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CHAPTER 6 - Dhyana Yoga
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:57:14 PM »
Dhyana-Yoga is incompatible with works

At the close of the next preceding Discourse, Dhyana -Yoga - Yoga by meditation, - which is the proximate means to right knowledge has been taught in a few aphoristic verses (v. 27 - 29). Here commences the Sixth Discourse which occupies the position of a commentary thereon. Now, action, (karma) is an external aid to Dhyana-Yoga; and a grihastha, (householder) on whom action is enjoined, should perform it till he is able to attain to Dhyana - yoga; and bearing this in mind, the Lord extols action in vi.1.
 
Objection: Now, since action which is enjoined should be performed throughout life, what is the meaning of the limitation, ‘till he is able to attain to Dhyana-Yoga’?
Answer: This objection does not apply here, because of the specification that, ‘for the sage who wishes to attain to Yoga, action is the means’(vi. 3); and because it is also said that he who has attained Yoga has only to resort to renunciation (sama). If it were meant that each of them - he who wishes to attain to Yoga as well as he who has attained to Yoga - should resort to both action and renunciation, then it would be useless to specify that action and renunciation are respectively intended for him who wishes to attain Yoga and for him who has attained Yoga, or to divide them into two distinct classes.
The opponent: - Among religious devotees (asramins - grihasthas), one class comprises persons who wish to attain Yoga, another class comprises persons who have already attained Yoga, while the rest are those who neither wish to attain Yoga nor have attained Yoga; and it is but right that the first two classes should be specified and shown separately as distinguished from the third.
Answer: No; the words 'for the same devotee (in vi. 3) and the repetition of ‘yoga’ in the clause ‘when he has attained to Yoga’ imply this, that the same person who at first wished to attain to Yoga has only to renounce action when he has attained Yoga, this renunciation leading to the fruition of Yoga. Thus, no action forms a necessary duty throughout life. Failures in Yoga are also spoken of here (vi. 37, 38). If in the Sixth Discourse, Yoga were meant for a grihastha, then there could be no occasion for the supposition of his ruin, inasmuch as he, though a failure in Yoga, may obtain the fruit of Karma.
An action done, whether interested (kamya), or obligatory and disinterested (nitya), must produce its effect; - (it cannot of course produce) moksha, which, being eternal, cannot be produced by an action. We have also said that the obligatory duty (nitya-karma), as taught by so great an authority as the Veda, must produce a result of its own, since, otherwise, the Veda would serve no purpose. Neither would it be proper to speak of agnhastha as a failure in both ways; for he would still perform Karma and there would, therefore, be no occasion for a failure therein.
The opponent: - The Karma which has been done has been offered to the Lord; wherefore, such Karma can bring in no result to the author.
Answer: No for, the offering of Karma to the Lord must lead to still greater results.
The opponent: It leads only to moksha. - The offering of all actions to the Lord, when conjoined with Yoga, leads to moksha and to no other result; but, since he has failed in Yoga, it is but right to suppose that such a man will be ruined.
Answer: No; for, the verses vi. 10,14, enjoin renunciation of action. It is not possible to think of any kind of wife's aid at the time of Dhyana; if it were possible, then it might be argued that loneliness is enjoined (vi. 10) with a view to prohibit that aid. And what is taught in vi. 10 - "without desire, without property" - is not compatible with the life of a gnhastha. The question (vi. 38), too, regarding him who may prove a failure in both ways would not arise.
The opponent: In vi. 1, a man of action (Karmin) is said to be both a Samnyasin and a Yogi, and it is further said that he who does no action or keeps no fire cannot be a Yogi or a Samnyasin.
Answer: - No; vi. 1, merely extols the abandonment of attachment for results of actions, performance of which forms an external aid (bahiranga) to Dhyana-Yoga, (i.e.which leads one to Dhyana-Yoga in due course). - It is not he alone who is without fire and without action that is both a Samnyasin and a Yogi, but also one devoted to action, who, abandoning attachment for the results of actions, performs them for the purification of the mind (sattvasuddhi). Thus by way of praise the latter is said to be a Samnyasin and a Yogi. It is, moreover, not proper to hold that one and the same proposition, both praises the abandonment of attachment for results of actions and forbids the fourth order. Further, the Lord cannot contradict the sruti, the smriti, the Puranas, the Itihasa and the Yoga - sastras, which clearly teach that a man who is without fire and without action - i.e. who is literally a samnyasin - is a Samnyasin and a Yogi. To forbid the fourth order would contradict what the Lord Himself teaches in iv. 13, xii. 16, 19, ii. 71. Therefore, for the sage who wishes to attain Yoga and has already entered on the career of a grihastha, action (such as the Agnihotra) performed without a desire for its fruit becomes, by way of purifying the mind, a means to Dhyana-Yoga. On this ground he is said to be a Samnyasin and a Yogi by way of praise.

Renunciation in action

The Blessed Lord said:
1. He who, without depending on the fruits of action, performs his bounden duty, he is a Samnyasin and a Yogi: not he who is without fire and without action.
He who desires the fruits of actions is dependent thereon; but different from him is the man in question; he is not dependent on the fruits of actions. He who is thus free from a desire for the fruits of actions and performs action, such as the Agnihotra or fire - sacrifice as a bounden duty (nitya-karma), not as a kamya-karma or action done with a motive, as a means of attaining some immediate specific end in view, he who performs actions thus is superior to those who perform actions in a different spirit. With a view to impress this truth, the Lord says that he is a Samnyasin and a Yogi. He should be regarded as possessing both the attributes, the attributes of renunciation (samnyasa) and steadfastness of mind (Yoga). Not he alone should be regarded as a samnyasin and a Yogi who is without fire and without action, who neither lights sacrificial fires nor engages in other actions, such as austerities and the like which require no help of sacrificial fires.

Objection: - In the sruti, in the smriti, and in the yogasastras, it is plainly taught that a Sanmyasin or a Yogi is one who is without fire and without action. How is it that the Lord teaches here a strange doctrine that he who lights fire and performs actions is a Samnyasin and a Yogi?
Answer: This is not to be regarded as a fault; for, it is intended to represent a devotee to action as a Samnyasin and a Yogi in a secondary sense of the two terms. He is regarded as a Samnyasin because of his renunciation of the thoughts concerning the fruits of action; and he is regarded as a Yogi because he performs action as a means of attaining to Yoga or because he abandons thoughts concerning the fruits of actions as causing unsteadiness of mind. Thus, it is only in a secondary sense that the two terms are applied to him. It is not, on the other hand, meant that he is in reality a Samnyasin and a Yogi. The Lord, accordingly, says:

2. Do thou, O Pandava, know Yoga to be that which they call renunciation; no one, verily, becomes a Yogi who has not renounced thoughts.
Do thou understand that the Yoga, which consists in performance of action, is that which those who are versed in the sruti and the smnti declare to be Samnyasa, the true renunciation which consists in the abandonment of all action as well as its fruit.

Question: On what point of similarity between Karma-Yoga which consists in the performance of action (pravritti) and the pure Samnyasa which consists in abstaining from action (nivritti) is the representation of identity of the former with the latter based?
Answer: - There is of course a certain amount of similarity between Karma-Yoga and pure samnyasa so far as the agent is concerned. For, he who is a pure Samnyasin, who has renounced all actions as well as their accessories, abandons thoughts (samkalpa) concerning all actions and their fruits, - those thoughts causing the desires which impel one to action. A follower of Karma-Yoga, too, renounces thoughts of results, while he performs actions.
This the Lord teaches in the following words: No devotee to action who has not given up the thought of reward can be a Yogi, a man of steadfastness; for, the thought of reward causes unsteadiness of mind. That is to say, that devotee to action who has given up all thoughts of reward will become a Yogi, a man of steadfastness, a steady-minded man, inasmuch as all thought of reward which is the cause of unsteadiness has been given up.

Action is a stepping-stone to Dhyana-Yoga
Thus, having regard to the likeness between pure Samnyasa and Karma-Yoga in so far as the devotee in either case renounces (the thoughts concerning the. fruit of action), Karma-Yoga has been represented in vi. 2. As Samnyasa with a view to extol it. And the Lord extols it because the Karma-Yoga, practiced without regard to the fruit of action, forms an external aid (bahiranga) to Dhyana-Yoga, i.e. leads the devotee to Dhyana -Yoga (in due course). He now proceeds to show how Karma-Yoga is a means to Dhyana-Yoga.

3. For a devotee who wishes to attain to Yoga, action is said to be the means. For the same (devotee), when he has attained to Yoga, quiescence (sama) is said to be the means.
For a devotee (muni) who has given up the fruit of action, and who wishes to attain to Yoga, - i.e. who has not already risen to it, who is unable to remain steady in Dhyana-Yoga, - action (karma) is said to be the means of attaining his end. For the same devotee, on the other hand, when he has attained to Yoga, quiescence - i.e., the abstaining from all action - is said to be the means (of attaining his end). The more thoroughly does he abstain from action, the more free he is from trouble, the more the senses are controlled, and the more steadfast his mind remains. Then he becomes a Yogarudha, one who has attained to Yoga. Accordingly, it is said in the Mahabharata: "For a Brahmana there is no wealth equal to this, viz., (knowledge of) oneness and homogeneity (of Brahman in all creatures), truthfulness, character, steadiness, harmlessness, straightforwardness, and renunciation of the several actions." - (Santiparva, 175 - 38).

Who is a Yogi?
When is a man said to be a Yogarudha, to have attained to Yoga? The answer follows:

4. When a man, renouncing all thoughts, is not attached to sense-objects and actions, then he is said to have attained to Yoga.
When a Yogi, keeping the mind steadfast, feels no attachment for the objects of the senses such as sound, nor thinks that he has to do any action, whether nitya (obligatory) or vaimittika (obligatory and incidental) or kamya (done with a motive) or pratishiddha (forbidden by law), regarding it as of no use to him; and when he has learned to habitually renounce all thoughts which give rise to desires for objects of this world and of the next, then he is said to have become a Yogarudha, to be one who has attained to Yoga. - The words "renouncing all thoughts" imply that all desires as well as all actions should be renounced.
For, all desires spring from thoughts, as the smriti says: "Verily desire springs from thought (sankalpa), and of thought yajnas are born." - (Manu ii. 2). "O Desire, I know where thy root lies. Thou art born of thought. I shall not think of thee, and thou shalt cease to exist as well as thy root," - (Mahabharata, Santiparva, 177 - 25). On the abandonment of all desires, the abandonment of all actions necessarily follows, as passages in the sruti like the following show: “Whatever forms the object of desire, that he wills; and whatever he wills, that he acts." - (Bri. Up. 4 - 4 - 5). Reasoning also leads to the same conclusion. For, on surrendering all thoughts, one cannot move at all. Wherefore, by saying that the aspirant should renounce all thoughts, the Lord implies that he should abandon all desires and all actions as well. When a man has attained to Yoga, then the self is raised by the self from out of the numerous evils of samsara. Therefore,

5. Let a man raise himself by himself, let him not lower himself; for, he alone is the friend of himself, he alone is the enemy of himself.
 Let a man lift up himself who is drowned in the ocean of samsara,i.e. let him so train himself as to become a Yogarudha, let him practice and attain to Yoga. Let him not lower himself; for, he alone is the friend of himself. There is indeed no other friend that can lead to liberation from samsara; nay, the so-called friend is only inimical to him who seeks liberation, as the former forms an object of affection, which is the cause of bondage. Hence the emphasis ‘he alone is the friend of himself.’ And he alone is the enemy of himself. The other enemy who is outside is made an enemy, only by himself. Hence the emphasis ‘he alone is the enemy of himself.' It has been said that "he alone is the friend of himself, he alone is the enemy of himself." Now it may be asked, what sort of a man is the friend of himself and what sort of a man is the enemy of himself? - The answer follows:

6. To him who has conquered himself by himself, his own self is the friend of himself, but, to him who has not (conquered) himself, his own self stands in the place of an enemy like the (external) foe.
His self is the friend of himself who is self-controlled, who has brought under control the aggregate of the body and the senses. But in the case of a man who is not self-controlled, his own self does injury to himself, just as any external foe may do injury to him.

7. The self-controlled and serene man's Supreme Self is steadfast in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, as also in honor and disgrace.
When a man has subdued the aggregate of the body and the senses, when his mind(antahkarana) is tranquil, when he has renounced all actions, then the Supreme Self actually becomes his own Self.

8. The Yogi whose self is satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, who remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, he is said to be a saint, for whom a lump of earth, a stone and gold are equal.
When the Yogi is satisfied with knowledge (jnana) of things as taught in the scriptures, and with wisdom (vijnana), i.e., with the realisation (in his own experience) of the things so taught, then he is said to be saint (yukta), he is said to have attained samadhi or steadfastness of mind. Moreover,

9. He is esteemed, who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends, foes, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, relatives, the righteous, and the unrighteous.
He is esteemed: He is the best among the Yogarudhas, among those who have attained to Yoga. (There is also another reading which means ‘he is liberated.’ Who is of the same mind: who thinks not of a man as to what he is or what he does. A ‘good-hearted’ man does good to another without expecting any service in return: an ‘indifferent’ man is one who is partial to neither of two contending sides; a ’neutral’ man is one who means well by both the contending sides. The righteous are those who follow the Sastras, and the unrighteous are those who resort to forbidden acts.

Directions for the practice of Yoga
Wherefore, to attain the highest results,

10. Let the Yogi try constantly to keep the mind steady, remaining in seclusion, alone, with the mind and body controlled, free from desire, and having no possessions.
Yogi: he who meditates. In seclusion; in a mountain-cave, or the like. The words ‘in seclusion’ and ‘alone’ evidently show that he should resort to renunciation (samnyasa). Not only should he renounce the world when he practices Yoga, but he should also abandon all possessions.
Now, in the sequel, the Lord proceeds to prescribe for him who practices Yoga particular modes of sitting, eating, recreation and the like as aids to Yoga, as also to define the characteristic marks of the man who has attained Yoga, and to describe the effects of Yoga and other particulars in connection with it. First of all. He prescribes a particular mode of sitting as follows:

11. Having in a cleanly spot established a firm seat, neither too high nor too low, with cloth, skin, and kusa grass thereon.
Cleanly: either naturally so, or made so by artificial improvements. Cloth, etc., should be spread on the seat in the reverse order of their enumeration here. What should be done after establishing the seat?

12. Making the mind one-pointed, with the actions of the mind and the senses controlled, let him, seated there on the seat, practice Yoga for the purification of the self.
He should withdraw the mind from all sense-objects before concentrating it. The self: the antah-karana., the inner sense, the mind. The external seat has been described. Now, what should be the posture of the body? Listen:

13. Holding erect and still the body, head, and neck, firm, gazing on the tip of his nose, without looking around.
An erect body may be in motion; hence the qualification ‘still.’ He is to gaze as it were on the tip of his nose Here we have to understand the words 'as it were'; for, the Lord means to prescribe, not the very act of ‘gazing on the tip of his nose’, but the fixing of the eye-sight within (by withdrawing it from external objects); and this, of course, depends on the steadiness of mind, if, on the other hand, the very act of ‘gazing on the tip of his nose’ were meant here, then the mind would be fixed only there, not on the Self.
As a matter of fact, the Yogi is to concentrate his mind on the Self, as will be taught in vi. 25, ‘Making the mind dwell in the Self.’ Wherefore the words ‘as it were’ being understood, ‘gazing’ means here ‘the fixing of the eye-sight within.’ Moreover,

14. Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of godly life, having restrained the mind, thinking on Me, and balanced, let him sit, looking up to Me as the Supreme.
The vow of a godly life (Brahmachari-vrata) consists in doing service to the Guru, in eating of the food obtained by begging, etc. He should strictly observe the vows of godly life. He should also restrain the mind, i.e., repress its modifications. He should ever think of Me, the Paramesvara, the Supreme Lord.
He should also regard Me as the Supreme. A lover may always think of a woman, but he never regards her as supreme. He regards either his sovereign, or Mahadeva (the Great God), as the case may be, as the Supreme. The Yogi, on the other hand, ever thinks of Me, and also regards Me as the Supreme Being. Now the fruit of Yoga is described as follows:

15. Thus always keeping the mind balanced, the Yogi, with the mind controlled, attains to the Peace abiding in Me, which culminates in moksha.
Thus: in the manner prescribed above. Here follow regulations as regards a Yogi’s food, etc.

16. Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who is addicted to too much sleep, nor for him who is (ever) wakeful, O Arjuna.
Eats too much: eats more food than what is suited to him. The sruti says: "Whatever food is suited to oneself, that protects; it injures not. A greater quantity injures and a smaller quantity protects not." - (Satapatha - Brahmana). The Yogi should therefore eat neither more nor less than what is suitable for him. Or it may mean this: Yoga is not possible for him who eats more than the quantity prescribed for a Yogi in the Yogasastra. The quantity of food is thus prescribed: "Half (the stomach) for food and condiments, the third ((quarter) for water, and the fourth should be reserved for free motion of air." How then can Yoga be achieved? The answer follows:

17. To him whose food and recreation are moderate, whose exertion in actions is moderate, whose sleep and waking are moderate, to him accrues Yoga which is destructive of pain.
To him who resorts to food and recreation (such as walking) within prescribed limits, and who sleeps and who wakes up at the prescribed hours, to him accrues Yoga which is destructive of the misery of samsara.

Consummation
When does he become a saint (Yukta)? The answer follows:

18. When the well - restrained thought is established in the Self only, without longing for any of the objects of desire, then he is said to be a Saint.
Well-restrained: which attained to one-pointedness or concentration. In the Self only: having abandoned all thoughts of external objects, the thinking principle (chitta) remains steadily in the Self. Objects of desire: seen or unseen. The simple of such a Yogi’s steadfast mind is described below:

19. ‘As a lamp in a sheltered spot does not flicker,’- this has been thought as the simile of a Yogi of subdued thought, practicing Yoga in the Self.
This simile has been thought out by those versed in Yoga, by those who know the ways of the thinking principle. Having thus, by virtue of the practice of Yoga, become one-pointed (fit for concentration), like a lamp sheltered from the wind,

20. When thought is quiescent, restrained by the practice of Yoga; when, seeing the Self by the self, he is satisfied in his own Self.
When the mind is restrained from all quarters by practice of Yoga, the Yogi sees the Self - the Supreme Intelligence (chaitanya) and the All-resplendent Light - by self (the Antahkarana, the inner sense), by the mind which has been purified by samadhi, and attains satisfaction in the Self. And:

21. When he knows that Infinite Joy which, transcending the senses, can be grasped by reason; when, steady (in the Self), he moves never from the Reality.
He: the wise man. That joy can be grasped by reason (buddhi), independently of the senses. It lies beyond the ken of the senses; it is not produced by sense-objects. And:

22. When having obtained it, he thinks no other acquisition superior to it: when therein established, he is not moved even by a great pain.
It: the gain of the Self. Therein: in the real Self. Pain: such as may be caused by a sword - cut, etc. This Yoga, - this peculiar state of the Self which has been described in so many of its attributes in the verses beginning with vi. 20:

23. This severance from union with pain, be it known, is called union (Yoga). That Yoga must be practiced with determination and with undepressed heart.
Severance from union with pain is called Yoga (which means union) by a sort of irony. Having thus concluded speaking of the effect of Yoga, the Lord again refers to the necessity of it, with a view to show that determination and non-depression (self-reliance) are necessary means to Yoga. That Yoga: the Yoga which can produce the results described above.

Further directions concerning the practice of Yoga

24. Abandoning without reserve all fancy-born desires, well-restraining all the senses from all quarters by the mind.
 By the mind: endued with discrimination.

25. Little by little let him withdraw, by reason (buddhi) held in firmness; keeping the mind established in the Self, let him not think of anything.
He should make the mind constantly abide in the Self, bearing in mind that the Self is all and that nothing else exists. This is the highest form of Yoga. Now, as to the Yogi who thus strives to make the mind abide in the Self,

26. By whatever cause the wavering and unsteady mind wanders away, from that let him restrain it and bring it back direct under the control of the Self. Sound and other objects are the causes which make the, mind wander away. It is a natural weakness of the mind to be thus led away by sense-objects. By convincing oneself of the illusoriness of sense-objects through an investigation into their real nature, and by cultivating indifference to worldly objects, the mind can be restrained from sense objects and brought back to the Self wherein to abide firmly. In virtue of this practice of Yoga, the Yogi’s mind attains peace in the Self.

The effect of Dhyana-Yoga

27. Supreme Bliss verily comes to this Yogi, whose mind is quite tranquil, whose passion is quieted, who has become Brahman, who is blemishless.
 Whose passion, etc., in whom all passion, including attachment and other causes of pain, has disappeared; who has become a Jivan-mukta (a man whose soul is liberated while still alive), convinced that all is Brahman; who has no blemish whatsoever, who is not affected by dharma and a-dharma.

28. Thus always keeping the self-steadfast, the Yogi, freed from sins, attains with ease to the infinite bliss of contact with the (Supreme) Brahman.
Always: unimpeded by any of the obstacles to Yoga. Now will be described the effect of Yoga, the perception of oneness with Brahman, which leads to the cessation of all samsara:

29. The Self abiding in all beings, and all beings (abiding) in the Self, sees he whose self has been made steadfast by Yoga, who everywhere sees the same.
He sees all beings - from Brahma, the Creator, down to a clump of grass - as one with the Self; and in all the different beings - from Brahma, the Creator, down to inanimate objects - he sees the same; i.e., he sees that the Self and Brahman (the Absolute) are one. Now will be described the effect of this perception of the unity of the Self:

30. He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, to him I vanish not, nor to Me does he vanish.
He who sees Me, Vasudeva, the Self of all, in all beings, and who sees Brahma, the Creator, and all other beings, in Me, the Self of all; - when he has thus seen the unity of the Self, I - who am the Isvara - never leave his presence, nor does that wise man leave My presence; for his Self and Mine are one, and one's own Self cannot but be manifest to oneself. Now, referring to the knowledge imparted in the preceding verse - namely that ‘I Myself, the Self of all, am the seer of the unity of Self,’ - the Lord will speak of moksha as the effect of that knowledge:

31. Whoso, intent on unity, worships Me who abide in all beings, that Yogi dwells in Me, whatever his mode of life.
This man of right knowledge dwells in Me, in the supreme state, in the state of Vishnu; he is ever liberated; nothing obstructs his path to moksha. Moreover,

32. Whoso, by comparison with himself, sees the same everywhere, O Arjuna, be it pleasure or pain, he is deemed the highest Yogi.
 He sees that whatever is pleasant to himself is pleasant to all creatures, and that whatever is painful to himself is painful to all beings. Thus seeing that what is pleasure or pain to himself is alike pleasure or pain to all beings, he causes pain to no being; he is harmless. Doing no harm, and devoted to right knowledge, he is regarded as the highest among all Yogis.

Practice and Indifference are the surest means to Yoga
Seeing that the Yoga above described, the Yoga of right knowledge is very difficult of attainment, Arjuna wished to know the surest means of attaining it, and said:

Arjuna said:
33. This Yoga in equanimity, taught by Thee, O Destroyer of Madhu, I see not its steady continuance, because of the restlessness (of the mind).
This is a well-known fact:

34. The mind verily, is, O Krishna, restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate. Thereof the restraint I deem quite as difficult as that of the wind.
‘Krishna’ is derived from ‘krish’ to scrape. Krishna is so called because He scrapes or draws away all sins and other causes of evil from His devotees.
Not only is the mind restless, but also turbulent: it agitates the body and the senses and makes them subject to foreign influences. It is not possible to restrain it by any means, as it is quite irrepressible. It is as impossible to cut it as to cut the tantunaga, the Varuna-pasa, a kind of shark. To restrain the mind of such a nature is even more difficult than to restrain the wind. The Lord says: So it is, as you say:

The Blessed Lord said:
35. Doubtless, O mighty - armed, the mind is hard to restrain and restless; but by practice, O son of Kunti, and by indifference it may be restrained.
‘Practice’ consists in constantly repeating the same idea or thought regarding some one object of thought. ‘Indifference’ means freedom from desire for any pleasures seen or unseen, attained through a constant perception of evil in them. It is by practice and indifference that vikshepa, the passage of thought in the direction of external objects, can be restrained. - It is thus that the mind is restrained. But as regards him who is not self-controlled:

36. Yoga, methinks, is hard to attain for a man of uncontrolled self; but by him who (often) strives, self-controlled, it can be acquired by (proper) means.
Uncontrolled self: the antah-karana not controlled by means of constant practice and by indifference to worldly gain. Self-controlled: who has subdued the mind.

Failures in Yoga and the after-career
On engaging in the practice of Yoga, all works which are the means of attaining success in this world and in the other world have been renounced, while the right knowledge, which is the result of perfection in Yoga and which is the means to moksha, has not yet been attained; and the Yogi’s mind strays away from the path of Yoga at the time of death. Arjuna thought that such a man would meet destruction and therefore asked:

Arjuna said:
37. He who strives not, but who is possessed of faith, whose mind wanders away from Yoga, having failed to attain perfection in Yoga, what end, O Krishna, does he meet?
He has faith in the efficacy of Yoga but does not strive in the path of Yoga; and during the last moments of life his mind wanders away from Yoga, with memory lost. Having failed to attain the fruition of Yoga - namely, right knowledge - what end does such a man meet?

38. Having failed in both, does he not perish like a riven cloud, supportless, O mighty-armed, and perplexed in the path to Brahman?
Both: the path of Karma and the path of Yoga. The path to Brahman: the path by which Brahman can be reached.

39. This doubt of mine, O Krishna, do Thou dispel completely; for none other than Thyself can possibly destroy this doubt.
None other: be he a Rishi or a Deva. Thou alone canst destroy this doubt.

The Blessed Lord said:
40. O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction for him; none, verily, who does good. My son, ever comes to grief.
He who has failed in Yoga will not be subject to a lower birth than the present one either here or hereafter. My son. ‘Tata’ in Sanskrit means ‘father’ because the father propagates himself in the form of his son. Since thus the father himself is the son, the son also is called tata. Even a disciple though not a son, is addressed as son because he is like a son. What, then, will happen to him?

41. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous, and having dwelt there for eternal years, he who failed in Yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and wealthy.
This is said, as the context shows, of a samnyasin engaged in the path of (Dhyana) Yoga. The righteous: those who worship by the asva-medha or horse-sacrifice, etc., Having completely enjoyed the pleasure (he is entitled to) in such a world, he is reborn in a house of the pure and wealthy. The pure: acting according to the prescribed rules.

42. Else, he is born in a family of wise Yogis only. This, verily, a birth like this, is very hard to obtain in this world.
Or else he is born in quite a different family, that of poor wise Yogis. A birth in a family of this sort, in a family of poor Yogis, is more difficult to obtain than the one mentioned above. And for the following reason:

43. There he gains touch with the knowledge that was acquired in the former body and strives more than before for perfection, O son of the Kurus.
More than before: with greater vigor than that with which he strove in the former birth.

44. By that very former practice is he borne on, though unwilling. Even he who merely wishes to know of Yoga rises superior to the Word-Brahman.
The man who failed in Yoga is borne on towards perfection by the force of the practice of the former birth. If he had done no unrighteous deed (a-dharma) which could overpower the tendency caused by the practice of Yoga, then, certainly, the tendency of Yoga prevails. If adharma be stronger, then, even the tendency born of Yoga is certainly overpowered by adharma. But on the exhaustion of adharma the tendency caused by Yoga begins to produce its effects: that is to say, it is not liable to destruction though it may have long been in abeyance. Thus he - i.e., as the context shows, a samnyasin who has failed in Yoga - who works in the path of Yoga, only wishing to know its nature, even he will free himself from tlie Word-Brahman (Sabda-Brahman), from the effects of the observance of Vedic Karma: what need is there to say that he who knows Yoga and practices it in steady devotion will be free from its effects?

The best of the Yogis
And why is the life of a Yogi preferable?

45. Verily, a Yogi who strives with assiduity, purified from sins and perfected in the course of many births, then reaches the Supreme Goal.
 In the course of many births he acquires facility in Yoga little by little, and by the aggregate facility thus acquired in many births he is perfected. Then he obtains right knowledge and reaches the Supreme goal. Therefore,

46. A Yogi is deemed superior to men of austerity, and superior to even men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action; therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna.
Knowledge: of the teachings of the sastra. Action: such as Agnihotra, worship of the sacred fire.

47. Of all Yogis, whoso, full of faith, worships Me with his inner self abiding in Me, he is deemed by Me as most devout.
Yogis: those who meditate upon Rudra, Aditya, etc. The inner self abiding in Me: The antahkarana kept steadfast in Me, Vasudeva.

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