Chapter Six - "Dhyana Yoga"

  1. The Supreme Lord said:  Know a genuine sannyasi and yogi as one who, without expectation of the fruits of his actions, performs his duties as prescribed by the scriptures.  One is not a sannyasi merely by renouncing the performance of the fire sacrifice and other prescribed duties, and one is not a yogi merely by becoming physically inactive.
  2. O Arjuna, that which is known as sannyasa (complete renunciation) you should know to be yoga, since without renouncing fruitive desire no one can be a yogi.
  3. For the yoga practitioner desirous of attaining steady yaga meditation, action is said to be the means.  When he has achieved yoga meditation, renunciation of all action is said to be the means of remaining in meditation.
  4. When the yoga practitioner does not become attached to the objects of the senses, and to any action in pursuit of their enjoyment, and renounces all thoughts of enjoyment, then he is said to have attained to yoga.
  5. One must elevate himself by the mind, not degrade himself by the mind; for the mind is sometimes the friend of the living being, and in another situation that very mind is his enemy.
  6. For one who has conquered the mind, his mind is his friend.  For one unable to control the mind, his mind works against him like an enemy.
  7. The yogi who has conquered the mind remains deeply absorbed in yogic trance, peaceful and undisturbed by cold and heat, happiness and unhappiness, or honour and dishonour.
  8. One who is always satisfied within by both knowledge and realization, who is always fixed in his spiritual nature, who is sense-controlled and who has the vision of equality for a clod of earth, a rock, or gold- it is said that such a person has attained yoga.
  9. Such an eminent yogi has the vision of equality towards a well-wisher, a friend, an enemy, an indifferent person, a mediator, a hateful person, a relative, a saint and a sinner.
  10. The yogi should constantly concentrate his mind by remaining alone in a solitary place, his mind and body controlled, free from desire and acquisition.
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  12. In a clean place, not too high and not too low, the yogi should establish a firm seat of Kusa grass, deerskin, and cloth.  Then, sitting on that seat, subjugating all mental and sensual activity, with one-pointed concentration he should practise meditational trance in order to purify his heart.
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  14. Soberly keeping his body, heat and neck straight and upright, poised, the yogi should fix his gaze at one point, as though between the eyes, without casting a glance in any direction.  Tranquil, fearless, and reposed in the vow of celibacy, he should meditate on Me (as four-armed Visnu), and devoting himself to Me, he should thus practice yoga.
  15. In this way, constantly absorbing his mind in meditation (dhyana-yoga), the yogi who has ceased hankering for material enjoyment achieves the peace of liberation from mundanity, the peace which abides in Me ( in my Brahman effulgence).
  16. O Arjuna, yoga cannot be practised by one who overeats, undereats, oversleeps or undersleeps.
  17. For a person who eats, relaxes, and works in a regulated way, and who keeps regular hours in proper measure, his practice of yoga dispels all his suffering.
  18. When a yogi withdraws the mind from mundane thoughts and centres it unwaveringly in the self, then, free from mundane desires, he is said to be actually situated in yoga, or linked with the Absolute.
  19. It is said, as a lamp-flamed situated in a windless place does not waver, similarly, the mind of the yogi absorbed in the self never flickers in its concentration.
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  23. The mind controlled by yoga practice is tranquil, pacified by detachment from mundane association.  The yogi remains satisfied in the Lord alone, directly seeing the Supersoul through his purified consciousness.  In his spiritual enlightenment, he tastes transcendental, eternal bliss.  He never deviates from the reality.  He considers that there is no greater gain in this world.  He is undisturbed by even the worst suffering.  Know that the attainment of such a state, in which all association with unhappiness is severed, is called yoga.  Yoga must be practised with perseverance and a heart that is never discouraged.
  24. To practise yoga one must abandon all thoughts that give rise to desires, and using the mind, withdraw the senses from all material objects.
  25. By steadying the intelligence, one should gradually still the mind and focus it within the self alone.
  26. The wavering and unsteady mind should be brought back from whatever mundane objects it pursues, and be held within the self alone.
  27. The transcendental joy of self-realization comes to the yogi whose passions are quieted, who is peaceful hearted, free from the defects of attachment, fear and anger, and always situated in the spiritual nature.
  28. Thus absorbed in self-realization, the clean-hearted yogi easily attains the boundless ecstasy of contacting the divine.  He realizes the Supersoul.  (Such yoga is of a devotional nature.)
  29. His consciousness united with the Infinite, the master of yoga sees the univeral spirituality.  He sees the Supreme Soul within all beings, and all beings within the Supreme.
  30. For one who sees Me in everything and everything in Me, I am never lost to him, and he is never lost to Me.
  31. The yogi who takes shelter of Me and adores Me in My non-different form as the Supersoul situated within the heart of every living being, abides in Me in all circumstances.
  32. I consider the best of all yogis to be the one who knows the happiness and unhappiness of all beings as his own.
  33. Arjuna said:  O Madhusudana, because of the fickle nature of the mind, I cannot conceive how one can maintain the equilibrium in yoga that You have described.
  34. O Krsna, the mind is fickle, turbulent, obstinate and very powerful.  I consider controlling it to be more difficult than controlling the wind.
  35. The Supreme Lord said:  O heroic Arjuna, undoubtedly the mind is fickle and extremely difficult to control.  However, O son of Kunti, it is possible by practice and detachment.
  36. I consider that yoga is difficult to attain for the person of unrestrained mind.  But one who strives to restrain the mind by the appropriate practice can succeed in yoga.
  37. Arjuna said:  O Krsna, what is the destination of a person who, due to his faith in the scriptures, engages in yoga practice, but lacking perseverance, proper practice and abnegation, is distracted by mundane inclinations and fails to succeed in yoga practice?
  38. O Mighty hero, O Krsna, having deviated from the yoga of attaining the Absolute, shelterless and fallen from the paths of both action and meditation, is not such a person utterly lost, like a scattered cloud?
  39. O Krsna!  No one but You can dispel this doubt of mine.  Please mercifully slash it at the root.
  40. The Supreme Lord said:  O Arjuna, son of Kunti, there is no loss for the unsuccessful yoga practitioner as he is not denied the happiness of the heavenly plane in this world, nor is he denied the chance of the fortune to see the Supersoul in the transcendental realm.  This is so, O dear one, because a person who performs virtuous actions never suffers an ill fate.
  41. After residing for many years in all those heavenly planes that are attainable by the performers of great sacrifices such as the Asvamedha, the unsuccessful yoga practitioner takes birth in the home of honourable, prosperous persons given to pure and honest practices.
  42. Or he takes birth in the home or family of teachers of yoga, who are dedicated to yoga practice.  Such a birth is more rarely attained in this world.
  43. O son of Kuru, within one of these situations, the wisdom he had attained in his previous life is revived, and he again strives for success.
  44. Despite himself, he is carried by the yoga practice of his previous life.  In his search, he surpasses the fruitive rituals of the Vedas.
  45. Striving harder than before, the yogi’s consciousness is cleansed of all worldly attachment, and he achieves the fruit of many lifetimes of yoga practice – he attains the supreme destination.
  46. The yogi is superior to persons engaged in severe austerities (such as the Chandrayana vow), superior to the person of knowledge who worships Brahman, and superior to the person of action.  Know this to be My conclusion.  Therefore, O Arjuna, be a yogi.
  47. The best of all yogis is the devotee who has full faith in the authoritative pure devotional scriptures, and who adores Me, with all his heart, hearing and singing My divine glories, rendering all services unto Me.  This is My opinion.
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