which is devoid of any contact of the senses with their sense objects through the intelligence which has become qualified to experience the true self or has become one with the self. In that pure state of realising eternal bliss within the self, the mind of the yogi does not deviate from the Absolute Reality. Without attaining this state, the jiva can never achieve eternal auspiciousness merely by the practice of ashtanga-yoga. This is because, if the yogi is deprived of this blissful state, then the secondary results of this practice in the form of mystic powers and so on attract his mind, and will deviate him from the topmost objective which is samadhi-sukha (bliss in trance). Due to such obstacles, there is the danger of many inauspicious mishaps in the practice of this ashtanga-yoga such as degradation and deviation. In bhakti-yoga, however, there is no such danger. This will be explained later on.

The yogi does not consider any other bliss to be superior to the bliss achieved in samadhi. In other words, while maintaining his life, he experiences temporary happiness through contact of the senses with their sense objects, but he considers this to be completely insignificant. Even at the time of death, while tolerating the extreme pain of an accident or bodily miseries, he enjoys the bliss of samadhi, which is the only object of his search. Being unmoved by all these pains, he still does not give up his supremely blissful state. He understands that these miseries will not stay for long and will disappear soon enough. If there is a delay or any obstacle in achieving the result of yoga, he does not become so frustrated that he gives up his practice. With great endeavour he continues his yoga practice until he attains the result.

"The first duty on the path of yoga is to follow yama, niyama, asana, praŽayama and so on and to completely abandon desires which are born from the attraction to attaining mystic siddhis. In addition, with the help of the purified mind, the yogi should control his senses. He should gradually learn renunciation with intelligence acquired from following the limb of dharaŽa (concentrating the mind). This renunciation is called pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the sense objects). He should achieve atma-samadhi by completely controlling his mind through the processes of dhyana, dharaŽa and pratyahara. In the final state, he should not think any mundane thoughts, and should not become attached to the maintenance of his body while thinking about it. This is the ultimate duty of the yogi."

Ch 6 Verse 26

yato yato nishcalati / manash cancalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad / atmany eva vasham nayet

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.26 <>

yatah yatah---to whichever (sense); cancalam---the restless; asthiram---unsteady; manah---mind; nishcalati---wanders; eva--- certainly; tatah tatah---from that; niyamya---regulating; nayet--- one should lead; etat---this; vasham---controlled (mind); atmani--- within the soul.

No matter how the restless and unsteady mind wanders to the various sense objects, it should be restrained and fixed within the self alone.


If, due to poor samskara, the mind of the yogi becomes unsteady by contact with rajo-guŽa, then he should again practise yoga. Shri Bhagavan is explaining this by speaking this shloka beginning with the words yato yatah.


When the mind of the sadhaka becomes restless and wanders to the sense objects, he should immediately restrain it from those sense objects to which it has wandered and fix it in the self alone.

Ch 6 Verse 27

prashanta-manasam hy enam / yoginam sukham uttamam
upaiti shanta-rajasam / brahma-bhutam akalmasham

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.27 <>

enam yoginam---that yogi; hi---certainly; (has) prashantamanasam ---great peace of mind; brahma-bhutam---realisation of brahma; shanta-rajasam---his passions are pacified; akalmasham--- he is freed from reactions to past sins; (and) upaiti.he achieves; uttamam---supreme; sukham---bliss.

Such a peaceful yogi, who sees everything in connection with brahma, and who is free from rajo-guŽa and the reactions of past sins, attains supreme bliss in the form of self-realisation.


After overcoming all the impediments by practise, a yogi attains the bliss of samadhi as previously described.


The bliss of samadhi itself appears to the yogi.

Ch 6 Verse 28

yunjann evam sadatmanam / yogi vigata-kalmashah
sukhena brahma-samsparsham / atyantam sukham ashnute

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.28 <>

vigata-kalmashah---being freed from sins; yogi---the transcendentalist; sada---always; yunjan---regulating; atmanam---the mind; evam---thus; sukhena---easily; ashnute---attains; atyantam--- supreme; sukham---bliss; (which is) brahma-samsparsham---full realisation of brahma.

In this way, by continuous practice, a sinless yogi makes the self steady in yoga and easily attains supreme bliss in the form of brahma realisation, becoming liberated from material life.


At that time, such yogis become perfect. The words sukham ashnute mean that they become liberated in this life (jivanmukta).

Ch 6 Verse 29

sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam / sarva-bhutani catmani
ikshate yoga-yuktatma / sarvatra sama-darshanah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.29 <>

yoga-yukta-atma---a person connected in yoga; (with) samadar shanah---equal vision; ikshate---sees; sarvatra---everywhere; atmanam---Supersoul; stham---situated; sarva-bhuta---in all living beings; ca---and; sarva-bhutani---all living beings; atmani---in the Supersoul.

A person who is linked in yoga realises brahma everywhere. He observes Him as Paramatma who is situated in all living entities, and observes all living entities in Him.


In this shloka beginning with the words sarva-bhutastham atmanam, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the characteristics of a person who has realised brahma, and who has become liberated in this life. He directly experiences the presence of Paramatma in all jivas, understanding that He is the substratum of all jivas. The words yoga-yuktatma refer to a person who realises the Supreme Lord in all beings, both moving and non-moving, due to his mind being absorbed in brahma. In other words, he experiences brahma everywhere.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Arjuna is asking, 'What type of bliss comes from contact with brahma?' Shri Bhagavan anticipates this question, and explains briefly that the yogi who has attained samadhi behaves in two ways:

1) according to his bhava (vision) and

2) according to his kriya (activity).

His bhava is such that he sees Paramatma in all jivas and all jivas in Paramatma. His activities reflect such equal vision everywhere. In the next two shlokas, this bhava is explained and in the shloka after that, kriya is explained."

Ch 6 Verse 30

yo mam pashyati sarvatra / sarvan ca mayi pashyati
tasyaham na praŽashyami / sa ca me na praŽashyati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.30 <>

(he) yah---who; pashyati---sees; mam---Me; sarvatra---everywhere; ca---and; pashyati---sees; sarvam---everything; mayi---in Me; tasya---for him; aham---I; na praŽashyami---am never lost (invisible); ca---and; sah---he; na praŽashyati---he is never lost; me--- to Me.

For one who sees Me in all beings and sees all beings in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.


In this shloka beginning with the words yo mam, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the result of the yogi's direct experience. "For him, I, brahma, am never lost, because for such a yogi, direct experience of Me becomes eternal. The yogi who worships Me never falls down."


Shri Bhagavan is never out of sight for sadhakas who have direct experience of Him, and such sadhakas are also never out of His vision. Due to their constant mutual contact, the worshipper never falls.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes KrishŽa as saying, "I indeed belong to those who see Me everywhere and who see all entities in Me. When My bhakta surpasses the stage of shanta-rati (neutral attachment), a special type of loving relationship arises between us, in which both of us feel. "I am his and he is mine." After this relationship has developed, I never bestow upon him complete destruction by giving him dry impersonal moksha. He can no longer be lost because he has become My servant and has attained the eternal function of his self."

Ch 6 Verse 31

sarva-bhuta-sthitam yo mam / bhajaty ekatvam asthitah
sarvatha varttamano.pi / sa yogi mayi varttate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.31 <>

sah---that; yogi---transcendentalist; yah---who; bhajati---worships; mam---Me; sarva-bhuta-sthitam---as I am situated in all beings; asthitah---ascending; ekatvam---the stage of one-pointed intelligence; varttate---exists; mayi---in Me; api---although; varttamanah---existing; sarvatha---in all circumstances.

The yogi who worships Me, the all-pervading Supersoul, with one-pointed intelligence in both the sadhana and siddha stage, considering Me to be the Supreme Absolute Reality without a second, dwells only in Me in all circumstances.


Even before he has directly realised Me, who am the allpervasive Paramatma, the yogi who worships Me with the attitude explained in the previous shloka is not compelled to follow all the rules and regulations of sadhana. Paramatma is the cause of everything and the Supreme Absolute Reality without a second. He who takes shelter of this realisation and engages in My bhajana by shravaŽam, smaraŽam and so on is certainly situated in Me in all respects and under all conditions. He is not in the material world, whether he performs action as prescribed in shastra or not.


The various living entities have different types of bodies which are classified as moving and non-moving. The jivas within these bodies are also different. Consequently, there are unlimited jivas. In Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.9) it is said:

lagra-shata-bhagasya / shatadha kalpitasya ca
bhago jivah sa vijneyah / sa canantyaya kalpate

Although the jiva is situated in the inert body, he is a subtle and non-material reality. One may divide the tip of a hair into one hundred parts and further divide one of those parts into another hundred, but the jiva is even smaller and more subtle than that.

The jiva, being extremely subtle, is an anti-material entity, and is capable of acquiring the nature of anantya. Anta means death, and freedom from death is called anantya or moksha. Paramatma, although one, dwells within the hearts of the unlimited jivas as Antaryami and as a witness. This is also stated in the smriti-shastra:

eka eva paro vishŽuh / sarva-vyapi na samshayah
aishvaryad rupam ekam ca / surya-vat bahudheyate

The all-pervading Shri VishŽu is one, and by the influence of His aishvarya He appears in various forms, just as the one sun appears in many places at the same time.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Meditation on the fourhanded form of Shri VishŽu (Ishvara) is recommended to the yogi during the sadhana stage, culminating in the realisation of My sac-cid-ananda form of Shyamasundara in nirvikalpa-samadhi (a state of trance). In this state, one's intellect becomes free from the dualities of time in regard to parama-tattva. In other words, one becomes free from the misconception that He is different in the sadhana-avastha (practice stage) and siddha- avastha (perfected stage)." The yogis who worship Me, who am all-pervading, perform bhakti unto Me by shravaŽam and kirtanam. Even in their working stage (karma-avastha), their period of deliberation (jnana-avastha) and their meditation (samadhi), in all circumstances they always dwell in Me." This means they attain krishŽa-samipya-moksha, liberation characterised by the symptom of always being situated near KrishŽa.

In Shri Narada-pancaratra, which gives instructions on yoga, it is said:

dik-kalady-anavacchinne / krishŽe ceto vidhaya ca
tan-mayo bhavati kshipram / jivo brahmaŽi yojayet

When the jiva fixes his mind on the form of parabrahma Shri KrishŽa, who is beyond the bounds of material time and space, and becomes absorbed in Him, he experiences the ecstatic bliss of transcendental association with Him.

Thus, krishŽa-bhakti is certainly the supreme state of yogasam adhi."

Ch 6 Verse 32

atmaupamyena sarvatra / samam pashyati yo'rjuna
sukham va yadi va duhkham / sa yogi paramo matah

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arjuna---O Arjuna; sah---that; yogi---transcendentalist; yah--- who; pashyati---sees; sarvatra---all other beings; samam---equally; atma-upamyena---with himself; yadi va---whether; sukham---in happiness; va---or; duhkham---in distress; matah---is considered; (to be) paramah---the best.

O Arjuna, he who, through self-realisation, sees all jivas as equal to himself, and who considers their pleasure and pain to be his own, is the best yogi. That is My opinion.


It has been said that in sadhana-avastha, yogis are equally disposed towards all beings. Here, this shloka beginning with atmaupamyena specifically describes the primary characteristic of their equanimity. Those equipoised yogis appreciate that just as they themselves like happiness and dislike pain, others similarly experience happiness and pain. They therefore have equal vision everywhere and are the ever well-wishers of everyone. "Such yogis are the topmost. This is My opinion."


Even during sadhana-avastha, yogis are endowed with equanimity. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes KrishŽa as saying, "I am explaining how a yogi behaves. Only he who has equal vision towards everyone is considered to be the topmost yogi. The word sama-drishti (equal vision) means that in his dealings with others the yogi sees all jivas to be like himself, and considers the happiness and pain of other jivas as his own. Therefore, he is always the well-wisher of all jivas, and acts accordingly for their eternal benefit. This is called sama-darshana."

Ch 6 Verse 33

arjuna uvaca
yo .yam yogas tvaya proktah / samyena madhusudana
etasyaham na pashyami / cancalatvat sthitim sthiram

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arjuna uvaca---Arjuna said; madhusudana---O Madhusudana; ayam yogah---this process of yoga; yah---which; proktah---was spoken; tvaya---by You; (is) samyena---based on equanimity; (however) aham---I; na pashyami---am unable to understand; sthiram---the stable; sthitim---situation; etasya---of that process; cancalatvat---on account of (the mind---s) restlessness.

Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the yoga described by You that is based on equanimity towards everyone, everywhere, seems to be impermanent, due to the restless nature of my mind.


Thinking that the equipoised symptoms described by Shri Bhagavan are difficult to attain, Arjuna speaks this shloka beginning with the words yo 'yam. "This yoga depends on being equipoised in all situations, and I do not see how one can achieve success in it, because its practice cannot be maintained at all times. Because of the flickering nature of the mind, such practice can last only for two or three days. Additionally, You have explained equanimity by saying that one should see the happiness and misery of all people of the world as one's own. This vision may be possible toward those who are one's relatives or those who are neutral, but such an attitude is impossible to maintain towards one's enemies or those who are envious and critical. I cannot see how the happiness and pain of myself, Yudhishthira and Duryodhana are in reality equal. Although by proper deliberation, one can have equal vision of the jivatma, Paramatma, the life air and senses of the self, one's enemies and all embodied jivas, this vision is difficult to maintain for more than two or three days because the very powerful and flickering mind cannot be restrained merely by discrimination. Rather, it is seen that the mind that is attached to sense enjoyment will ultimately overpower one's discrimination."

Ch 6 Verse 34

cancalam hi manah krishŽa / pramathi balavad dridham
tasyaham nigraham manye / vayor iva sudushkaram

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krishŽa---O KrishŽa; hi---certainly; manah---the mind; (is) can- calam---naturally restless; pramathi---agitating the intelligence, body and senses; balavat---powerful; (and) dridham---violent; aham---I; manye---think; nigraham---subjugation; tasya---of it; (is) sudushkaram---very hard to do; iva---like; vayoh---of the wind.

O KrishŽa, the mind is by nature restless, powerful, obstinate and capable of completely overpowering the intelligence, body and senses. It seems as difficult to control as the wind.


In the Katha Upanishad (1.3.3) it is said: atmanam rathinam viddhi shariram ratham eva ca. "Know the atma to be the passenger and the body to be the chariot."

It is said in the shrutis that learned paŽditas compare the body to a chariot, the senses to furious horses, the mind to the controller of the senses (the reins), the sense objects (sound, form, taste, touch and smell) to the pathways, and the intelligence to the driver. It is understood from this statement that the intelligence controls the mind, but Arjuna challenges this, saying that the powerful mind can even overpower the intelligence. One may question how that can be. He then replies, "Just as a powerful disease may not be affected by the medicine that has the potency to cure it, similarly the mind, which is very powerful by nature, does not always accept intelligence endowed with discrimination." Moreover, he says that the mind is very obstinate. Just as one cannot possibly pierce iron with a small needle, similarly it is not possible for even subtle intelligence to pierce the mind. The mind is like the wind, and just as it is difficult to control the mighty wind blowing in the sky, it is extremely difficult to control the mind by the process of ashtanga-yoga, through breath restraint.


A story from the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam illustrates how the process of serving Bhagavan can simply and naturally control the most powerful and flickering mind. Once there was a wealthy brahmaŽa who lived with his son and family members in the land of Avanti. Although he was rich, he was extremely miserly, and would not spend even a penny for the pleasure of his family or community; rather, he was always engaged in accumulating wealth. When his children grew up, they became very perturbed by his behaviour, and his neighbours, family members and others in the community also became opposed to him. Even the royal servants opposed him because he did not pay his taxes. Unfortunately, in this unfavourable situation, his house burnt down, and his family and community members rejected him. However, due to some good samskara and the influence of sadhu-sanga, he accepted the dress of a tridaŽdi-sannyasi. On the instruction of his sad-guru he engaged in bhakti, and adopted equal vision towards friends and enemies, happiness and misery, good and bad, and towards himself and others. He remained satisfied even when the people of his own village mistreated him as he was begging. They would call him an atheist and a cheater and they would throw stool and urine into his begging bowl instead of food or grains. Yet with an undisturbed citta (mind), always meditating on Bhagavan, he finally attained eternal seva to Bhagavan Mukunda.

Ch 6 Verse 35

shri bhagavan uvaca
asamshayam maha-baho / mano durnigraham calam
abhyasena tu kaunteya / vairagyeŽa ca grihyate

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shri bhagavan uvaca---the all-opulent Lord said; maha-baho---O mighty-armed Arjuna; asamshayam---without doubt; manah---the mind; durnigraham---is hard to subjugate; (and) calam---unsteady; tu---but; abhyasena---by practice; ca---and; vairagyeŽa--- by renunciation; grihyate---it can be controlled; kaunteya---O son of Kunti.

Shri Bhagavan said: O Maha-baho, undoubtedly the mind is restless and hard to control. Yet, by abhyasa (constant practice) and vairagya (true renunciation), it can be controlled, O Kaunteya.


Shri Bhagavan accepts Arjuna's statement, and allays his doubt by speaking this shloka beginning with the word asam- shayam. "What you have said is true. Still, even a chronic disease can certainly be cured if one regularly takes medicine according to the prescription of an expert physician, although it may take some time. In the same way, the uncontrollable mind can be subdued by abhyasa, the regular practice of yoga in accordance with the instructions of a sad-guru, by constant cultivation of dhyana-yoga (meditation on Parameshvara) and vairagya (true renunciation)."

This is also stated in Patanjala-sutra 12: abhyasa-vairagya bhyam tan nirodhah. "By constant practice and true renunciation the tendencies of the citta can be controlled."

"O Maha-baho (Arjuna), you have not only defeated many great heroes in battle, you have also pleased Lord Shiva, who carries the trident. But what is the use of all this? O crest-jewel of all great heroes, your name, Maha-baho, will only be appropriate if you can conquer the mind with the weapon of yoga. O Kaunteya, don't fear in this regard. You are the son of My father's sister, therefore, it is My duty to help you."

Ch 6 Verse 36

asamyatatmana yogo / dushprapa iti me matih
vashyatmana tu yatata / shakyo.vaptum upayatah

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(it) dushprapah---is difficult to achieve; asamyata-atmana---by one whose mind is uncontrolled; yogah---connection with the Supreme Lord; tu---however; vashya-atmana---by one whose mind is disciplined; yatata---and who strives; avaptum---to obtain (it); upayatah---by the (above-mentioned) means; (it is) shakyah--- achievable; iti---that; (is) me---My; matih---opinion.

It is very difficult for one whose mind is not controlled to achieve self-realisation through this yoga system. However, one who has brought his mind under control, and who strives by the proper means of abhyasa and vairagya, can attain perfection in yoga. This is My opinion.


Now Shri Bhagavan is giving instruction on the subject of yoga. One who has not controlled his mind by abhyasa and vairagya does not become perfect in yoga. However, if one regulates his mind by abhyasa and vairagya, and constantly engages in sadhana over a prolonged period of time, he can attain yoga or samadhi, which is characterised by the symptom of a controlled mind.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes KrishŽa as saying, "One who does not endeavour to control his mind by vairagya and abhyasa can never perfect the previously mentioned system of yoga. However, he who endeavours to control the mind by adopting the proper means can definitely attain perfection in yoga. When I say, 'by the proper means', I imply that he who tries to concentrate his citta by performing nishkama-karma-yoga offered to Bhagavan and who engages in the abhyasa of meditation on Me, as a limb of this yoga system, simultaneously accepting with vairagya sense objects for his maintenance, gradually attains perfection in yoga."

Ch 6 Verse 37

arjuna uvaca
ayatih shraddhayopeto / yogac calita-manasah
aprapya yoga-samsiddhim / kam gatim krishŽa gacchati

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arjuna uvaca---Arjuna said; krishŽa---O KrishŽa; kam---to which?; gatim---destination; gacchati---does he go; a-yatih---he who is not an ascetic; (yet) upetah---endowed; shraddhaya---with faith; calita-manasah---whose mind becomes deviated; yogat---from the practice of yoga; aprapya---without attaining; yoga-samsiddhim--- complete perfection in yoga.

Arjuna asked: O KrishŽa, what is the destination of one who begins the process of yoga with faith but later, due to an uncontrolled mind, falls back into worldliness and fails to attain perfection in yoga?


Arjuna raises the question, "You said that only those who endeavour with abhyasa and vairagya attain perfection in yoga, but what is the destination of one who falters in this endeavour?"

He who is faithful because of theistic intelligence in yoga- shastra engages in the practice of yoga without hypocrisy. However, due to a lack of proper practice and detachment, his mind may deviate from yoga and become absorbed in sense objects. Although he does not fully perfect his yoga, he does make some progress. Therefore, what is the destination of such a yogi who has gone beyond the stage of yoga- arurukshu (desiring yoga) and has situated himself on the first step of yoga?

Ch 6 Verse 38

kaccin nobhaya-vibhrashtash / chinnabhram iva nashyati
apratishtho maha-baho / vimudho brahmaŽah pathi

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maha-baho---O mighty-armed KrishŽa; (being) ubhayavibhra shtah---unsuccessful in both (karma and yoga); vimudhah---baffled; pathi---on the path; brahmaŽah---of spiritual realisation; kaccit---whether?; nashyati---he perishes; iva--- like; chinna-abhram---a riven cloud; apratishthah---without a footing.

O Maha-baho KrishŽa, if one falls from both the processes of karma and yoga and becomes deviated from the path of attaining brahma, does he not perish like a riven cloud, with no shelter anywhere?


Arjuna is raising a question."What happens to a person who has deviated from the paths of karma and yoga?"

In other words, what happens to a person who has given up the path of karma and has also not attained perfection in the path of yoga? Does that yogi not face the same fate as a riven cloud that has separated from a cloud mass and dissolves into thin air, because it does not join other clouds? When he begins the path of yoga, he has the desire to give up sense enjoyment, but at the same time, because his vairagya is not complete, the desire to enjoy the senses still remains within him. This is a very difficult situation. Since he has abandoned the path of karma (a means to attain Svarga), his next world, Svarga, is also lost, and by not attaining perfection in yoga, which is the means for moksha, he also fails to achieve moksha.

From this it appears that he is lost in both worlds. That is why I am asking You whether a person who has deviated from the sadhana of attaining brahma becomes bereft of all shelter.

"Is he lost or not?"

Ch 6 Verse 39

etan me samshayam krishŽa / chettum arhasy asheshatah
tvad-anyah samshayasyasya / chetta na hy upapadyate

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krishŽa---O KrishŽa; etat---this; (is) me samshayam---my doubt; arhasi---You should; chettum---dispel (it); asheshatah---completely; tvat-anyah---other than Yourself; hi---certainly; chetta---a remover; asya samshayasya---of this doubt; na upapadyate---is not to be.

O KrishŽa, this is my doubt and I implore You to remove it completely. Other than You, no one else can possibly dispel this doubt.


In this shloka, Arjuna says, "O KrishŽa, You are the supreme controller of all controllers, the supreme cause of all causes, and You are omniscient. No devata or rishi is omniscient (sarva-jna) and all-powerful (sarva-shaktiman) like You. Therefore, other than You, there is nobody who is able to dispel my doubt."

Ch 6 Verse 40

shri bhagavan uvaca
partha naiveha namutra / vinashas tasya vidyate
na hi kalyaŽa-krit kashcid / durgatim tata gacchati

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shri bhagavan uvaca---the all-opulent Person said; partha---O son of Pritha; tata---dear one; eva---certainly; tasya---for that person; vidyate---there is; na---neither; vinashah---destruction; iha---in this world; na---nor; amutra---in the next; hi---certainly; kashcit--- someone; kalyaŽa-krit---who performs auspicious acts; na gacchati ---does not go; durgatim---to an unfavourable destination.

Shri Bhagavan said: O Partha, such an unsuccessful yogi is not lost either in this world or the next because, My dear friend, a person who is engaged in auspicious acts never attains an unfavourable destination.


In this world as well as in the next world, such an unsuccessful yogi engages in yoga which leads to auspiciousness.


By addressing Arjuna as Partha in this shloka, Shri Bhagavan is instructing him in a very loving manner. Bhagavan considers Arjuna to be extremely dear to Him. By using the word tata, which literally means son, He demonstrates His affection for Arjuna. A father expands himself in the form of his son, and therefore he is called tat. When the suffix ana is applied to the original word tat, it becomes tata. Shri Gurudeva also affectionately calls his disciple, who is like his son, tata. Here, Shri Bhagavan says that those who engage in yoga with faith never arrive at a degraded destination. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes KrishŽa as saying, "O Partha, one who engages in the practice of yoga never meets destruction, either now or in the future. The performer of that yoga which leads to eternal good can never be subject to an evil fate. Basically, all of humanity is divided into two categories: righteous (regulated) and unrighteous (unregulated). The behaviour of unregulated people is always like that of animals, whether they are cultured or uncultured, dull or intelligent, weak or strong. There is no possibility of the world receiving any good from their activities.

"The righteous (regulated) can be divided into three categories: karmi, jnani and bhakta." Karmis are further divided into two divisions: sakama-karmi and nishkama-karmi. The sakama-karmis hanker for petty kinds of happiness, or temporary pleasures. Although they attain Svarga and worldly progress, all their pleasure is temporary. Therefore, that which is called kalyaŽa (auspiciousness for the jivas) is unknown to them. The state of kalyaŽa for the jivas is to become free from the grip of worldliness and to attain nityananda, eternal bliss. Therefore any process which does not lead to this eternal bliss is futile. Only when the purpose of achieving this nityananda is combined with karmak aŽda activities, can such karma be called karma-yoga. First, the citta is purified by such karma-yoga, then one attains jnana. After that, one engages in dhyana-yoga (meditation) and then finally, the zenith of all processes, the path of bhakti-yoga is attained.

"The injunction of accepting austerities by renouncing selfish pleasures in sakama-karma is called tapasya by a karmi. However many austerities he may perform, his goal is only sense pleasure and nothing else. The asuras, after achieving the results of their austerities, simply enjoy their senses. On the other hand, when that person's karma surpasses the boundaries of sense enjoyment, then nishkama-karma-yoga appears, which aims at the eternal good of the jiva. A dhyanayog i or a jnana-yogi, firmly situated on the path of nishkamakarma- yoga, often naturally performs actions for the eternal good of all beings"

"In every respect an ashtanga-yogi surpasses whatever results a jiva attains by sakama-karma."

Ch 6 Verse 41

prapya puŽya-kritam lokan / ushitva shashvatih samah
shucinam shrimatam gehe / yoga-bhrashto.bhijayate

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yoga-bhrashtah---one deviated from the path of yoga; prapya--- attains; lokan---the planets; puŽya-kritam---of the pious; ushitva--- after dwelling; shashvatih---for very long; samah---years; abhijayate--- he takes birth; gehe---in the house; shucinam---of the pure (brahmaŽas); (and) shrimatam---of the wealthy.

One who deviates from the path of yoga after practising for only a short time attains the planets of the pious and, after enjoying there for many years, takes birth in a righteous and wealthy family.


What is the destination of persons who deviate from the path of yoga? In answer to this, Shri Bhagavan says that they reside on the planets which are attained by the pious persons, who perform yajnas such as the ashvamedha-yajna. Since enjoyment and moksha are both the results of yoga, the yogis who have not yet matured and have fallen because of a desire to enjoy only attain enjoyment. On the other hand, since it is impossible for matured yogis to desire enjoyment, they certainly attain moksha. If, by the will of providence, a mature yogi does develop a desire to enjoy, he also can attain enjoyment like Kardama and Saubhari Rishis.

The word shuci means those who are of good character and conduct, and shri means wealthy business people or royalty. A fallen yogi takes birth only in the houses of such families after residing in Svarga and other higher planets.


The yogis who have fallen from the path of ashtanga-yoga can be divided into two categories. In the first category are those who have fallen after following the process of yoga for a short time. Such yogis do not attain lower destinations according to the shloka:

nehabhikrama-nasho 'sti (Gita 2.40);

rather, they enjoy happiness on the higher planets attained by pious persons who perform yajnas such as the ashvamedha yajna. They then take birth in the houses of qualified brahmaŽas or rich men who are engaged in dharmika activities. Both of these situations are favourable for their continued practice of yoga.

In the second category are those who have practised yoga for a long time and whose practice has almost matured. By the will of providence, however, they have developed a desire to enjoy sense gratification in this life. In their next life some of them achieve their desired enjoyment and finally becoming indifferent to that, they complete their process of yoga. Examples of this are Kardama (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.23) and Saubhari Rishis. Kardama Rishi was a yogi of high calibre. On the order and inspiration of his father Brahma, he unwillingly married Devahuti and enjoyed conjugal pleasure superior to that of the Prajapatis. Kapiladeva, an avatara of Bhagavan, appeared as Kardama Rishi.s son, and, after renouncing all material enjoyment and sense pleasure, again engaged in the worship of Bhagavan. The life history of Saubhari Rishi has been related in the Sarartha-varshiŽi prakashika vritti of Bhagavad-gita 2.65.

Ch 6 Verse 42

athava yoginam eva / kule bhavati dhimatam
etad dhi durlabhataram / loke janma yad idrisham

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atha va---or else; eva bhavati---he becomes; (placed) kule---in a family; dhimatam---of wise; yoginam---transcendentalists; yat janma---a birth; idrisham---such as; etat---this; hi---certainly; durlabhataram---is more difficult to obtain; loke---in this world.

The yogi who deviates after practising for a long time takes his birth in the home of yogis who are great in wisdom. Such a birth is undoubtedly very rare in this world.


Shri Bhagavan has explained the destination of a yogi who falls after practising for a short while. Now, in this shloka beginning with athava, He explains the destination of a yogi who falls after practising for a long time. Yogis such as Nimi are in this category.


Some yogis from the second category who deviate from their practice take birth in a dynasty of yogis who are steadfast in tattva-jnana. They then complete their progress on the path of yoga. Such a birth is certainly very rare. Nimi Maharaja is given as an example of such a yogi (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 9.13.1-10).

Ch 6 Verse 43

tatra tam buddhi-samyogam / labhate paurva-daihikam
yatate ca tato bhuyah / samsiddhau kuru-nandana

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kuru-nandana---O descendant of Kuru Maharaja; tatra---then; labhate---he obtains; buddhi-samyogam---connection through his intelligence; tam---with that (intelligence); paurvadaihikam ---of his previous life; ca---and; tatah---then; yatate--- he endeavours; bhuyah---further; samsiddhau---for complete perfection.

O Kuru-nandana, that unsuccessful yogi regains the divine consciousness of his previous birth that is related to Paramatma, and he again endeavours to attain perfection in yoga.


In both types of birth, the fallen yogis attain the divine intellect of their previous birth. That intellect is fixed in Paramatma.


In both of these births, due to samskaras resulting from yoga practice in their previous birth, the fallen yogi attains intelligence which is fixed in his own dharmika principles and also knowledge related to Paramatma. After attaining purity of heart in a natural way, he begins to endeavour seriously for perfection in yoga, like one who has awoken from sleep. Now he cannot be checked by any obstacle. That is why such a yogi neither attains a degraded destination nor becomes lost.

Ch 6 Verse 44

purvabhyasena tenaiva / hriyate hy avasho.pi sah
jijnasur api yogasya / shabda-brahmativarttate

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abhyasena---due to the practice; purva---of his previous life; sah---he; eva hi hriyate---is certainly attracted; api---even; avashah---forcibly; tena---by that; api---even though just; jijnasuh---an inquisitive person; yogasya---concerning the practice of transcendental realisation; ativarttate---he transcends; shabda-brahma---the fruitive portions of Vedic study.

By virtue of his previous practice, he is automatically attracted to the path of moksha, and after enquiring a little about yoga, he transcends the path of sakama-karma described in the Vedas.


The word hriyate means attracted. Being attracted to yoga he becomes inquisitive. He then surpasses the path of sakamakarma that is described in the Vedas, while remaining situated on the path of yoga.

Ch 6 Verse 45

prayatnad yatmanas tu / yogi samshuddha-kilbishah
aneka-janma-samsiddhas / tato yati param gatim

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tu---indeed; yogi---that transcendentalist; yatmanah---endeavouring; prayatnat---with great effort; (being) samshuddha-kilbishah--- freed from all sins; aneka-janma---after many births; samsiddhah---becomes completely perfect; tatah---then; yati---enters; param gatim---the supreme destination.

However, the yogi who practises sincerely is freed from all sins after many births, and ultimately becomes perfect. Thus he attains the supreme destination.


According to Gita (6.37), one falls from the path of yoga because he is negligent in his endeavour. For such a fallen yogi, the path of yoga is attained in his next life, but perfection is not. He will attain perfection in as many lives as it takes him to become mature. He who never weakens in his endeavour does not fall from the path. Rather, after many births, he becomes mature in yoga and attains perfection. Kardama Muni has also said:

drashtum yatante yatayah / shunyagareshu yat-padam
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.24.28

Even the renounced sages who endeavour in a solitary place to have darshana of the lotus feet of Shri KrishŽa cannot attain perfection in one lifetime.

It is for this reason that Bhagavan speaks this shloka, prayatnad yatamanas tu, which means endeavouring harder than before. The word tu shows a difference between these persons and those previously mentioned who fall from yoga. Samshuddha-kilbishah indicates that even a person whose impurities have been completely removed cannot attain samsiddhi or moksha in one life.

Ch 6 Verse 46

tapasvibhyo'dhiko yogi / jnanibhyo'pi mato'dhikah
karmibhyash cadhiko yogi / tasmad yogi bhavarjuna

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yogi---the Paramatma-yogi; matah---is considered; adhikah---greater; tapasvibhyah---than the ascetics; adhikah---greater; api---even; jnanibhyah---than the brahma-vadis; ca---and; yogi---the yogi; (is) adhikah---greater; karmibhyah---than the fruitive workers; tasmat--- therefore; arjuna---O Arjuna; bhava---be; yogi---a yogi.

The yogi is considered superior to the tapasvi (ascetic), the jnani and the karmi. Therefore, O Arjuna, be a yogi.


"Which is superior among karma, jnana, and yoga?. In answer to this, Shri Bhagavan says that a jnani (one who worships brahma) is superior to an ascetic (tapasvi), or one who is devoted to performing severe austerities such as candrayaŽa-vrata. and superior to such a jnani is a yogi (worshipper of Paramatma). "This is My opinion". If a yogi is superior to a jnani, then what can be said about his superiority over a karmi (fruitive worker)?

Generally, it is thought that a karmi, jnani, tapasvi, yogi and bhakta are all equal. In this present shloka, Shri Bhagavan is giving His definite opinion that they are not equal; rather, there is a gradation. A nishkama-karma-yogi is superior to a sakama-karmi (tapasvi) and a jnani is superior again. An ashtanga-yogi is superior to a jnani, and a bhakti-yogi is superior to all, as is described in the next shloka.

Ch 6 Verse 47

yoginam api sarvesham / mad-gatenantaratmana
shraddhavan bhajate yo mam / sa me yuktatamo matah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 6.47 <>

api---however; sarvesham---amongst all; yoginam---of the yogis; shraddhavan---one endowed with faith; mad-gatena---by attaching himself to Me; antar-atmana---through his mind; yah---who; bhajate--- worships; mam---Me; (it is) me. My; matah---opinion; (that) sah--- he; (is) yuktatamah---most intimately connected in yoga.

He who constantly performs My bhajana with full faith, always thinking exclusively of Me within himself is, in My opinion, the topmost of all yogis.


"Is there no one, then, who is superior to the yogi?" In response to this question Shri Bhagavan says, "Don't say that," and He speaks this shloka beginning with yoginam. The word yoginam is in the sixth case, but actually it is to be taken in the fifth case. In the previous shloka the words tapasvibhyo jnanibhyo 'dhikah are in the fifth case. Similarly, it should also be understood here as yogibhyah, the bhakta is even superior to the yogi. "My bhakta is not superior to only one type of yogi, but to all types, whether they are yogarudha, situated in samprajnata-samadhi, or situated in asamprajnatasam adhi."

The import of the word yoga is that it is the means to karma, jnana, tapa, bhakti and so on. "Among such yogis, those who worship Me with bhakti are My devotees and are the best of sadhakas."

Karmis, tapasvis, and jnanis are also accepted as yogis, but an ashtanga-yogi is superior to them. "A bhakti-yogi however, who is engaged in hearing and chanting about Me, is the topmost".
As it is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.14.5):

muktanam api siddhanam / narayaŽa-parayaŽah
sudurlabhah prashantatma / kotishv api maha-mune

O maha-muni, among millions of muktas and siddhas, a peaceful person who is devoted to Shri NarayaŽa is most rare. In the next eight chapters, bhakti-yoga will be delineated. This shloka, which is the sutra of those chapters, is like an ornament adorning the necks of the bhaktas. In the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the crest jewel of all shastra, an outline of the text has been given. In the Second, Third and Fourth Chapters, nishkama-karma is explained. In the Fifth Chapter jnana has been described and the Sixth Chapter describes yoga. These six chapters, however, primarily describe karma (action).

Thus ends the Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-VarshiŽi Tika, by Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, on the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which gives pleasure to the bhaktas and is accepted by all saintly persons.


At the end of this chapter Bhagavan Shri KrishŽa has categorically stated that a bhakti-yogi is superior to all other yogis. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives a special explanation of this shloka as follows:

"Amongst all types of yogis, the practitioner of bhakti-yoga is superior. One who performs My bhajana with faith is the best of yogis. Amongst righteous, regulated human beings, the nishkama-karmi, the jnani, the ashtanga-yogi and the practitioner of bhakti-yoga are all yogis, whereas the sakama-karmi is not. In fact, yoga is one, not two. Yoga is a progressive path on which there are various steps. Taking shelter of this path, the jiva situates himself on the path of brahma realisation. Nishkama-karma-yoga is the first step. When jnana and vairagya are added, it becomes jnana-yoga, which is the second step. When dhyana, in the form of meditation on Ishvara, is added to jnana-yoga, it is called ashtanga-yoga, the third step. And when priti, affection for Bhagavan, is added to this third step of ashtanga-yoga, then that is bhakti-yoga, the fourth step. All these steps combined together constitute the one staircase called yoga. In order to explain this yoga clearly, all other partial types of yoga have been delineated. One who desires eternal auspiciousness takes exclusive shelter of yoga. As he gradually progresses on this ladder, he first becomes steady on the step he is on, then he rises to the next step. But one who clings to a particular step, having only established himself in that type of yoga, is known by the name of that particular yoga. Therefore, one is known as a karma-yogi, one as a jnana-yogi, one as an ashtanga-yogi and another as a bhakti-yogi.

"Therefore, O Partha, one whose supreme objective is only to perform bhakti unto Me is the topmost among all the yogis. You should become that type of yogi, namely, you should become a bhakti-yogi".

Thus ends the Sarartha-VarshiŽi Prakashika-vritti, by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta NarayaŽa Maharaja, on the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.