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Chapter 6

In chapter six Lord Krishna reveals astanga yoga, and the exact process of practicing such yoga. He explains in detail the difficulties of the mind and the procedures by which one may gain mastery of their mind through yoga which reveals the spiritual nature of a living entity. Thus this chapter is entitled: The Science of Self-Realization.

Chapter6; Verse 1

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Even if the mind has been purified it is certain that without being augmented by meditation the chance for moksa or liberation from the material existence cannot be the result by mere renunciation of action, so to remedy this situation Lord Krishna expounds the yoga of meditation in this chapter. In order to further explain the yogaor the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by meditation as referred to briefly at the conclusion of the last chapter Lord Krishna begins this chapter. As in chapter five the performance of action preceded by renunciation of action have both been depicted in order to clear up any possible discrepancy regarding the superiority of prescribed Vedic activities over renunciation, Lord Krishna states that one who performs prescribed Vedic activities that are obligatory such as fasting from all grains on Ekadasi which is the 11th day of the waxing and waning moon without hankering for the benefits or rewards is a true renunciate and yogi and not one who has renounced the sacred fire or has renounced purta which are philanthropic activities for the benefit and welfare of society.

Chapter6; Verse 2

Madhvacarya's Commentary Renunciation is also included within the developed stages of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities for as Lord Krishna states if desires and cravings are not abandoned then how is equanumity of actions possible? This is the underlying meaning of this verse. Now begins the summation. An advanced special attribute of karma yoga is verily the attribute of renunciation of the rewards of action. This is the purport.

Chapter6; Verse 3

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Does this mean that one must practice karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities all their life? Apprehending such a question Lord Krishna sets the parameters for it.Karma yoga leads to knowledge because performing Vedic activities purifies the mind. But once the mind has been purified one advances to yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Then one leaveskarma yoga and becomes devoted to meditation, absorbed internally with no inclination for external activities which impedes and distracts introspection and reflection. This is said to be the means for spiritual knowledge to mature.

Chapter6; Verse 4

Sridhara Swami's Commentary What qualifies a person to be qualified for sannyasa or renunciation in abnegation for whom cessation of activities is prescribed? Lord Krishna explains that when one is no longer enamoured by the pleasures of the senses and the sense objects and is also not even attracted to performing the actions which are the means to obtain them, such a person is qualified for dhyana yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by mediation.

This is because one must develop the renunciation habitually until the dross of desires is eradicated along with not the slightest inclination to perform any activity that will lead to enjoyment of sense objects and the opportunity for sense gratification completely neutralising all desires. Then a person is known to be have factually attaineddhyana yoga.

Chapter6; Verse 5

Sridhara Swami's Commentary One should exercise discrimination and thereby realise that attachment to sense objects is the cause of bondage and non-attachment to sense objects leads to liberation. So it is mandatory that infatuation with sense objects is renounced. By diligent effort one must elevate their consciousness and become free from the transmigratory existence of samsara or the continuous cycle of birth and death. One should not debase oneself clinging to the lower nature like the animals. Lord Krishna emphasises the changing nature of the mind. When the mind is freed from attachments one becomes lucid and clear and the mind is like one's best benefactor. When the mind is disturbed by attachments it becomes distracted and distorted and the mind becomes one's worst malefactor.

Chapter6; Verse 6

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The question may be raised regarding what type of person is the mind a friend and to what type of person is the mind an enemy. Lord Krishna answers that the living being who by spiritual intelligence and diligent effort has conquered and brought under control the aggregate of the physical body, the senses and the mind; to this being only can the mind be considered a friend as a person following an uncontrolled mind is adverse to their own best interests and is harmful hence their mind is like an enemy.

Chapter6; Verse 7

Sridhara Swami's Commentary

Evidence of the minds friendliness is elucidated now by Lord Krishna. Freedom from all dualities such as heat and cold, praise and ridicule, joy and grief. Continuously poised and serene within meditating on the atma or soul. Another interpretation is that the awakened individual soul has attained communion with the ultimate soul establishing it in his heart.

Chapter6; Verse 8

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The characteristics and superiority of one who has established themselves in yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness which have been previously mentioned are now being concluded and substantiated by Lord Krishna. Jnana is knowledge which has been received from instruction. Vijnana is intuitive realisation arising from perception. One who is self-satisfied within needing no external material stimulus is free from agitation and fixed with all the senses under control. Such a person has equal vision towards all and is rapt in meditation on the atam or soul within. Such a person has nothing to acquire and nothing to reject.

Chapter6; Verse 9

Sridhara Swami's Commentary One who looks equally upon all these persons mentioned well-wisher, enemy etc. is superior to even one who is performing yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciouness. A well-wisher is benevolent towards one, a friend is affectionate, an enemy causes harm and the envious are persons of aversion. The good are those of righteous behaviour and the sinful are those of unrighteous behavior. The person who through strength and clarity of mind is able to look in equanimity upon all without a doubt excels even the yogi.

Chapter6; Verse 10

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Having thus stated the characteristics of one who has attained yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, Lord Krishna deigns to describe the different components of such yoga by referring to the yogi or one in the process of perfecting yoga and declaring that the best yogiresides alone in a solitary place, devoid of desires, with all mind fluctuations subdued immersed in meditation on the atma or soul.

Chapter6; Verse 11, 12

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The rule regarding the sitting place for meditation is being given by Lord Krishna. The word sucau means clean and sanctified and that is the conditions to begin. The reason why a deer skin or tiger skin or other skins are used is because when one sits upon them poisonous creatures such as scorpions and snakes do not like to wander upon such skins and thus will not bite when one is in meditative trance performing yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness

Chapter6; Verse 13, 14

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The posture of the body that is optimal for concentration of the mind in meditation is being described by Lord Krishna. The word samam means straight. The back, neck and head which is the seat of the muladhara or sacred plexus in the top of the head must be perfectly straight while at the same time sitting with legs crossed in a lotus position or half lotus position keeps them straight. Furthermore being firmly situated in celibacy is essential and then one is then able to properly meditate on the Supreme Lord immersing oneself in Him

Chapter6; Verse 15

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Lord Krishna states the results of concentrated meditation is the cessation of worldly existence and promotion to the effulgent eternal realms where one abides beyond theBrahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence.

Chapter6; Verse 16

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The regulations regarding the eating of food and the regimen of sleep that are to be followed by those practising yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness are now being given by Lord Krishna. By not following these injunctions it is not possible to even commence practising any form of yoga.

Chapter6; Verse 17

Sridhara Swami's Commentary What kind of person is able to begin the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness? The answer is the person who is moderate, restrained and regulated in all activities. Thus Lord Krishna states that such persons are eligible to practice yoga.

Chapter6; Verse 18

Sridhara Swami's Commentary When does a person perfect the practise of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness? The answer is when the mind becomes fixed and focused exclusively on the atma or soul within. Lord Krishna declares that at this time a person can be considered as having perfected yoga.

Chapter6; Verse 19

Sridhara Swami's Commentary A simile is given in this verse by Lord Krishna in His comparison of a candle flame that never wavers in a windless place and the mind of a yogi or one perfected in the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, rapt in concentrated meditation, bright and steady like a flame never flickering away from the atma or soul.

Chapter6; Verse 20, 21, 22, 23

The meaning of yoga is the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. The primary meaning to be discerned here is the perfection of attainment by focused meditation in the etheric heart resulting in atma tattva or realisation of the soul which automatically connects one to the Supreme Lord. This is the primary meaning of the word yoga in these four verses. That superior level of consciousness wherein a purified mind is guided to perpetually meditate upon the atma or soul is designated as yoga and is defined by its result as the primary characteristic of yoga.The Yoga Sutras by Pantajali state that: Yoga is controlling the modifications of one's mentality. The same is defined for meditation by its result being the attainment of what was desired to be achieved. That superior level of consciousness where one perceives the atma alone within but distinct from the physical body and becoming completely satisfied and content no longer infatuated by the delusion of sense gratification is known as this yoga. The word yatra in the first three verses meaning which and the word tam in the fourth verse meaning that are both used to refer to this yoga. The reason for satisfaction in the atma exclusively is also being stated by Lord Krishna. Referring to that superior level of consciousness where one experiences absolute, unsurpassed and everlasting. Bliss. At this time there is no relationship with the senses and no contact with sense objects yet one experiences bliss. How is this to understand. Lord Krishna reveals that it is transcendental and independent of material nature and is only perceived by spiritual intelligence that has realised the reality of the atma.Established thus one never wavers from the eternal truth which is the reality of the atma. The steadiness and non wavering on the atma is being validated as well by the statements that there is nothing greater than attaininment of the atma which is itself of the nature of infinite bliss. Being thus established in atma tattva one is not affected, influenced or overcome by the dualities of heat and cold or pleasure and pain. It must be noted that a result of this is the cessation of all inauspicious things and by this yoga is also defined. The word dukhena means suffering and refers also to the pleasure derived from sense objects as they are mixed with suffering also. That superior level of consciousness which is completely untouched by any contact with any type of pain or suffering should be known as yoga. The science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness is called yoga. The application of the word yoga to mean action as in karma yoga is only figurative being that by performing prescribed Vedic activities such actions constitute a method of achieving yoga. Since yoga bequeaths such phenomenal results it should be exclusively practised with diligence and determination which is fortified by the conviction and commitment derived from the knowledge of the Vedic scriptures taught by the bonafide spiritual preceptor in the authorised parampara or disciplic succession. Although the results from this assuredly reach fruition in due course of time it should be engaged in with enthusiasm. One should be patient and hopeful and not be subjected to a lackadaisical attitude. A lackadaisical attitude in practise is considered a sickness of spirit.

Chapter6; Verse 24

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Having renounced all desires which arise due to infatuation of the mind for sense objects as well as renouncing the impressions within the mind from past sense experiences which are tangible obstructions to the achievement of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Controlling the senses from meandering in all directions by the strength of the purified mind which views sense gratification as a detrimental activity for spiritual development. This verse is a continuation of the previous verses and Lord Krishna is encouraging the practice of this superior yoga

Chapter6; Verse 25

Sridhara Swami's Commentary

If the mind should become unfocused due to the influence of latent impressions in the mind from past activities; then one unperturbed should firmly bring the mind back by concentration and refocusing meditate on the atma or soul while withdrawing the mind away from the external impressions of the subtle body. This will manifest gradually by degrees and should not be expected to happen immediately. The way of confirming if the external impressions of the subtle body have been evaporated is being given by Lord Krishna with the words na kincid api cintayet meaning one will think of nothing but the atma. Having attained communion with the ultimate consciousness perceived spontaneously by a focused and tranquil mind one should desist even from all conceptions of meditation that present the person meditating as different form the object of meditation or otherwise as the individual consciousness being different from the atma.

Chapter6; Verse 26

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Now Lord Krishna a specific example that if the mind losing its equilibrium begins to waver due to the influence of rajas or passion. Then the mind should be apprehended and brought securely under control guided back to focus on the atma or soul in a serene meditative state. So the conclusion is that whatever object tempts the unsteady mind to pursue it; from that very same object one must withdraw the restless mind and steady solely in the eternal atma.

Chapter6; Verse 27

Sridhara Swami's Commentary To the person who again and again brings their mind under control by the process of withdrawal from all external designations the bliss of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness manifests as soon as all remnants of rajas of passion have been eliminated. So Lord Krishna is declaring that for this superior yoga for whom rajas is no longer an influence and whose mind is completely tranquil and content. To this peerless yogi who has achieved atma tattva or realisation of the soul, it is without a doubt that the supreme bliss comes of its own accord and the ultimate consciousness is attained.

Chapter6; Verse 28

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Then by possessing such blessed felicity such a yogi becomes blessed and achieves easily communion with the ultimate consciousness which destroys all sins and ignorance and which in itself is infinite bliss and attains moksa or liberation from the perpetual cycle of birth and death is while still living.

Chapter6; Verse 29

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The necessity of realisation of the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence is being given by Lord Krishna. The mature yogi whose mind is spiritually enlightened by the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by dhyana or meditation, who perceives the Brahman everywhere and who sees omniscience and omnipresence of the atma or soul without any limitations equally existing in all beings from the highest demigod to an inanimate tree. Such a person realises the Supreme Being existing within himself and himself existing within the Supreme Being.

Chapter6; Verse 30

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Worshipping Lord Krishna as the atma or soul within all naturally created beings is the foremost means for direct inner realisation of one's own inherent atma. One is more matured who perceives the Supreme Lord in all beings and all beings within the Supreme Lord is never disconnected from Him nor does the Supreme Lord ever disconnect Himself from them. This is to say that the Supreme Lord personally manifests Himself within their hearts and graciously bestows blessings on them.

Chapter6; Verse 31

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Such a mature being as mentioned in the previous verse is even more advanced when developed in unalloyed devotion to Lord Krishna for they have transcended the need to adhere to scriptural injunctions to develop unalloyed devotion because they have already achieved this realisation. Such a person is a yogi or one perfected in the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness and is always situated in oneness with the Supreme Lord and as such has reached perfection.

Chapter6; Verse 32

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Lord Krishna specifies that among the different yogis or those perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, those who worship the Supreme Lord and who are compassionate to all living entities are the most exalted. Such a yogi who empathises with all living entities regarding them as oneself and by this vision wishes only the best for all created beings.

Chapter6; Verse 33

The yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness spoken previously by Lord Krishna was considered in the mind of Arjuna to be almost impossible to achieve. Equanimity, fixing the mind exclusively on the atma or soul, regarding all living entities as oneself are difficult to maintain with permanence due to the nature of the mind.

Chapter6; Verse 34

The previous verse is being elucidated further. The mind is by nature restless and fickle. Also it is tempestuous, capable of agitating the body and the senses and very hard to control. From what the mind has become accustomed to be attached to like sense objects it is very difficult to remove it. Therefore just as it is impossible to confine within a pot the wind blowing hither and thither in the air in the same way it is almost impossible to control and restrain the turbulent mind. Lord Krishna answers this doubt in the next verse.

Chapter6; Verse 35

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Responding in regard to Arjuna's queries about control of the mind, Lord Krishna states that the mind is almost impossible to control; yet by constant practice, abdication from sense objects by dispassion and repeated meditation on the atma or soul it is possible to restrain and control the mind. With the senses withdrawn, being free from the obstacles of lethargy and distractions by means of incessant practice and dispassion, the mind remains immersed in the Supreme Self. It is stated in the Vedic scriptures that the tranquil mind in equanimity resides in the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. Free from all conceptions and modifications is what is known as samadhi.

Chapter6; Verse 36

Madhvacarya's Commentary It should not be thought that the mind of its own accord becomes controlled because that is not the case. For those who are unrighteous, who do not desire what is good for other created beings, who hate, who are debauchers, who are non-believers of the Vedic scriptures and other such persons, the opportunity for moksa or liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death in the material existence never manifests. This has been categorically confirmed in the Brahma Purana.

Chapter6; Verse 37

Sridhara Swami's Commentary What is the destination of one who fails to achieve atma tattva or realisation of the soul, due to inability to cultivate dispassion and practice of meditation? Where does one end up who in the very beginning was endowed with firm faith and practice but later due to weakness of mind, cessation of practice and attraction to sense gratification was unable to achieve realisation? This is the meaning of the question submitted to Lord Krishna.

Chapter6; Verse 38

The import of the question is now being delineated. Firstly an aspirant having exclusively offered all activities unto the Supreme Lord without having performed any activities for attaining svarga loka or the heavenly spheres does not arrive there. Secondly failing to obtain success in yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by dhyana or meditation one does not attain moksa or liberation from the material existence either. Thus not qualified for both and deluded on the path leading to the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and atma tattvaor realisation of the soul. Does such a one perish or does such a one escape death? This is the question posed to Lord Krishna. A metaphor concerning the destrution of such a one is given by the example of a detached cloud in the sky being disconnected from the mass and unable to attach to another is dissolved in the interval is it not so for such a one.

Chapter6; Verse 39

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Now Lord Krishna is being beseeched by Arjuna to definitely dispel his doubts as other than the omniscient and omnipotent Supreme Lord there is no one else who can remove it.

Chapter6; Verse 40

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Destruction in this world is caused by diminution due to failure to secure neither the goal of svarga or heaven nor the goal of moksa or liberation from material existence. Failure to accomplish one or the other results in a destructive situation in the hereafter. This means a hellish destination in the worlds after death in the next life. Lord Krishna answers the previous verse by assuring that for the righteous who perform virtuous activities it is not possible to ever have a destructive situation and hellish destination. This is due to the reality that one is on the path of righteousness by just commencing with faith the process of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Lord Krishna addresses Arjuna by the word tata meaning dear one like He would be speaking to a family member.

Chapter6; Verse 41

Sridhara Swami's Commentary So what destination does one obtain who practices yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness but fails to achieve perfection? Lord Krishna confirms that such a one attains the worlds of the righteous where after residing in happiness and peacefulness for a long duration of time one takes birth again in a righteous, virtuous and prosperous family.

Chapter6; Verse 42

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The destination of one who after a short time has abandoned the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness was given in the previous verse. Now Lord Krishna describes the destination of the person who has been practising yoga for a long time and almost perfected it before expiring their life. They are born in families of enlightened yogis and sages, perfecting yoga and in possession of Vedic knowledge which leads to moksa or liberation from the material existence. Birth in this family is more advanced than birth in the families of the previous verse which although virtuous and prosperous had not yet engaged in the process of yoga.

Chapter6; Verse 43

Sridhara Swami's Commentary What happens then to such a person as described in the two previous verses. Lord Krishna declares that in both types of birth the person comes into contact with the level of spiritual knowledge which one acquired in the previous life and impelled by the impressions from it strives harder then ever before to reach the perfection of moksa or liberation from material existence.

Chapter6; Verse 44

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The reason why such a person comes in contact with spiritual knowledge is because of the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness is because the potency of it irresistibly propels one towards realising the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and even if one is oblivious or is beset by obstacles the efficacy of the yoga automatically makes it happen. Thus although one may be struggling from the reactions of previous activities still they will gradually in subsequent births attain moksa or liberation from the material existence. Lord Krishna makes the meaning even more clear in the second half of the verse with the words jijnasur api meaning even a mere inquirer or novice who has interest in the nature of yoga but falls from it due to desires and material attachments still transcends the results of ritualistic activities for fruitive results prescribed in the Vedic scriptures and achieves greater results and in a future birth wil have the opportunity for moksa or liberation from material existence.

Chapter6; Verse 45

Sridhara Swami's Commentary If even a novice or beginner yogi or one perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness can eventually attain moksa or liberation from material existence. it goes without saying that what can be said for a yogi who practices diligently and wholeheartedly purifying themselves more and more in mind and bodily activities will soon attain perfection and atma tattva or realisatio of the soul through accumulated merits of performing yoga for many lifetimes and attain moksa..

Chapter6; Verse 46

Sridhara Swami's Commentary The result of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness verifies that the yogi is greater than the ascetics who perform ritualistic penance's like Chandrayana or fasting with the cycles of the moon, the jnani's or knowers of Vedic scripture without the requisite realisation and the karmi's or those who perform prescribed Vedic activities for fruitive results and rewards such as Ishta's or rites and rituals for attaining material gains in the present life or in svarga loka the heavenly spheres in the afterlife and Purta or acts of charity such as well digging for public use, giving food in charity etc. Therefore Lord Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to be a yogi.

Chapter6; Verse 47

Sridhara Swami's Commentary Amongst all yogi's or those perfected in the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness who are engaged in yama, niyama or self control etc. Lord Krishna is declaring that His devotee is superior to even the greatest yogi. One who is possessed of full faith in Him as the Supreme Lord of all, with their mind focused within and relishing meditation on Him is the greatest yogi of all. Therefore be Lord Krishna's devotee is the purport.

I worship the Supreme Lord Krishna, the embodiment of supreme bliss, the treasure of those following the path of devotion, who taught the yoga of the atma or soul to the greatest of devotees.