The Blessed Lord said, “anasritah karma-phalam
karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca
na niragnir na cakriyah – He who performs an action which is his duty without depending on the results and fruits of the said action and duty is a monk and a Yogi but not one who does not keep a fire and is actionless. (Here fire is meant to be understood as the intent on the Supreme Goal and understanding of the Reality and Knowledge which is the Fire of Knowledge that helps one destroy all the sins, blemishes and delusion. Actionless here refers to non-performance of one’s rightful duty or avoidance of performance of rightful, obligatory and customary duties and actions.)
yam sannyasam iti prahur
yogam tam viddhi pandava
na hy asannyasta-sankalpo
yogi bhavati kascana – That which is characterized by giving up the fruits and results of actions which the knowers of the Brahman call as monasticism, know that to be Yoga. O Pāndava, for nobody, who has not given up expectations can be a Yogi.
aruruksor muner yogam
karma karanam ucyate
samah karanam ucyate – For the sage who wishes to ascend to Dhyāna Yoga and remain established in that, action is said to be the means. For that person, when he has ascended to Dhyāna Yoga, inaction alone is said to be the means for remaining poised in that state. (Here action refers to engaging in the rightful actions and duties as ordained with the singular firm conviction on the Supreme Goal and to surrender all those actions and fruits and results of said actions to Lord with the help of Knowledge. Inaction refers to a state wherein the Yogi in deep absorption and immersion in the Supreme Self, sees the Self as the Sole Doer and experiences the same and thereby remains unattached to action which is seen as renunciation.)
Verily, when a man who is focussed on the Self has given up thought about everything and has given up all thoughts which are the causes for desire does not become attached with regard to sense-objects and actions, then at that time he is said to be established in Yoga.
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah – One should save oneself by oneself; one should not lower oneself. For oneself is verily one’s own friend; oneself is verily one’s own enemy.
bandhur atmatmanas tasya
anatmanas tu satrutve
vartetatmaiva satru-vat – Of him, by whom has been subdued and conquered his very self by the self, for him his self is the friend of his self. But, for one who has not conquered his self and has no self-control, his self itself acts inimically like an enemy. (Here, what needs to be pondered over, is the meaning of his self. His self refers to “I” or ego or ahamkara as it is explained to be a component of Nature. Oneself as in “I” can become one’s best friend or worst enemy depending on what is ordained for him. So, when oneself or “I” is immersed and absorbed in the Supreme Self with no sense of doership and agentship, that self has indeed become his best friend as it has helped him be steadfast on the contemplation of the Supreme Goal).
tatha manapamanayoh – The Supreme Self of one who has control over the aggregate of his body and organs and who is tranquil becomes manifest. He should be equipoised in the midst of cold and heat, happiness and sorrow as also in honour and dishonour, adoration and despise.
yukta ity ucyate yogi
sama-lostrasma-kancanah – A Yogi, whose mind is satisfied with knowledge and realization and whose mind is contented and unmoved and who has his organs under control, is said to be Self-absorbed. That Yogi treats a lump of earth, a stone and gold equally.
He who is established in Yoga and is a Yogi excels when he has sameness of view with regard to a benefactor, a friend, a foe, a neutral, an arbiter, the hateful, a relative, good people and even sinners.
yogi yunjita satatam
atmanam rahasi sthitah
nirasir aparigrahah – A Yogi should constantly concentrate his mind and be ever-intent on the Self by staying in a solitary place alone with the mind and body controlled without expectations and free from acquisition.
Having firmly established his seat in a clean place that is neither too high nor too low and that is made of cloth, skin and kusa grass placed successively one below the other and sitting on that seat, he should concentrate his mind for the purification of the internal organs by making the mind one-pointed and withdrawing it from all objects and keeping the actions of the mind and the senses under control.
Holding the body, head and neck erect and still, remaining steady, looking at the tip of his own nose and not looking around, he should remain seated with a placid mind, free from fear and firm in the vow of a celibate and with the mind fixed on Me by controlling the mind through concentration with Me as the Supreme Goal.
yunjann evam sadatmanam
mat-samstham adhigacchati – Concentrating the mind thus as mentioned above forever, the Yogi of controlled mind achieves Peace which culminates in Liberation and which abides in Me.
But, O Arjuna, Yoga is not for one who eats too much nor is it for one who does not eat at all; neither is it for one who habitually sleeps too long nor surely for one who keeps awake too long. (Here what is important to remember are the verses from the Fourth Chapter, where Lord has mentioned the importance of engaging in basic action for maintenance of the body.)
yogo bhavati duhkha-ha – Yoga becomes a destroyer of sorrow for one whose eating and movements are regulated and whose efforts in engaging in action is moderate and whose sleep and wakefulness are temperate.
yada viniyatam cittam
yukta ity ucyate tada – A Yogi who has become free from hankering for all desirable objects is then said to be Self-absorbed when the mind is controlled to give up all thought of external objects and is made fully one-pointed in the Self alone. Thus, he gets established in the Self.
yatha dipo nivata-stho
nengate sopama smrta
yunjato yogam atmanah – As a lamp kept in a windless place does not flicker, such is the simile thought of the Yogi and knowers of Yoga whose mind is under control and who is engaged in concentration on the Self.
pasyann atmani tusyati – When the mind is restrained and gets withdrawn through the practice of Yoga, then at that time one remains contented and becomes delighted just by seeing and experiencing the Self by the self.
sukham atyantikam yat tad
vetti yatra na caivayam
sthitas calati tattvatah – When one experiences that absolute Bliss which can be intuited by the intellect and which is beyond the senses, then this person being established in the Self surely does not swerve from that Reality.
yam labdhva caparam labham
manyate nadhikam tatah
yasmin sthito na duhkhena
gurunapi vicalyate – Obtaining that which is Self-attainment, one does not think there is any other acquisition superior to that and being established in that Reality of the Self, one is not perturbed even by great sorrow.
tam vidyad duhkha-samyoga-
sa niscayena yoktavyo
yogo ‘nirvinna-cetasa – One should know that severance of contact with sorrow to be verily Yoga. That Yoga has to be practised with perseverance and with an undepressed heart.
By totally eschewing all desires which arise from thoughts and further restraining all the organs from every side with the mind itself; One should withdraw gradually with the intellect endowed with steadiness. Making the mind fixed in the Self, one should not think of anything whatsoever.
The Yogi who is thus engaged in making the mind established in the Self should bring his mind under subjugation of the Self Itself by restraining it from all those causes whatever they may be due to which the restless unsteady mind wanders away.
prasanta-manasam hy enam
yoginam sukham uttamam
brahma-bhutam akalmasam – Supreme unsurpassable Bliss comes to this Yogi alone whose mind has become perfectly tranquil and whose quality of rajas has been eliminated and who has become identified with Brahman and is taintless.
yunjann evam sadatmanam
atyantam sukham asnute – By constantly concentrating his mind in the process thus stated, the taintless sinless Yogi easily attains absolute Bliss of contact with Brahman.
sarvatra sama-darsanah – One who has his mind Self-absorbed through Yoga and who has the vision of sameness everywhere sees the Self existing in everything and everything in his Self.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati – One who sees Me, who am the Self of all in all beings and sees all things in Me, who am the Self of all – I do not go out of his vision and he also is not lost to My vision.
sarva-bhuta-sthitam yo mam
bhajaty ekatvam asthitah
sarvatha vartamano ‘pi
sa yogi mayi vartate – That Yogi, the man of Realization being established in unity adores Me as existing in all beings and he exists in Me – in whatever condition he may be.
samam pasyati yo ‘rjuna
sukham va yadi va duhkham
sa yogi paramo matah – O Arjuna, he who judges what is happiness and sorrow in all the beings by the same standard as applicable to himself is a Yogi who is considered the best among all the Yogis.”
Arjuna said, “O Madhusudhana, this Yoga that has been spoken of by You as sameness, I do not see and cannot conceive its steady continuance owing to the unsteadiness of the mind.
For, O Krsna, the mind is unsteady, turbulent, strong and obstinate. I consider it greatly difficult to exercise restraint and control over it just like the wind.”
The Blessed Lord said, “O mighty-armed one, undoubtedly the mind is intractable and restless. But, O son of Kunti, it is brought under control through practice and detachment.
dusprapa iti me matih
vasyatmana tu yatata
sakyo ‘vaptum upayatah – My conviction is that Yoga is difficult to be attained by one of uncontrolled mind but, on the other hand, Yoga is possible to be attained by one who strives through the means described above and by one of controlled mind.”
Arjuna said, “O Krsna, failing to achieve perfection in Yoga and Realization, what goal does one attain who though possessed of faith and belief in God is not diligent on the path of Yoga and whose mind gets deviated from Yoga?
O Mighty-armed One, fallen from both the path of action and path of Yoga without support, deluded on the path of Brahman, does he not get ruined like a scattered cloud?
O Krsna, You should totally eradicate this doubt of mine for none other than You can be the dispeller of this doubt.”
The Blessed Lord said, “O Pārtha, there is certainly no ruin for him in this world or hereafter. For no one engaged in good meets with a deplorable end, My son!
Attaining the worlds of the righteous and residing there for eternal years, the man fallen from Yoga is born in the house of the pious and performs actions according to scriptural instructions and born in the house who are prosperous.
atha va yoginam eva
kule bhavati dhimatam
etad dhi durlabhataram
loke janma yad idrsam – Or he is born in the family of wise Yogis only. Such a birth as is of this kind is surely more difficult to get in the world.
tatra tam buddhi-samyogam
yatate ca tato bhuyah
samsiddhau kuru-nandana – There in the family of Yogis, he becomes endowed with that wisdom acquired in the previous body. And, he strives more intensely than in the previous births before for perfection, O scion of the Kuru dynasty.
hriyate hy avaso ‘pi sah
jijnasur api yogasya
sabda-brahmativartate – For by that very past practice, he is carried forward inspite of himself. Even a seeker of Yoga transcends the results of the performance of Vedic rituals.
prayatnad yatamanas tu
tato yati param gatim – However, the man of Knowledge, the Yogi applying himself assiduously, becoming purified from sin and attaining perfection through many births, thereby achieves the Highest Goal.
tapasvibhyo ‘dhiko yogi
jnanibhyo ‘pi mato ‘dhikah
karmibhyas cadhiko yogi
tasmad yogi bhavarjuna – A Yogi is higher than men of austerity; he is considered higher than and superior to even men of Knowledge. The Yogi is greater than the men of action. Therefore, O Arjuna, do become a Yogi.
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah – Even among all the Yogis, he who adores Me with his mind fixed and concentrated on Me and is with faith, he is considered by Me to be the best of the Yogis.”
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