Om Namah Shivaya - Om Namo Venkatesaya  

The Song of God - Swami Venkatesananda enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa

6 - Abhyasa Dhyana Yoga - The Yoga of Meditation

Om parthaya pratibodhitam bhagavata narayanena svayam vyasena grathitam purana munina madhye mahabharatam advaita 'mrta varsinim bhagavatim astadasa 'dhyayinim amba tvam anusamdadhami bhagavad gite bhava dvesinim
1. Om. O Bhagavad Gita, with which Partha (Arjuna) was illumined by lord Narayana himself and which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage Vyasa, O divine mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the showerer of the nectar of advaita (oneness) and consisting of eighteen chapters - upon thee, O Bhagavad Gita, O affectionate mother, I meditate.
namo 'stu to vyasa visala buddhe phulla 'ravinda 'yata patra netra yena tvaya bharata taila purnah prajvalito jnanamayah pradipah
2. Salutations unto thee, O Vyasa of broad intellect, and with eyes like the petals of full-blown lotuses, by whom the lamp of knowledge, filled with the oil of the Mahabharata has been lighted.
prapanna parijataya totravetrai 'ka panaye jnana mudraya krsnaya gita 'mrta duhe namah
3. Salutations to Krsna, the parijata or the bestower of all desires for those who take refuge in him, the holder of the whip in one hand, the holder of the symbol of knowledge and the milker of the nectar of the Bhagavad Gita.
sarvo 'panisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah partho vatsah sudhir bhokta dugdham gita 'mrtam mahat
4. All the upanisad are the cows, the milker is Krsna the cowherd boy, Arjuna is the calf, men of purified intellect are the drinkers, the milk is the great nectar of the Gita.
vasudeva sutam devam kamsa canura mardanam devaki parama 'nandam krsnam vande jagad gurum
5. I salute lord Krsna, the world teacher, the son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kamsa and Canura, the supreme bliss of Devaki.
bhisma drona tata jayadratha jala gandhara nilotpala salya grahavati krpena vahani karnena velakula asvatthama vikarna ghora makara duryodhana 'vartini so 'ttirna khalu pandavai rana nadi kaivartakah kesavah
6. With Krsna as the helmsman, verily, was crossed by the Pandava the battle-river whose banks were Bhisma and Drona, whose water was Jayadratha, whose blue lotus was the king of Gandhara, whose crocodile was Salya, whose current was Krpa, whose billow was Karna, whose terrible alligators were Asvatthama and Vikarna, whose whirlpool was Duryodhana.
parasarya vacah sarojam amalam gitartha gandhotkatam nanakhya 'nakakesaram hari katha sambodhana 'bodhitam loke sajjana satpadair ahar ahah pepiyamanam muda bhuyad bharata pankajam kali mala pradhvamsi nah sreyase
7. May this lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with many stories as its stamens, fully opened by the discourses on Hari, the destroyer of the sins of Kali, and drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, day by day, become the bestower of good on us.
mukam karoti vacalam pangum langhayate girim yat krpa tam aham vande parama 'nanda madhavam
8. I salute that Krsna, the source of supreme bliss, whose grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains.
yam brahma varune 'ndra rudra marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair vedaih sanga pada kramo 'panisadair gayanti yam samagah dhyana 'vasthita tad gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino yasya 'ntam na viduh sura 'sura gana devaya tasmai namah
9. Salutations to that God whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Marut praise with divine hymns, of whom the Sama-chanters sing by the veda and their anga, in the pada and krama methods, and by the upanisad, whom the yogi see with their minds absorbed in him through meditation, and whose end the hosts of the deva and asura know not.
two ends of a stick
VI:1 - The Bhagavan said : One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated, is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true yogi; not he who lights no fire and performs no work.
VI:2 - What's called renunciation is the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme; for none can become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification.
Krishna breaks down all man-made distinctions, created by a mind limited by its own preconceived ideas and imperfections.
The man of renunciation (samnyasi) wore the orange robe, had the title of "swami" and was learned in vedanta: he abandoned all rites and rituals, and did not engage himself even in social activity.
The yogi, on the other hand, practiced certain psycho-physical exercises and possessed and exhibited certain psychic powers.
The samnyasi need not necessarily do these and the yogi need not necessarily be a man of renunciation.
That was the belief.
It is not the validity of these distinctions but the underlying idea that matters.
Caught in the snare of these distinctions, we often tend to lose sight of the goal of both renunciation and yoga! We make them an end in themselves, leading in different directions.
Krishna points out the synthesis.
Yoga is samnyasa.
How can we ever contemplate God if we have not learnt to detach the mind from the world, and to remove worldliness from our mind?
How, on the other hand, can we learn to detach the mind from the world, if we do not attach it to God?
The two attributes - detaching the mind from the world (samnyasa) and attaching it to God (yoga) - are but two ends of the same stick.
Where such synthesis does not prevail, there is hypocrisy, pride and conflict.
Where it does, there is sincerity, humility and harmony - whatever be the outward appearance.
the ego does not initiate action
VI:3 - For one who is a neophyte in the eightfold yoga system, work is said to be the means; and for one who has already attained to yoga, cessation of all material activities is said to be the means.
VI:4 - A person is said to be have attained to yoga when, having renounced all material desires, he neither acts for sense gratification nor engages in fruitive activities.
Indeed, there are stages in the seeker's life when he should be involved in certain external practices and there are stages when he becomes engaged in internal practices.
In the highest stages, however, the sage is completely quiescent, at rest in the self that is cosmic consciousness.
Until the state that is known as yoga is reached, one should not renounce external practices, for premature renunciation would prevent progress.
This is true even of worldly objects and duties.
It is more sensible and wiser to cultivate the proper attitude to them and to establish in oneself the correct scale of values, so that the objects drop away, their values deflated, and the "duties" are seen in their true light as the ego's excuse to cling to the world.
The ego does not initiate action.
Action comes from somewhere else.
Correct scale of values, the correct sense of proportion is itself "samnyasa", usually translated as "renunciation". Physically pushing the world away might only drive it deeper within oneself, psychologically.
Yet this should not be interpreted to mean undue emphasis on action.
A stage comes in the life of every seeker when the external and later the internal action is no longer necessary; then, resting in the peace of the self he realizes that that is both the doer of all actions and the witness of all passing phenomena!
This is not a state to be presumed; it has its own criteria - complete non-attachment and the absence of selfish desires and worldly (and heavenly!) dreams and schemes, which are inwardly and actually "seen" as haunting phantoms.
At that stage a false sense of duty or the needs for demonstrative practices drop away unnoticed.
free will
VI:5 - A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.
VI:6 - For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.
How often do we blame our failures on others, on external conditions and on the weather?
Everyone is given what we call "some blessings" - some misfortune and some good fortune.
All these are mixed very nicely.
It is not that some people are favoured and others are not favoured.
Life does not know any distinction whatsoever.
The real trouble lies within ourselves - why do we want to look elsewhere for a solution?
The wise man knows that his own impure mind is his worst enemy and the pure mind his best friend.
Yet it is not as though these two are distinct and different.
Hence Krishna uses the same word "self" risking confusion.
Just as we have one body with a head and limbs, even so we have an "antahkarana" (inner instrument or subtle body), the mind, which has its different aspects and functions.
Just as a single iron rod may be hot at the end close to fire, and cold at the end farthest from fire, the same mind is pure and strong where it is turned towards the indwelling presence of God, and impure and weak where it is turned away from him and towards the world of sense-experiences.
God has given every man the free-will to adjust the mind in such a way as to bring the whole of it close to God, or to remain turned away from him.
The worldly man chooses the latter alternative and thus his own mind becomes his worst enemy, tormenting him with desires and cravings, love and hatred, likes and dislikes.
In the case of the wise man, however, the whole mind is close to God and is, therefore, luminous with the knowledge of the indwelling omnipresence.
the true value of every object
VI:7 - For one who has conquered the mind, the Self is already reached, for he has attained tranquillity. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.
VI:8 - The yogi who is satisfied with the knowledge and the wisdom, who has conquered the senses, and to whom a clod of earth, a piece of stone and gold are the same, is said to be harmonised.
Conquest of the senses does not mean their total inhibition.
To be of the same mind does not imply insensibility.
It is easy for an idiot to bear insult and injury.
One who suffers from the disease known as syringomyelia does not feel heat and cold.
Yet, I know from the example of my own Master, that the yogi is extremely sensible (perhaps sensitive too).
It is this that enables him to sympathize with others in distress, to feel their need for a blanket in winter, and to desist from hurting their sentiments.
My Master showed us that the yogi is far from being a wooden-headed, stonehearted and insensible creature.
The first verse makes it clear that it is the supreme self that is balanced; the self--controlled yogi does not identify that self with the body undergoing the varied experiences of heat and cold, and the mind experiencing pleasure and pain.
He recognizes that his abode is subject to the vagaries of the climate; he takes the necessary steps to remedy the situation, without losing his inner balance.
The inner balance is lost when there is false identification of the self with the body and the mind.
Concomitant with this wrong identification is the false value that the deluded mind attaches to the objects of the world.
The yogi will use a clod of earth to clean his hands, a stone to keep his papers from flying and a piece of gold to feed the hungry - but he has risen above the false sense of values.
Each object's true value is its value in context.
The man who cannot distinguish gold from mud is a mad man; one who sees the difference but is not affected by it, is a sage.
He knows the true value of every object in God's nature, and fulfills God's will in every way.
VI:9 - He who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends, enemies, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, the relatives, the righteous and the unrighteous, excels.
In chapter V, verse I8, the Lord said that the wise men have "equal vision".
This is a very important concept or teaching in the Bhagavad Gita - and needs clear-cut understanding.
Our Master used to point out "samadarsi" (man of equal vision) is different from "samavarti" (man who behaves alike to all).
We are asked to see the same self in all; but that should not lead us to the absurd position of trying to feed the goat with meat and the tiger with grass.
To remove the possibility of such misconception the Lord uses another expression here - "samabuddhi".
This same-mindedness is an entirely inner state that is very difficult to bring down to the level of exhibitionism.
The yogi is aware of his unruffled state of mind when he meets any of the people listed in the verse above.
The yogi knows the difference between a newspaper and a currency note, but the sight of the currency note does not produce in him the excitement that it does in a worldly man.
The only sign by which we shall know how he feels IS the total absence of greed he exhibits and his unwillingness to hoard wealth.
The yogi has trained his buddhi or intelligence to be aware of the indwelling presence in all.
But as long as he lives in the physical body, in this material world, he has a double-consciousness: he sees the gold and the clod of earth, but is aware that they both are part of God's nature.
His intelligence is aware of God's omnipresence, though the mind and senses still receive the varied impressions in the world.
His actions and reactions are strictly in accordance with God's will, unconditioned by personal likes and dislikes, love or hatred.
He is naturally not attached to anything, neither rejecting it nor clinging to it, but enjoys it while it is there, knowing that everything is pervaded by God and his will be done.
His individual "me" always knows itself as part of the great "He".
the art of meditation
VI:10 - Let the yogi try constantly to concentrate his mind on the Supreme, remaining in solitude, alone, with the mind and the body controlled, and free from hope and greed.
VI:11 - In a clean spot, having established a firm seat of his own, neither too high nor too low, made of a cloth, a skin and kushagrass, one over the other,
Now follows practical instruction on the art of meditation.
It is not as if God is somebody else upon whom we meditate.
When the wandering self abandons its pleasure seeking misadventure, God-consciousness is experienced.
The effort put forth is more to restrain this waywardness of the mind than to "see" anything.
Seeing sights and hearing sounds are often subtler expressions of the waywardness of the mind.
Patanjali (the author of Raja Yoga Sutra-) asks us to beware of them.
The "hope and greed" mentioned here need not necessarily be restricted to worldliness.
Even greed for rapid spiritual evolution may be included, for such greed will inevitably give the ego the best chance to present illusions of supernormal phenomena and thus distract the self from its higher pursuits.
Solitude is important; we should choose for the following practice a place and a time where and when we are not likely to be disturbed and where, therefore, our attention is secure.
However, true solitude is psychological and inward - the knowledge that you and I are alone in this world.
A clean spot refers not only to physical and outward cleanliness, but also to the "atmosphere" of the place.
It should be holy - associated with God.
In meditation the mind becomes extremely subtle and is therefore subject to the very vibrations in the atmosphere.
The seat should neither be too low (thus subject to disturbance from insects) nor too high (causing fear of a fall).
The prescribed seat of grass, skin (deer-skin) and cloth prevents the body from being affected by the condition of the earth and also preserves the inner magnetic force, preventing it from being "earthed" and lost.
the leaking holes of the mind
VI:12 - There, having made the mind one-pointed, with the actions of the mind and the senses controlled, let him, seated on the seat, practise Yoga for the purification of the self.
The light of the self is veiled by its own rays blinding our conditioned and limited perception.
These rays are conducted via the mind (conscious and subconscious) and the senses in order to illumine the world.
In meditation, the yogi controls the inner rays in such a way that his attention is not distracted by the senses and the activity of citta (subconscious mind).
The citta functions on account of:
(a) latent desires and tendencies (memory), and
(b) the movement of prana.
The yogi, therefore, practices pranayama (regulated breathing) and turns the desires upon their own source!
Thus the citta is freed from turbulent activity and it therefore becomes transparent enough to reveal the underlying essential divinity of the self.
The mind and the senses are already turbulent.
Violently subduing them will only result in making them more turbulent!
A wind opposed by another will only make a whirlwind.
"Control" is best illustrated in the expression: "He has good control of the motor-car".
Not that he has shut the engine off, but he knows in which direction to steer, when to apply the brakes or press the accelerator.
Controlling the mind and the senses, therefore, implies that we are their masters, their skilled manipulators, not their prison warders.
Some people foolishly assert that the aggregate of the senses is the mind.
On the contrary, the senses are the leaking holes of the mind.
Hence, when they are controlled, the energy and the intelligence that leak through them will be made available for the higher purpose of purification of the self.
When control is achieved, the self is experienced as ever-present and eternal reality.
Meditation does not create the self but only removes the opacity, purifying the mind so that the insight shines, unveiling the truth.
When the mirror is cleaned the face is seen; the cleaning did not "create" the image, but only removed the dirt which hid the image.
roam in god
VI:13 - Let him firmly hold his body, head and neck erect and perfectly still, gazing at the tip of his nose, without looking around.
VI:14 - Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of a Brahmachari, having controlled the mind, thinking of me and balanced in mind, let him sit, having Me as his supreme goal.
The body and mind are interrelated.
If the mind is unsteady, the body shakes too; as in anger.
If the body is agitated, the mind is not steady.
The body must be kept still in order that it may be forgotten and transcended.
The "erect" posture is the natural one (though it is considered to be a special "yogi's posture" on account of the distortion of our normal posture).
In it the vital force or prana flows smoothly, especially along the spine, thus ensuring equilibrium both of the body and the mind, which the prana links and enlivens.
"Nasika-agra" in the original text may mean "tip, root or front of the nose".
Sanskrit is a rich and flexible language.
Certain yogi claim that special psychic merits accrue from gazing at the tip or the root of the nose (between the eyebrows).
It is best to look directly in front of the nose at a symbol of God or the flame of a lamp.
When you think of God and endeavor to visualize him within yourself, you will discover that the vision is "abstracted" and therefore even the objects in front of you fade away.
The important point is to sit "without looking around".
Once the desired concentration of mind and internal visualization of God have been achieved, then it matters little if the eyes are kept open or closed.
The visualization is imagination.
Imagination has image in. Looking at it enquiringly reveals the substance of which this in-image is made.
If the visualization is dull, the result is nil.
"Brahmacari" is one whose mind "roams in God or Brahman" (though in a restricted sense, it refers to continence).
"Fearlessness" is extolled because in deep contemplation, when one "forgets" the body, one is apt to be afraid of "losing it".
One whose goal is God is fearless and is prepared to sacrifice anything to reach him.
nirvana is stripping oneself
VI:15 - Thus, always keeping the mind balanced, the yogi, with the mind controlled, attains to the peace abiding in Me, which culminates in liberation.
The yogi seated in meditation learns "to balance his mind".
Krishna, by quietly and unpretentiously slipping this verse in here, points out at this stage that the yogi's balanced mind is not at all upset at any time.
"Always" warns us against the delusion that peace is attained only during meditation.
If this balance or peace is itself a type of meditation, then such meditation too is continuous and unbroken.
In fact, you will notice that the popular misconceptions about meditation are swept away by Krishna.
He does not decry or condemn them; he does not even want us to discourage others who have their own ways of approaching the truth.
He wisely instructs us in the best way, his own way, in which we shall ever dwell in him.
The yogi does not enjoy the peace "of mind" or "of meditation", but the peace abiding in God or the peace of abiding in God.
When the mind is controlled and the attention is focused on God excluding the distracting rays which reflect over the surface of the mind and leak through the senses, the yogi discovers that the whole universe is pervaded by God-consciousness, filled with God's life and clothed in his body.
In a not-so-obvious manner, it is the one divine presence that pervades all things.
When that truth sinks deeper and deeper, the yogi suddenly discovers that the inside-outside divisions are non-existent.
With closed eyes, he sees God within.
With open eyes he sees God all round.
God lives in him, and he dwells in God.
The peace of abiding in God culminates in nirvana (liberation).
Nirvana is completely stripping oneself.
There are no coverings.
All covering is ignorance.
Not that the yogi should go about naked; but he should (and does) cease to identify the self with the changing forms of the body and of mentality.
He sees everything, right from "his" (erstwhile!) ego, mind and senses, down to the remotest object in the world, as none other than the one consciousness.
Nirvana is the extinction of pleasure-seeking, whether it was seeking for worldly pleasure, heavenly pleasure or some other goal described as supreme bliss.
yoga is not a feat
VI:16 - There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.
VI:17 - Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is always moderate in eating and recreation, who is moderate in exertion in actions, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness.
Yoga is not a physical, mental or psychic feat.
It is life itself; not the kind of restless life swinging constantly between the two extremes of exhilaration and depression, indulgence and denial, sensuousness and asceticism, but the harmonious flow of the divine will along the wise middle path.
The Kathopanisad Characterizes the spiritual path as 'the razor's edge', difficult to tread.
The razor's edge is difficult to tread, not on account of the fear that it may injure our feet, but because it is so sharp that it is invisible.
On both sides of this subtle middle path there is danger, pain and suffering.
Both of them (extremes) imply a strong identification of the body, mind and the personal ego with the self.
Yoga aims precisely at the removal of this false identification, and the consequent private desire and 'seeking' under whatever label it appears.
The man who loves eating is a glutton; but the man who refuses to eat is an egoist.
The former identifies the self (atma) with the body; the latter, with the vain personality or egoism which swells with pride at its ability to go without food.
Both of them are confusing the self with the not-self.
The yogi, however, dissociates the body, mind and ego from the real self, while allowing God's nature to reveal itself through all these.
In gluttony there is pain, as also in abstention.
Pleasure is invariably followed by pain.
Vanity is accompanied by fear or injured pride.
The yogi who pursues the middle path is blissfully free from all these.
Only he lives; others drag on in miserable existence.
the home of blossoming insight
VI:18 - When the perfectly controlled mind rests in the Self only, free from longing for the objects of desire, then it is said: he is united.
VI:19 - As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the yogi, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent Self.
Again and again, Krishna reminds us that control of mind and yoga imply non-attachment which itself does not mean vain, foolish and egoistic hatred of, or "running away from" anything in this world, nor deluded cruelty inflicted on one's own body.
Non-attachment is an intelligent understanding of the real nature of the soul as the "image of God", and the body, mind and ego as the external nature of God.
The body, mind and ego provide an abode for the individualized self to dwell in, become perfect and thus witness the reality of God.
The body exists, even as the house exists.
It comes into contact with various objects of this world, even as the house comes into contact with wind, rain and sunshine.
From these contacts the mind is continually learning its lessons in this vast school of the world.
However, ignorance attributes pleasure and pain to the objects and experiences, and consequently reacts with attachment and aversion.
These are the factors that keep the individual soul in bondage.
They constantly disturb the inner equilibrium, being themselves the fruits of inner disharmony.
If the mind is not at peace, life is a nightmare, a string of endless trials.
The yogi's mind, on the other hand, is like a lamp in a windless spot, burning calmly and steadily, illuminating all that surrounds it.
This is one of the reasons why the seeker has a lamp (or candle) burning at the altar always - to remind him of the ideal he is striving for.
It should never be forgotten that this inner harmony should prevail at all times, not only during meditation.
The lamp in a windless place is not inert but it is unimaginably intense activity called combustion.
Similarly, the yogi's steady mind is not dull.
It is the home of blossoming insight.
In that insight life flows on uninterruptedly, blissfully, in strict accordance with God's will.
thought silenced is meditation
VI:20 - When the mind, restrained by the practice of Yoga, attains to quietude, and when, seeing the Self by the Self, he is satisfied in his own Self,
VI:21 - When the yogi feels that infinite bliss which can be grasped by the intellect, and which transcends the senses, and, established wherein he never moves from the Reality,
Satisfaction is an inner subjective experience.
When the sensual urge, the surge of the animal passions (which is nothing more than tension, stress or pain), subsides on account of an artificial release of the tension by the appeasement of that urge, there supersedes an experience of satisfaction within oneself; but since it is merely an appeasement, the tension builds up once again and once again man experiences pain.
As he continues with this policy of appeasement, the intervals between two periods of stress become shorter and shorter and there is continuous pain .
The yogi knows this and he therefore consciously remains rooted in the fountain-source of satisfaction, satisfaction in the self (atma).
He resolutely refuses to let the tension or urge build up, culminating in futile appeasement.
Such an attitude is possible only if we are able to lift the veil of ignorance which hides the fountain of infinite bliss beyond the intellect and the senses.
The veil usually confuses our vision and deludes us into thinking that the happiness that is experienced after the appeasement of the urge, comes from the appeasement itself.
It is thought that causes this confusion; thought is the veil.
Thought links the external experience with the inner delight - and craves for its repetition and continuance.
Thought silenced is meditation.
The yogi overcomes this confusion through meditation.
Delight experienced in meditation, without any external prop gives the lie to the old notion that happiness is outside.
Independent happiness is the most intense, and it is unshakable because it is self-dependent.
So long as our peace or happiness depends upon external agencies, we cannot be happy.
independent bliss
VI:22 - Which, having obtained, he thinks there is no other gain superior to it; wherein established, he is not moved even by heavy sorrow,
VI:23 - Let that be known by the name of Yoga, the severance from union with pain. This Yoga should be practised with determination and with an undesponding mind.
When everything is all right and the sun is shining on you, you may think that you have no doubts at all and that you know exactly what God is, what meditation means, and that you see God.
But when there is trouble in life, where is that God?
Suddenly the ego rises, there is insecurity, fear, agony and all your belief deserts you.
This is the danger of a belief.
So Krishna says here: "If you have a vision of truth, test it against this definition: established in that truth, can you withstand the greatest calamity and smile?"
If you can, then it is possible that you have discovered the truth.
If you have not been put through such a test, then suspend the judgment.
As long as we identify the self with mind, body and the world, and experience only external "pleasure", we are always in pain.
When this deluded identification is removed and the consciousness is united with the self (as in yoga) then we are in bliss, we are bliss itself.
This is the highest attainment; for there can be no happiness greater than the bliss that is independent and complete.
This bliss cannot be removed from one established in it, nor can it be modified in him.
Since he is totally detached from the world, the body and the mind, and since he has realized that the self is an independent silent witness of the world phenomena (including his body and mind), he remains unmoved in all conditions.
He knows the self to be the immortal, eternal, all-full, perfect and independent bliss.
The real divinity within.
What we need is firm determination (not the pig-headed obstinacy with which it is confused), real understanding and an intelligent approach to the truth of our essential, divine being.
background of thought
VI:24 - Abandoning without reserve all the desires born of Sankalpa, and completely restraining the whole group of senses by the mind from all sides,
VI:25 - Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence. And thus the mind should be fixed on the self alone, let him not think of anything else.
Samkalpa has been translated into thought, notion, concept.
But, simply, it is when a thought is entertained and strengthened.
The samkalpa is formed between the experiencer and an experience which takes place in the mind.
So, what we call our thoughts are not very different from imagination, yet, throughout the day we think!
Suddenly we realize that life has been a slave to these samkalpa (these imaginary objects which give rise to cravings and desires), and we have painted a gruesome world in which we see friends, enemies, saints, sinners and so on; and because this mind or samkalpa interferes, we do not know what is natural to us, and life is a struggle.
The yogi, having determined this, constantly endeavors to withdraw himself into his own self - knowing that this is the greatest source of joy and satisfaction - whilst carrying on his normal activity in the yoga spirit.
That is what my Master called his "background of thought".
Even while he worked, lived and enjoyed in the external world, as it were, he was established within the self.
This swinging between meditation and life is Krishna's way of intimating their unity.
One without the other is imperfect and incomplete.
During the active state, the yogi tries to realize, "All this is God"; but in order to prevent subtle attachment and self-delusion creeping in, during meditation he tries to remove the consciousness of the all completely, and remains rooted in the self alone.
Firmly holding on to the one God thought, "All this is God", the mind drops all other thoughts and desires and remains serene.
But, God is not thought; hence even this has to be transcended.
Beyond thought is a dimension quite different from all that has been thought of or expressed.
Krishna, the supreme preceptor, points to that.
brahman alone is real
VI:26 - From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self.
VI:27 - The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin.
VI:28 - Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfetional stage of happiness, in touch with the Supreme Consciousness.
"Detach the mind from the objects, attach it to the Lord", said my Master, Swami Sivananda.
This is not easy, but it is not impossible, and, what is vital to remember, it has got to be done.
The mind, wandering away from the center of our being, seeking the contact of the objects of this world, is the cause of sin and is itself sin.
This, verily, is suffering too.
The mind, uprooted from its own center (the self) wanders in misery, weeping in pain, groping in darkness, desperate in anxiety.
Even as a child that has strayed away from its mother is filled with dread, weeps, and is unable to enjoy the carnival, the mind of the worldly man who has lost his contact with God is filled with worries and he is unable to enjoy the omnipresence of God.
When that mind is detached from the contact of worldly objects by constant and persistent practice, and when it is simultaneously attached to Brahman (God), it enables the yogi to enjoy infinite bliss which is his own essential nature.
Once this inner contact is made, the yogi should try to remain in it.
It will be easy because the happiness derived from it is incomparably superior to all else and the mind will be ready and eager to drop all other pursuits.
The path thenceforth becomes easy and smooth.
Remaining firmly established in Brahman, the yogi becomes Brahman, i.e., he realizes that Brahman alone is real, and the 'I' has never been real. I exist, of course, but not as 'I' or 'me' or 'mine'.
The ego sense, the mind, the intellect, the world and matter are there, but as integral, inseparable God.
establish inner contact
VI:29 - With the mind harmonised by Yoga, he sees the Self abiding in all beings, and all beings in the Self; he sees the same everywhere.
VI:30 - For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.
Meditation (as described in verses 11 to 14 - May 8th-10th) is only a part - though a vital, indispensable spirit-awakening part - of yoga, but should never be regarded as all that yoga means.
God is omnipresent. God-realization must, therefore, definitely mean realizing his omnipresence, not only within oneself or within one's own sanctuary, but in and ultimately as all.
When we come into contact with the objects and personalities in this world, the mind immediately reacts in the customary way furnishing them with names, forms and assumed attributes (like good and evil, ugly and beautiful, pleasant and unpleasant).
Language is a screen.
We use words to cover up what we do not want to see.
We indulge in this name-calling because we do not know the truth and do not care to know the truth.
However, it is possible to reach the realization that ignorance has created these names and the simultaneous illusion that 'I know', whereas in fact, we do not know anything.
One who is able to enter into that spirit gets the grace and enlightenment.
Therefore, the yoga student is asked to meditate and first establish inner contact.
Once this is done, it is easier to overlook the name and form of the objects and personalities and perceive the divine essence in all.
Meditation alone without this dynamic practice of the omnipresence of God is of very little use.
Meditation itself is not possible if our daily life denies his omnipresence.
We can make no progress if we start the car and do not make a move!
It is the-one infinite being that shines through all this diversity as all this.
To see this is, in fact, meditation.
Then there is neither withdrawal from nor involvement in the world.
Samsara (the perennial stream) flows on neither calling for your involvement nor demanding your withdrawal.
To see this is to see God; to see God is to be God!
the inner attitude
VI:31 - He who, being established in unity, worships Me who dwells in all beings, that yogi abides in me, whatever may be his mode of living.
VI:32 - He who, through the likeness of the Self, sees equality everywhere, be it pleasure or pain, he is regarded as the highest yogi.
This is the goal of yoga, clearly stated here and still more graphically reiterated in verse 46 of the eighteenth chapter.
We worship God in shrines, churches and mosques; we approach him through his various manifestations (which we shall study in the tenth chapter); we sit in a secluded spot and meditate upon his presence in our heart, but all these are the "exercises" necessary to acquire proficiency in the art of yoga.
Without them we shall get nowhere; but if we get stuck in them we shall get nowhere either.
Krishna clearly declares two vital truths here: the yogi should worship all beings in whom God dwells, and his mode of living is immaterial if this attitude of worshipfulness is ensured.
Whatever be one's trade or occupation, one can be a yogi.
Whatever be one's caste, religion, color or nationality, one can be a yogi.
From God's standpoint, there is nothing secular or mean, profane or impure, because he is the source of everything.
It is the inner attitude of worshipfulness that is important.
That is the philosopher's stone which transforms all activity into yoga.
The yogi does not entertain the least idea of profit; he does not feel he helps anyone or even that he serves anyone; he worships all beings.
This worship naturally takes the form of loving (God-loving) service.
Just as the Lord dwells in one's own body and mind, with all their weakness and imperfections, he also dwells in others' bodies and minds.
The yogi transcends good and evil.
Pleasure and pain are events, not experiences; praise and censure are opinions which do not affect him.
His mind (or, rather, the mind) is rooted in God consciousness and therefore he goes beyond all these and rests in "same-ness" which is the omnipresence of God.
the son of wind
VI:33 - Arjuna said : O Krishna, the system of yoga which You have summarised, appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.
VI:34 - For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate, and very strong, O Krishna; I deem it as difficult to control as to control the wind.
Anyone who has endeavored to fix the mind knows how difficult it is; if the object of our attention is outside, and sensuously attractive, perhaps it compels our attention.
Anyone who has tried to focus the attention on an idea or an ideal within oneself will appreciate what Arjuna says here!
An otherwise passive mind becomes suddenly active; the otherwise placid lake of the mind becomes agitated; and the mind takes us farther away from the inner ideal than we ever imagined it could!
The power of delusion, of ignorance, of animal desires and instincts, is so strong that any attempt at controlling the mind is seriously resented by it.
It is the experience of many that "since beginning to concentrate and meditate, the inner impurities seem to have grown".
We seem to be farther from God now than before we even thought about him.
It is good to know that it is a step towards God, a sign of progress!
The inner devil has been disturbed, shaken from his complacent existence as the lord of our inner world.
Like an angry cat at bay, he is now fighting with his back to the wall - he is cornered!
The fight is hard and long-drawn, but let us fight the good fight with faith in the Lord, for once the mind itself is offered at the feet of the Lord, to serve him, it will become our best friend.
This is the symbolism of Hanuman (the son of wind - wind and mind are the same, only the 'm' is upside-down) in the Ramayana.
This restless "monkey" (the mind) is invincible, wise, and heroic, and is able to work wonders, once it is made to serve the Lord.
VI:35 - The Blessed Lord said : Undoubtedly, O Arjuna, the mind is difficult to control and restless; but, by practice and by dispassion, it may be restrained.
VI:36 - For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realisation is difficult work. But he whose mind is controlled, and who strives by right means, is assured of success. That is my opinion.
The greatest aid to control of the mind is the realisation that the uncontrolled mind is our worst foe and sooner or later it must be done and it will be done before we reach the goal.
Well then, why not now?
Practice makes everything perfect.
No-one achieves proficiency in anything without persistent practice with ever-increasing intensity.
If two slices of bread do not appease our hunger, we ask for more, but if two hours' meditation is not enough to still our mind, we do not prolong and intensify it, but abandon meditation altogether!
Why this illogical approach?
In the word "practice" are included several allied practices like yoga postures (asana), pranayama (breathing), study of scriptures, repetition of holy names and singing hymns.
'Practice' should not be merely repetitive and dull.
Practice is alertness, constant vigilance.
However, practice alone will not do.
Practice without vairagya (dispassion) only helps us to master the technique of mind control, but not to control the mind.
If we are strongly attached to the pleasures of the senses while "practicing" to free ourselves from them, we labor aimlessly and vainly, like drunken men who row a boat the whole night without first loosening the chain that binds it to the shore!
We might develop our muscles but we will not reach our destination.
Vairagya is inner absence of infatuated desire or craving.
It is not "running away" but "turning away" from worldly pleasures.
Even with wide open eyes, while moving about in the world, the gaze is turned within; and the yogi thus perceives the Lord in and through the world.
He neither shuns the world nor clings to it, but pierces the veil and perceives the Lord.
That is true vairagya or dispassion.
a dilemma
VI:37 - Arjuna said : What is the destination of the man of faith who does not persevere, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realisation, but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness, and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?
VI:38 - Fallen from both worlds, does he not perish like a rent cloud, O Krishna, supportless, and deluded on the path of Brahman?
VI:39 - This is my doubt, O Krishna, and I ask you to dispel it completely. But for You, none is to be found who can destroy this doubt.
Granted, it is possible to control the mind if we have the necessary faith.
But, faith in the electric kettle alone will not boil the water!
We have to fill it with water, plug it in and switch on the current.
Yet, something might still go wrong somewhere and our purpose may be defeated.
This is especially true in the path of yoga.
Worldly duties and scriptural rituals often drop away from the student of yoga, yet, in the words of lord Krishna, if these are abandoned prematurely, out of delusion or because they are painful and troublesome, it would be wrong.
How does one know?
Sometimes the scriptures themselves warn us that the abandonment of these duties is sin.
We are on the horns of a dilemma now.
We, as students of yoga, do not have sufficient faith in the scriptures to fulfil our duties.
We have faith in yoga; but we may not have the will-power, the understanding, single-minded dedication to the quest and the ability to look within and see that pleasure is a mental creation and pleasure-seeking a folly.
We have leapt off one cliff of the ravine but have not been able to reach the opposite side, or so it seems.
Are we doomed to destruction or frustration, then?
It is a very real and valid fear.
We abandon worldly pleasures, but have no inner strength to reach supreme bliss.
Do we then wander about as demented men or stray dogs?
forever safe
VI:40 - The Blessed Lord said : O Arjuna, neither in this world, nor in the next world is there destruction for him; none, verily, who does good, my dear friend, ever comes to grief.
Once again we have a great verse in the Bhagavad Gita, every verse of which is indeed memorable and inspiring.
Lord Krishna goes one step beyond the answer to the immediate question and makes a sweeping, most reassuring generalization.
Every verse in the Gita should be in gold lettering, but this one should be studded in diamonds.
With what loving solicitude the Lord addresses Arjuna (and so you and me) - "O my son" - everyone and every devotee especially, is the son of God.
How lovingly does he assure us that we are forever safe, if we do good always!
At some time or other in life everyone is overwhelmed by the doubt: "What is the use of doing good in this world of injustice with its perverted scale of values?"
We often find rogues prospering, cruel oppressors and heartless exploiters rolling in wealth and power, while the voiceless, god-fearing man of righteousness and the humble servant of God are trampled upon.
Yet Krishna assures us that no evil ever befalls the good man!
Our welfare is already guaranteed by the omnipresent divinity, God.
We should revise our empirical logic.
The wicked man's road to hell lies through an increase of worldly wealth and power, the good man's path to God-realization lies through apparent (he does not feel it, since his mind is devoted to God) suffering in which he sheds all his worldliness, lurking evil tendencies and the effects of his own past karma.
Let us rejoice!
Never shall we suffer in the least if we do good, and even if in the eyes of the world we pass through suffering, inwardly we shall rejoice that we are drawing closer to God.
These experiences (wrongly called suffering) are birth-pangs after which we shall be reborn in God, to enjoy perennial bliss and immortality.
He who has rightly understood that pleasure is a creature of thought and is thus free of it, is also free of pain.
the eternal now
VI:41 - Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and, having dwelt there for everlasting years, he who fell from Yoga is reborn in the house of of rich aristocracy.
VI:42 - Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
The theory of evolution is inextricably bound up with the theory of reincarnation.
Self-purification which leads to the instantaneous, spontaneous and indescribable realization of the ever-present self-luminous self, is not possible in a single life-span, though this need not necessarily involve taking birth after birth.
You are trapped in this world in which you experience a succession of happiness and unhappiness, success and failure, pleasure and pain.
Something is born in you, something dies in you.
That itself is enough reincarnation.
Each day you are born and you die a thousand times.
Every hope is a new birth.
Every frustration is a death.
With faith you will recognize naturally, in and through these changes, something that is immutable.
This is the key to self-realization.
Even the ' intervals ' of physical ' death ' (which is only an unusually extended form of deep sleep) are an indispensable step in this delicate process of purification, meant to ensure that the overall effect of the accomplishments of each life-span is preserved and the cumbersome and distracting details are washed away.
Thus, life span after life span, the individual soul is dyed deeper and deeper into the color of God.
That is what Jesus meant when he said: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect".
The perfection alluded to here is a perfection equal to the perfection of God.
Krishna specifically mentions that the soul incarnates in worlds other than this; several recent incidents prove that it is possible for the soul to return to this very earth.
Even the 'recall' of Lazarus by Jesus points to this possibility.
However, that we assume a body suitable for further evolution towards divine perfection is certain.
Rightly understood, this doctrine will not cause despair or pessimism because of the "length of time" this process of self-purification needs.
"Time" itself is relative and illusory: he who vigilantly strives to discover perfection lives in the eternal now.
VI:43 - There he comes in touch with the knowledge acquired in his former body, and strives again for perfection.
VI:44 - By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles - even without seeking them; he stands always above the ritualistic principles.
In his next incarnation in the house of a yogi, the seeker's spiritual aspiration is rekindled.
We have a beautiful synthesis of the theories of individual evolution and heredity.
Man is now what he had made of himself in the past birth.
He carries with him the subtle residue of the sum-total of all his actions, good and evil.
How does this reconcile with our discoveries about heredity?
Let us bear in mind that heredity does not always operate; it is an influence even as environment is an influence.
It influences...what?
The evolving soul, which has its characteristics largely determined by the activities in a past birth.
Hence, genius is seldom inherited.
With few exceptions it seems to appear spontaneously in families not unusually gifted.
However, Krishna. a gives us a clue to the reconciliation of the two theories.
The evolving soul is reborn in a family of kindred souls; this appears to our unenlightened vision to be the operation of the law of heredity.
Hereditary influences and environmental influences may or may not be conducive to spirituality - even one's own superficial tendencies may be unspiritual!
No one is perfect in the world and the incarnating soul is certainly not so.
As Jesus Christ would have said: "Why call me good? Only God is good".
Yet, the force of past yoga practice compels the aspirant to pursue the goal from where he left the path in the previous incarnation.
A study of the lives of saints is the best way to understand this paradox.
Often they are suddenly whisked away from a worldly life to the path of yoga.
VI:45 - But when the yogi engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.
"Eternal damnation" is a childish idea.
If it is found in some scriptures, it is used only as a figure of speech - a hyperbole.
It is meant to "frighten" immature souls from the path of unrighteousness.
How can the good God damn us forever, having created us in his image?
He, who is our father and mother, will never condemn us forever.
If purgatory is a place of purification, hell is only a place of more intense purification.
The difference is one of degree, not of essential nature as the difference between a washbasin and a bathtub.
Our scriptures emphatically declare that God, having created us, has entered into us as the soul of our soul.
The soul is nothing other than the image of God. He is the sole reality in us.
Even if it were possible for God to condemn us forever, in effect he would be condemning himself - which is too absurd to deserve a second thought.
There is only one course open to the soul of man and that is redemption.
We must be redeemed, and that is why the Lord sends us teachers, saints, saviors and his own incarnations time and again.
If we assiduously follow their precepts, we shall reach the goal sooner.
After studying the Gita, put into practice a little of what you have learnt.
In yoga, the light-switch for the next stage of the staircase is on the previous one, to which you first have to climb.
Then the next stage becomes visible!
You cannot see the final stage or goal now.
Others have seen, described the levels and have also erected the stairway of yoga practice.
Have faith. Follow their instructions diligently.
You, too, will reach the highest goal.
"Blind faith" is blindness, not faith.
Faith implies a glimpse and a longing for a vision.
This faith (very different indeed from '"religious faith") sustains spiritual efforts.
Spiritual progress is "gradual" - this is a statement of fact, not a commandment to make it so slow!
VI:46 - A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the wise, and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, be a yogi, O Arjuna.
VI:47 - And of all yogis, he who always abides in me with great faith, worshiping me in supernatural loving service, is most intimately united with me in yoga and is the highest of all.
Here the expression "yogi" should be taken to mean one who practices the yoga described in the previous verses he who has harmonized himself with the indwelling omnipresence and he who, therefore, is freed from all self-centered attachments and aversions, selfishness and egoism.
Asceticism and erudition often lead us only farther from God, by adding the reinforcement of vanity to the naturally impenetrable wall of ignorance.
The aim of yoga is to break down the little ego, in order that the cosmic "I" (which is non-different from "he" and "you") may be revealed.
Mere asceticism, erudition or even service only fattens the little ego and thus blocks even the struggle for its eradication.
For the eventual transcendence of the ego, several paths have been laid down by our ancient masters.
In all of them there is lurking danger ever present: if the sense of direction is lost, if the means are mistaken for the end, or if the landmarks usurp the glory of destination, great may be the fall.
That is what is known as the goal-less wandering in the jungle of dogma.
Krishna presents a revolutionary concept of yoga here; and it is a wonderful aid to meditation, too.
Instead of trying to fill the finite heart with the infinite Lord, the devotee is asked to offer himself into the heart of God!
This attitude can be adopted in meditation too.
Start with the visualization of God in the heart, let him expand and take over, your body, the room, and the whole world.
Merge yourself in him.
If the meditation is not imagination but realization, humility arises and the seeker is swallowed up in the seeking.
The ego dissolves and the "king of the universe" is seen (see-king).
Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, ends the sixth chapter entitled: Abhyasa Dhyana Yoga - The Yoga of Meditation.

gri ganesaya namah! sri gopala krsnaya namah! dharo 'vaca bhagavan paramesana bhaktir avyabhicarini prarabdham bhujyamanasya katham bhavati he prabho
1. The Earth said: O Lord! The supreme one! How can unflinching devotion arise in him who is immersed in his worldly life, O Lord?
sri visnur uvaca prarabdham bhujyamano hi gita 'bhyasa ratah sada sa muktah sa sukhi loke karmana no 'palipyate
2. Lord Visnu said: Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who is regular in the study of the Gita, becomes free. He is the happy man in this world. He is not bound by karma.
maha papadi papani gita dhyanam karoti cet kvacit sparsam na kurvanti nalini dalam ambuvat
3. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so, sins do not taint him who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.
gitayah pustakam yatra yatra pathah pravartate tatra sarvani tirthani prayaga 'dini tatra vai
4. All the sacred places of pilgrimage like Prayaga, etc., dwell in that place where the book, the Gita, is kept and where the Gita is read.
sarve devas ca rsayo yoginah pannagas ca ye gopala gopika va 'pi narado 'ddhava parsadaih
5. All the gods, sages, yogi, divine serpents, gopala, gopika (friends and devotees of lord Krsna), Narada, Uddhava and others (dwell there).
sahayo jayate sighram yatra gita pravartate yatra gita vicaras ca pathanam pathanat srutam tatra 'ham niscitam prthvi nivasami sadai 'va hi
6. Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited and, O Earth, I dwell at all times where the Gita is read, heard, taught and contemplated upon.
gita 'sraye 'ham tisthami gita me co 'ttamam grham gita jnanam upasritya trimllokan palayamy aham
7. I take refuge in the Gita and the Gita is my best abode. I protect the three worlds with the knowledge of the Gita.
gita me parama vidya brahma rupa na samsayah ardha matra 'ksara nitya sva 'nirvacya padatmika
8. The Gita is my highest science, which is doubtless of the form of Brahman, the eternal, the ardhamatra (of the sacred monosyllable om), the ineffable splendour of the self.
cidanandena krsnena prokta sva mukhato 'rjunam veda tray! parananda tattva 'rtha jnana samyuta
9. It was spoken by the blessed Krsna, the all-knowing, through his own mouth to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the three veda, knowledge of the reality. It is full of supreme bliss.
yo 'stadasa japen nityam naro niscala manasah jnana siddhim sa labhate tato yati param padam
10. He who recites the eighteen chapters of the Gita daily, with a pure, unshaken mind, attains perfection in knowledge, and reaches the highest state or supreme goal.
pathe 'samarthah sampurne tato 'rdham patham acaret tada go danajam punyam labhate na 'tra samsayah
11. If a complete reading is not possible, even if only half of it is read, he attains the benefit of giving a cow as a gift. There is no doubt about this.
tribhagam pathamanas to ganga snana phalam labhet sadamsam japamanas to soma yaga phalam labhet
12. He who recites one-third part of it achieves the merit of a bath in the sacred Ganga, and he who recites one-sixth of it attains the merit of performing a soma ritual.
eka 'dhyayam to yo nityam pathate bhakti samyutah rudra lokam avapnoti gano bhutva vasec ciram
13. That person who reads one chapter with great devotion attains to the world of Rudra and, having become an attendant of lord Siva, lives there for many years.
adhyayam sloka padam va nityam yah pathate narah sa yati naratam yavan manvantaram vasundhare
14. If one reads a quarter of a chapter or even part of a verse daily, he, O Earth, retains a human body till the end of a world-cycle.
gitayah sloka dasakam sapta panca catustayam dvau trin ekaih tad ardham va slokanam yah pathen narah candra lokam avapnotii varsanam ayutam dhruvam gita patha samayukto mrtomanusatam vrajet
15,16. He who repeats ten, seven, five, four, three, two verses or even one or half a verse, attains the region of the moon and lives there for ten thousand years. Accustomed to the daily study of the Gita, the dying man comes back to life again as a human being.
gita 'bhyasam punah krtva labhate muktim uttamam gite 'ty uccara samyukto mriyamano gatim labhet
17. By repeated study of the Gita he attains liberation. Uttering 'Gita' at the time of death, one attains liberation.
gita 'rtha sravana 'sakto maha papa yuto 'pi va vaikuntham samavapnoti visnuna saha modate
18. Though full of sins, one who is ever intent on hearing the meaning of the Gita, goes to the kingdom of God and rejoices with lord Visnu.
gita 'rtham dhyayate nityam krtva karmani bhurisah jivanmuktah sa vijneyo deha 'nte paramam padam
19. He who meditates on the meaning of the Glita, having performed a lot of good actions, attains the supreme goal after death. Such a man should be known as a jivanmukta (sage liberated while living).
gitam asritya bahavo bhubhujo janaka 'dayah nirdhuta kalmasa loke gita yatah paratn padam
20. In this world, taking refuge in the Gita, many kings like Janaka and others have reached the highest state or goal, purified of all sins.
gitayah pathanam krtva mahatmyam naiva yah pathet vrtha patho bhavet tasya srama eva by udahrtah
21. He who fails to read this Glory of the Gita after having read the Gita, loses the benefit thereby, and the effort alone remains.
etan mahatmya sahyuktam gita 'bhyasam karoti yah sa tat phalam avapnoti durlabharn gatim apnuyat
22. One who studies the Gita, together with this Glory of the Gita, attains the fruits mentioned above and reaches the state which is otherwise very difficult to attain.
suta uvaca mahatmyam etad gitaya maya proktam sanatanatn gitante ca pathed yas to yad uktam tat phalarnlabhet
23. Suta said: This greatness or Glory of the Gita which is eternal, as narrated by me, should be read at the end of the study of the Gita and the fruits mentioned therein will be obtained.
iti sri varaha purane gri gita mahatmyam sampurnam
Thus ends the Glory of the Gita contained in the Varaha purana.

This was a glimpse of the gospel of Lord Krishna - simple, direct, yet profound. It is not one of pessimism or escapism, but is full of robust common sense. And if it sometimes seems to be puzzling, it is because common sense is so uncommon in the complex world of today.
You may be quite certain that one direction is east and the opposite direction west. But, if you move a little, you suddenly discover that east and west meet you! You are the divider, and from another point of view, you are the meeting point. In fact, it is the mind that creates all this duality which multiplies into endless diversity, creating conflicts and confusion all the way through.
There is only oneness and cosmic unity. There just cannot be two infinites or two omnipresences. The origin of the perception of diversity is enshrouded in mystery - maya. But Krishna boldly assumes responsibility for even that! "I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence, " says He.
The manifest universe is the body of God, and the supreme spirit is the indweller. Even this distinction was made to suit human analogy and to satisfy the duality-ridden intellect. We make an arbitrary distinction between our body and our spirit which seems to be justified because at one stage - death - the spirit leaves the body. This, obviously, does not apply to the Lord and His Body, for He is eternal and infinite, and does not leave His Body.
What a sublime vision! What a world-uniting doctrine! What a fountain of love! What a soft blow to shatter all distinctions and differences! What a divine cord of love to unite all mankind in oneness - divinity!

Swami Venkatesananda

Om Tat Sat
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