Chapter 6 Dhyana- Yoga: Text 10
yogī yuñjīta satatamātmānaṁ rahasi sthitaḥekākī yata-cittātmānirāśīr aparigrahaḥ
Translation: A transcendentalist should always engage his body, mind and self in relationship with the Supreme; he should live alone in a secluded place and should always carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and feelings of possessiveness.
Before we look in to this verse it is always better to do a quick recap of what all we learned in the previous chapters of Bhagavad Gita.
In the First Chapter – Observing the Armies – Sanjaya is narrating about the war lineup to Dhritarashtra. Arjuna is bewildered in the battled field whether to attain the Kingdom, is it necessary to fight his own kinsmen and expresses his concern to Lord Krishna
In the Second Chapter-Contents of the Gita Summarized here we can see Arjuna surrenders to Lord Krishna because he believes only Krishna can relieve him from this dilemma whether to fight and kill his own kinsmen to attain kingdom or to leave everything and go to the forest and resort to the begging bowl. So Once Arjuna surrendered to Krishna, Krishna is giving the Bhagavat Gita knowledge that we are not this body but spirit souls and soul is eternal. Our body is changing, it is like changing a dress. Also, the Lord teaches him how to be tolerant and tells Arjuna that we should not be attached to our activity nor entitled for the results of our activity.
In the 3rd chapter – Karma Yoga – Arjuna is asking Krishna why do you want to engage me in this warfare if intelligence is better than fruitive action? So, Krishna says everyone is forced to act according to the acquired modes of material nature. Once you do your actions without attachment then it becomes action in Krishna consciousness. We should always perform our prescribed duties. To free from the bondage of material world sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed. The demigods are pleased by such actions. The importance of eating prasadam is mentioned. We should not take doer ship of our actions, but in actuality it is done by three modes of the material nature, but because of false ego, we think we are the doers, so surrender unto Krishna with full knowledge of him will free us from reactions. Then this chapter also talks about the most devouring sinful enemy of this material world which is lust and the senses, the mind & intelligence are the sitting place of this lust. So, regulating senses and controlling mind and intelligence is absolutely necessary. This can be done by spiritual practices which in turn gives us the strength to conquer lust.
4th chapter – Transcendental knowledge. – Lord Krishna gave this knowledge to Sun God (Vivasan) then he gave this knowledge to Manu — then he gave to Ikshahu though disciplic succession. Now Krishna is telling Arjuna since you are my friend, I’m giving you this knowledge. You cannot remember; but I can remember and if one knows the transcendental nature of my appearance, they won’t take birth again; Krishna rewards according to one’s surrender. The Varnasramam system is explained here. Then about Action & Inaction (Karma [fruitive action] – Akarma [ inaction] – Vikarma [forbidden action]). How different categories of people do sacrifices in different ways. Importance of having a Guru is mentioned here telling we have to learn the truth by having a guru because only He can impart the real knowledge;
5th chapter – Karma Yoga – Action in Krishna Consciousness – Arjuna is asking Krishna which is better Renunciation or work with devotion? Krishna say both are ok, but devotional service is better for this age. Devotional Service is faster. Soul does not create activities but 3 modes of material nature do. When intelligence, mind etc. are fixed in Supreme, then ignorance is gone. The sage sees Krishna everywhere – means talking about equanimity. Then Krishna talks about who are assured of liberation – how it can be done. One method is through Ashtanga yoga. A person who fully knows Krishna as the ultimate benefactor of all sacrifices and they attain peace. (Bhoktaram yajna tapasam verse.)
6th Chapter — Dhyana Yoga. – Lord Krishna talks about the next possible way to achieve liberation. Dhyana Yoga, which is the Ashtanga yoga. The technique here is to control mind and senses, which is very difficult in the Kali Yuga. So, the Lord suggests doing Karma Yoga, which is action in Krishna Consciousness is better.
From Text 1 of chapter 6 Dhyana yoga till Text 9 this is what we learned our mind is the driver. The body is the chariot or car. The driver’s business is to drive you wherever you like. If you fix mind on Krishna you have perfect control. For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends, because the Super soul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. Happiness, distress, Heat, cold, honor, dishonor are all the same. A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a Yogī [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything – whether it be pebbles, stones or gold – as the same. Again, it is said a person is considered still further advanced when he regards honest well-wishers, affectionate benefactors, the neutral, mediators, the envious, friends and enemies, the pious and the sinners all with an equal mind”
Now coming back to the Verse 6.10. From texts 10-32, Krishna describes the practices of Astanga-yoga, first in the perfected stage and then in the beginning stage. It is said that a transcendentalist should always engage his body, mind and self in relationship with the Supreme; he should live alone in a secluded place and should always carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and feelings of possessiveness. What is discussed so far is the Yogārūḍha stage, Kṛṣṇa now explains how to practice yoga. One must be nirāśī, which means completely free of material desires and possessiveness. He must also be ekākī, alone, in a secluded place, rahasi. He should not even be accompanied by disciples. This is the perfect Dhyana yoga. But this will be possible in Satya Yuga.
The concept of Yoga in this material world is to be fit, healthy and all. But that is not the main purpose of Yoga. Of course, we have to be fit and healthy but the concept of yoga is beyond that. Dhyana Yoga mainly talks about Ashtanga Yoga. Krishna teaches is what is the right way of doing yoga. In this Kaliyuga there are lots of disturbances, anxiety’s, tensions etc. because our standards of living have changed, doing things in the right way has changed so in this condition it is very difficult to practice Dhyana Yoga like how the Yogis did in Satya yuga by controlling the mind and concentrating on the Paramatma within. So, Krishna and Srila Prabhupada are recommending doing Karma yoga instead of Dhyana Yoga with emphasize on Bhakti, which is the topmost yoga practice. The direct practice of bhakti automatically fulfills the rigorous requirements of aṣṭāṅga-yoga:
Srila Prabupada explains that Kṛṣṇa is realized in different degrees as Brahman (effulgence coming from Krishna), Paramātmā (Super soul within our heart) and the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan). This can be explained by an example. When we see a mountain from far away how do we describe it to someone , it will be like this the mountain looks dark or greenish in color, the terrain will be going up and down, we can see the sun light hitting on top of the mountain, this means you can see the mountain with some features. But when we go little closer to the mountain, then we can see little more clearly or in details the different varieties of trees and plants, some are pretty green others come in variety of colors, the birds, animals, some area there will not be any trees etc.
So, from this example we can see that in each stage we are all learning the same thing about Krishna or God. The first stage is the Brahma Jyothi the effulgence coming from Krishna. The impersonalist are attracted to this feature. They don’t believe god as a person and they are happy with that. But a person who have realized the Paramatma within their heart, feel the guidance or the voice of Krishna within his heart although he remains superficially alone, he knows that “Wherever I go, my Paramātmā friend, who is sitting with me on my heart, is with me. So, I have nothing to fear. So, he is a Jnani. In Bhagavan realization sage we are with Krishna in spiritual world and sees Krishna himself as person. We will know all the fine details what does Krishna wants, how can we serve him. This is what Bakthi yoga teaches us how can we reach that stage and be with Krishna in Vaikuntha Loka. Nevertheless, all of these are instructed here with to be constantly engaged in their particular pursuits so that they may come to the highest perfection sooner or later. All these perfections and precautions are perfectly executed when one is directly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because direct Kṛṣṇa consciousness means self-abnegation, wherein there is very little chance for material possessiveness. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person well knows that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, and thus he is always free from feelings of personal possession and stays aloof from material things, he will be in a transcendental position and have nothing to do with persons not in Krishna consciousness and rejects things unfavorable to Krishna consciousness. In each stage of acquiring knowledge from Brahman realization till Paramatma realization he will be in a blissful stage. Therefore, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the perfect yogī.
Srila Prabupada says Krishna consciousness means, concisely, to be always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. But those who are attached to the impersonal Brahman or the localized Super soul are also partially Kṛṣṇa conscious, because impersonal Brahman is the spiritual ray of Kṛṣṇa and Super soul is the all-pervading partial expansion of Kṛṣṇa. Thus, the impersonalist and the meditator are also indirectly Kṛṣṇa conscious. A directly Kṛṣṇa conscious person is the topmost transcendentalist because such a devotee knows what is meant by Brahman and Paramātmā. His knowledge of the Absolute Truth is perfect, whereas the impersonalist and the meditative yogī are imperfectly Kṛṣṇa conscious.