Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 6

Atma samyamana yoga !

||om tat sat ||

ಶ್ರೀ ಭಗವಾನುವಾಚ:
ಅನಾಶ್ರಿತಃ ಕರ್ಮಫಲಂ ಕಾರ್ಯಂ ಕರ್ಮ ಕರೋತಿ ಯಃ|
ಸ ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸೀ ಚ ಯೋಗೀ ಚ ನ ನಿರಗ್ನಿರ್ನಚಾಕ್ರಿಯಃ ||

"He who performs an action which is his duty without depending on the fruits of action is a monk and a Yogi, but not one who is without fire and who is without action."

ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣ ಪರಬ್ರಹ್ಮನೇ ನಮಃ
ಅತ್ಮಸಂಯಮನ ಯೋಗಃ

SriKrishna Parabrahmane Namah
Sixth Chapter
Atmasamyamana yoga

"Atma samyamana" means controlling the Self . The complex of "Self" consists of mind , intellect and the sensory organs. Controlling Self means effectively controlling all these too! How to accomplish that is the gist of this chapter . The answer comes as 'Dhyana' or "meditation" as the means to control Self . Infact many people call this chapter by the name of "Dhyana Yoga" or the path of meditation.

This chapter starts with the Krishna's teaching.

ಶ್ರೀ ಭಗವಾನುವಾಚ:
ಅನಾಶ್ರಿತಃ ಕರ್ಮಫಲಂ ಕಾರ್ಯಂ ಕರ್ಮ ಕರೋತಿ ಯಃ|
ಸ ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸೀ ಚ ಯೋಗೀ ಚ ನ ನಿರಗ್ನಿರ್ನಚಾಕ್ರಿಯಃ ||

Meaning there by that - The one who does his work without concern for the fruits is called "Sanyasi" as also "Yogi". But not the one who gave up the fire rituals or actions.

Fire rituals refer to the daily actions ordained for a "Grihastha". So just by giving up the daily rituals one does not become a "Sanyasi" !

To eliminate any thought that mere renunciation of action makes one a "Sanyasi", Krishna restates the same in the start of the sixth chapter.

The fifth chapter was about the path of renunciation. Renunciation is about giving up the fruits of action only and not the action itself. Krishna further elaborates that "Sanyasi" or "Yogi" are one and the same. One who does not give up "sankalpa" or "declaration of wishes" cannot become a "Sanyasi".

To be a Yogi "action" is a necessity.

Krishna says :
"ಆರುರುಕ್ಷೋಃ ಮುನೇಃ ಯೋಗಂ ಕರ್ಮಕಾರಣಮುಚ್ಯತೇ"
For the one who wants to attain Yoga - "action" is the means .
But for one who has attained "Yoga"
"ಶಮಃ ಕಾರಣಮುಚ್ಯತೇ " meaning that "peace" or "inaction" is the means to go forward.

It means that for the one who wants to attain "Yoga" the first step is "Karma" or more precisely "Nishkama karma". With the practice of nishkama karma one attains a mind free of extraneous thoughts and wishes. Having reached that stage where in his mind is sensitized to purer thoughts one is in a position to move forward through (ಶ್ರವಣ) hearing (ಮನನ) repeating and (ಧ್ಯಾನ) meditating about the self .

This is starting point of Gnyana Yoga or path of intellect. The end result of Gnyana Yoga is the knowledge of Self.

The knowledeg of Self is attained through the control of sensory organs , the mind and and the intellect.

When one is able to renounce all desires and is no longer attached to sense objects or action then one is said to have attained Yoga !

At one point in Karmasanyasa Yoga, Krishna declares that Bhagavan is only a "witness" like "Atman" and is free from our " sins" or "good deeds" . Reinforcing the same Krishna says :

ಉದ್ಧರೇದಾತ್ಮಾನಾ ಆತ್ಮಾನಂ ನಾತ್ಮಾನ ಮವಸಾದಯೇತ್ |
ಅತ್ಮೈವ ಹ್ಯಾತ್ಮನೋ ಬನ್ಧುರಾತ್ಮೈವ ರಿಪುರಾತ್ಮನಃ ||

"ಆತ್ಮಾನಂ ಆತ್ಮನಾ ಉದ್ಧರೇತ್ ". One can raise himself up through his own efforts and not lower oneself. Self alone is the friend and self alone is the enemy too. If one does not conquer his runaway desires then self becomes his enemy. When one follows the good the self becomes the friend.

One may be shown the way by the wise or the scriptures but ultimately the one who has to perform is himself. Hence with one's own efforts one can bring himself up. That is the statement from Krishna.

When you bring yourself up then the "Atman" becomes the friend.

There is always a battle between the "good" and "bad". The "good" leads us towards righteous paths. The "bad" always leads towards false steps. Raising one self up through one's own intellect and efforts is about "good" winnning the battle of the self. When one is not able to overcome the "bad", the mind gets diverted to false actions and effectively becomes one's own enemy.

Who are the people who can raise themselves up ?
"ಜಿತಾತ್ಮನಃ" people who conquer the mind";
"ಪ್ರಶಾನ್ತಸ್ಯ": people who achieved peace through equanimity;
The ones who are not affected by the happiness or sorrow or any such dualities.

The one who is self satisfied with knowledge (ಜ್ಞಾನ) and realization (ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ) is the one -
"ವಿಜಿತೇಂದ್ರಿಯಃ"- who conquered the the sensory organs
"ಸಮಲೋಷ್ಟಾಶ್ಮಕಾಂಚನಃ"- who sees "a clod of earth" , a "stone" and "gold" as same !
Such a one is called "Yogi "

Seeing everything as equal also means seeing every one as equal such as :
ಸುಹೃತ್ - the one with good heart ,
ಮಿತ್ರ - a friend
ಅರಿ - an enemy
ಉದಾಸೀನ - one who is reticent or neutral
ಮಧ್ಯಸ್ಥ - one who is a arbiter
ದ್ವೇಷ್ಯ - one who may be hated
ಬನ್ಧುಷು - a relative
ಸಾಧುಷು - good person
ಪಾಪೇಷು - a sinner

This encompasses a wide variety of people with different mental dispositions.
If one is able to look on all of them equally then that one is really the best among men
If one is able to look on all of them with an equal mental disposition then the peace he enjoy is incomparable
How does one achieve that state , or that mental disposition of equality towards all ?
Through Nishkama karma one reaches a stage, the first stage , where the mind is well disposed towards further enquiry.
That further enquiry is through hearing repeating and meditation.
The constant meditation leads one to the higher level.
As soon as we think of meditation several questiosn prop up.
Where to meditate?
How to meditate?
and why?

Krishna answers all the three.

As to where to meditate Krishna says, 'Establishing a seat in a clean place neither too high nor too low, sitting on a seat of cloth , skin and Kusa grass one should concentrate his mind for purification of internal organs keeping the mind and senses under control'.

How to meditate is continued , 'Holding the body and head and neck erect looking at the ti of his own nose and not looking around he should do meditation'.

The one doing meditation should be:
"ಪ್ರಶಾನ್ತಾತ್ಮಾ" - with a mind attuned to peace
"ವಿಗತಭೀಃ" - having forsaken fear
"ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಚಾರಿವ್ರತೇಸ್ಥಿತಃ" - following the vows of celibacy
"ಮನಃ ಸಂಯಮ್ಯ" - controlling the mind from stray thoughts

Thus focussing the mind on self one should meditate on the Self.

Krishna says - "ಮಚ್ಚಿತ್ತಃ ಮತ್ಪರಾಯಣಃ"
Meaning there by " focussing the mind on the Bhagavan and believing him to be the only solace". This brings us to a plane where people feel comfortable with a " full form of Brahman" ಸಗುಣ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮನ್
and the focus of the mediatation is the that Brahman ( ಸಗುಣ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮನ್ ). Krishna too is echoing that feeling.

But the focus may also be on self ( atman) too and one may meditate on "Self" which is also a form of "ನಿರ್ಗುಣ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮನ್" -the formless Brahman .

In both forms of meditation the destination remains the same.
The destination is -
"ನಿರ್ವಾಣ ಪರಮಾಂ ಶಾನ್ತಿಂ ಅಧಿಗಚ್ಛತಿ" - that outstanding feeling of bliss.
That is liberation or Moksha.

In the third chapter Krishna detailed who may not be able to perform "Nishkama karma" ( ವೇದವಾದರತಾಃ ಪಾರ್ಥ ನಾನ್ಯದಸ್ತೀತಿ ವಾದಿನಃ .. ) In a similar vein Krishna details in this chapter who may not be able to do meditation.

Who can not do meditation ?
Those who eat too much or too little
Those who sleep too much or too little
That means those who do everything in moderation- moderate in eating moderate in enjoyment, oderate in actions, moderate in sleep , moderate in staying awake - meditation is possble.

How is the mind of the person in meditation ? this is described in a wonderful picture painted in sloka( 6.19)

ಯಥಾ ದೀಪೋ ನಿವಾತಸ್ಥೋ ನೇಞ್ಗತೇ ಸೋಪಮಾ ಸ್ಮೃತಾ |
ಯೋಗಿನೋ ಯತಚಿತ್ತಸ್ಯ ಯುಞ್ಜತೋ ಯೋಗಮಾತ್ಮನಃ ||

meaning - 'like the lamp that does not flicker when placed in a place with no breeze ; the mind of the yogi performing meditation does not flicker !'

What is the state attained by one in meditation with the mind that does not flicker?
That is the realization of self.
There may still be a question of what exactly is that ?

By the practice of Yoga the mind which attained the heights of peace is denoted by
- a mind that is clear and is able to see the self as the ultimate and being happy in that knowledge
- Knowing Atman and feeling the pleasure that cannot be seen or felt by the sensory organs
- realizing that or feeling that this pleasure he obtained is greater than any pleasure that he may get otherwise
- not being detered by any great sorrow
- not having any link with sorrow
That state is called the attaining Yoga
That is also state in which one realizes self

How does one in that state feel or see ?
Krishna again tells us

ಸರ್ವಭೂತಸ್ಥ ಮಾತ್ಮಾನಂ ಸರ್ವಭೂತಾನಿ ಚಾತ್ಮನಿ |
ಈಕ್ಷತೇ ಯೋಗ ಯುಕ್ತಾತ್ಮಾ ಸರ್ವತ್ರ ಸಮದರ್ಶನಃ ||

All around ( ಸರ್ವತ್ರ) he sees the same (ಸಮದರ್ಶನಃ)
What is seen is that - Brahman is everywhere
Seeing "ಆತ್ಮಾನಂ" Self in "ಸರ್ವಭೂತಸ್ಥಂ" in all beings
Similarly seeing all beings in Self.

One more thought :

"ಯೋಮಾಂ ಪಶ್ಯತಿ ಸರ್ವತ್ರಮಯಿ ಪಶ್ಯತಿ |
ತಸ್ಯಾಹಂ ನ ಪ್ರಣಸ್ಯಾಮಿ ಸ ಚ ಮೇ ನಪ್ರಣಸ್ಯತಿ" ॥

"For him , who sees me in all beings and all beings in me , I will not be invisible . Nor will he be invisible for me !!

Again Krishna revisits the thought about the best of men.

ಅತ್ಮೌಪನ್ಯೇನ ಸರ್ವತ್ರ ಸಮಂ ಪಶ್ಯತಿ ಯೋsರ್ಜುನ|
ಸುಖಂ ವಾ ಯದಿ ವಾದುಃಖಂ ಸಯೋಗೀ ಪರಮೋ ಮತಃ ||

He who looks upon the pleasures and pains of all creatures as similar to his own - ಸ ಯೋಗೀ that yogi ಪರಮೋ ಮತಃ - is the best one !!

Hearing all this about the path of meditation Arjuna is still troubled.
" Oh Krishna ! The mind is fickle and yet stubborn too ! Keeping it under control is like trying to control the wind . It will be very difficult."

For once Krishna too agrees that it is so ! But it is possible. He says:

ಅಸಂಶಯಂ ಮಹಾಬಾಹೋ ಮನೋ ದುರ್ನಿಗ್ರಹಂ ಚಲಮ್ |
ಅಭ್ಯಸೇನ ತು ಕೌನ್ತೇಯ ವೈರಾಗ್ಯೇಣ ಚ ಗೃಹ್ಯತೇ ||

"ಅಸಂಶಯಂ ಮಹಾಬಾಹೋ" "O Arjuna! There is no doubt
"ಮನೋ ದುರ್ನಿಗ್ರಹಂ ಚಲಮ್" mind is difficult to control and restless.

But Kaunteya ( Arjuna)
"ಅಭ್ಯಸೇನ" with practice and
"ವೈರಾಗ್ಯೇಣ" and with detachment,
one can control that fickle mind. .

Then Arjuna has one more doubt what if all the effort is wasted:

ಅರ್ಜುನ ಉವಾಚ :
ಅಯತಿಶ್ರದ್ಧಯೋಪೇತೋ ಯೋಗಾಚ್ಚಲಿತ ಮಾನಸಃ |
ಅಪ್ರಾಪ್ಯ ಯೋಗಸಂಸಿದ್ಧಿಂ ಕಾಂ ಗತಿಂ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಗಚ್ಛತಿ ||

"ಶ್ರದ್ಧಯಾಪೇತೋ" - (though) with intense faith
"ಯೋಗಾತ್ ಚಲಿತ ಮಾನಸಃ" -( if one is) unable to attain yoga because of flirting mind
"ಯೋಗಸಿದ್ಧಿಂ ಅಪ್ರಾಪ್ಯ" - thus not achieving Yoga
"ಕಾಂ ಗತಿಂ ಗಚ್ಛತಿ" - what does he achieve ?

One may have faith and one may indeed work hard towards the goal but still he may fail in achieving the goal. Then does all the effort go down the drain ?

Is it like he is lost on both counts.- "ಉಭಯ ವಿಭ್ರಷ್ಟಃ"-.Not enjoying life fully the way others would as well as having forsaken the "easy life" to achive the goal of eternal bliss too !.

That is Arjunas query.

What happens if you do not attain "Yoga"

Then Krishna answers :
"ಪಾರ್ಥ ನೈವೇಹ ನಾಮುತ್ರ ವಿನಾಶಃ ತಸ್ಯ ವಿದ್ಯತೇ"

Oh Partha !!
"ಇಹ"- in this world
"ವಿನಾಶಃ ನ ವಿದ್ಯತೇ" - there is no loss!
"ಅಮುತ್ರ"- there in the other world also there is no loss !!

That is to say if one works with faith he may not achieve the liberation but there is no loss !
Not only that !
He will attain fruits of his good deeds and be born again in the house of pure and prosperous.
With the knowledge of previous births he will continue to strive for Yoga..
"ಅನೇಕಜನ್ಮ ಸಂಸಿದ್ಧಃ "
With practice over many births he will attain Yoga.
"ತತೋ ಯಾತಿ ಪರಾಂಗತಿಮ್" . Then he will attain the most desired state (of Moksha)

So in response to Arjuna's query Krishna clarifies that once you are on this path if you have faith you will achieve the goal even if it is spread over a few births !

Lastly he concludes :
Yogi "ತಪಸ್ವಿಭ್ಯಃ ಅಧಿಕಃ" - is greater than those who do penance.
"ಜ್ಞಾನಿಭ್ಯೋ ಅಪಿ" - is greater than those who go after knowledge.
Hence"ತಸ್ಮಾತ್ ಯೋಗೀ ಭವ ಅರ್ಜುನಾ
" |
"O Arjuna become a Yogi"

Krishna contuinues his preaching
ಯೋಗಿನಾಮಪಿ ಸರ್ವೇಷಾಂ ಮದ್ಗತೇನಾನ್ತರಾತ್ಮನಾ |
ಶ್ರದ್ಧವಾನ್ ಭಜತೇ ಯೊ ಮಾಂ ಸ ಮೇ ಯುಕ್ತತಮೋ ಮತಃ ||

"ಸರ್ವೇಷಾಂ ಯೋಗಿನಾಂ" - among all Yogis
"ಮದ್ಗತೇನ ಅಂತರಾತ್ಮನಾ" Keeping me in his mind
"ಯೋ ಮಾಂ ಭಜತಿ" - who meditates on me
ಸಃ - That one
ಯುಕ್ತತಮಃ - is the greatest !

"O Arjuna ! the one who has faith in me and meditates on me is the greatest even among those who perform penance or those who faollow the path of knowledge!!"

Krishna effectively said that every one has to find his own path in the spiritual search . Every one can raise himself by his own efforts.

When one sits for meditation one must resolve to be in that state setting aside all thoughts. It is not unlikely that the meditation is disturbed by fleeting thoughts. But the only way forward is practice which is Krishna's sugestion to Arjuna.The obstacles to meditation in the form of sleepiness and hunger for food are known.The biggest obstacle being the mind which flirts with all kinds of thoughts.

To attain steadiness in meditation one has to be disciplined in his daily life. One has to develop the attitude to face obstacles and opposition which one comes across in daily life without losing control of self. Then develop a feeling of equanimity with all contesting thoughts that crowd one. That alone lead one towards peace which in turn enhances one's ability for meditation.

There are a few aids on the way to reaching a state of Yoga where everything and every one seem to matter equally or not at all: These are as follows.

ಅಹಿಂಸ, ಸತ್ಯಂ, ಆಸ್ತೇಯಂ, ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಚರ್ಯಂ, ಅಪರಿಗ್ರಹ
ಶೌಚ, ಸಂತೋಷ, ತಪಸ್, ಸ್ವಾಧ್ಯಾಯ, ಭಗವದಾರಾಧನ

||om tat sat ||

ಯೋಗಿನಾಮಪಿ ಸರ್ವೇಷಾಂ ಮದ್ಗತೇನಾನ್ತರಾತ್ಮನಾ |
ಶ್ರದ್ಧವಾನ್ ಭಜತೇ ಯೊ ಮಾಂ ಸ ಮೇ ಯುಕ್ತತಮೋ ಮತಃ ||

"Even among all Yogis he ,who adores Me with his mind fixed on Me and with faith ,is considered by Me to be teh best of Yogis"
॥ಓಮ್ ತತ್ ಸತ್ ॥




|| om tat sat ||