Monday, July 30, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 3

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

Prakriti - Low and High - 1-7
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 3
Krishna leaving for Mathura
Manushyanam sahasreshu Kahachid yatati sidhaye I
Yatatam api siddhanam kahachin mam vetti tattvatah II sloka 3
मनुष्याणां  सहस्रेषु कश्चिद् यत् अति सिद्धये   ।
यततां अपि सिद्धानां कस्चिन माम वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ।। श्लोक ३

Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection, and of those who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in truth.

The original word for perfection is siddhi, which is a comprehensive term connoting quite a number of meanings all pregnant with great ideas. Fulfilment, accomplishment, complete attainment, success, the hitting  of a mark, healing of a disease, coming into force, vailidity, payment, indisputable conclusion, solution of a problem, maturity, preparation, cooking, prosperity, good luck, bliss and beatitude, complete sanctification, final emancipation, the acquisition of supernatural yogic powers - all these and more are indicated by this one wrd - siddhi. It maybe noted that people are all striving  for the achievement of the one or the other of these features. Among them he who aspires for the attainment of the divinity, stands supreme according to the Lord. 
The higher the ideal, the harder is the achievement of it. Pitfalls are too many in the path to divine perfection. Competency for It is rarely found among men. The right attitude, the right understanding, the right adjustment, the right application - these are the fourfold indispensable virtues that lead the aspirant to divinity. Men who are fully equipped with all these divine qualities are rare indeed. 

The devotees who enter the temple,  cannot go out of it without receiving some consecrated food. Some get it immediately while the others have to wait long before being blessed with  it. But nobody is denied the privilege of obtaining it. Similarly mukti is assured for all. Some get it in this birth. Others have to access it after 2-3 births, while yet others have to wait and go through countless births before becoming competent for emancipation. But all are destined for mukti some time or the other. 
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

It is the knowledge of God that makes man fit for mukti. But God- knowledge is rather vague and abstruse for the ordinary man. He has therefore to be put in the path that is discernable to him. Proceeding from the known to the unknown is natural for him. The process is explained in the following sloka

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 2

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

Prakriti - Low and High - 1-7

1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 2

Gyanam teham savigyanam idam vakshyami asheshatah I 
Yat gyatva neha bhuyah anyat gyatvyam avashishyate II sloka 2
ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानं इदं वiक्ष्यामि अशेषतः ।
यत् ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयः अनयत् ज्ञातव्यं अवशिष्यते ।। श्लोक २

I shall teach you in full this knowledge combined with realization, which being known, nothing more here remains to be known.

Whatever is 
comprehended with the aid of the senses, mind and intellect is jnana or knowledge. And vijnana is the direct grasp of the reality, come through self-discipline. The former is mediate and latter is immediate. The one is derived through sight and the other through insight. Tuition is needed for the one and intuition for the other. The former is proksha jnanam and the latter  is aproksha jnanamEndowed with both of these, the aspirant gets to know Brahman or truth in its entirety.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 1

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

Prakriti - Low and High - 1-7

1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 1

Shri Bhagavan Uvacha

Mayyi asakta manah partha yogam yunjan madashrayah I

Asam shayam samgram mam yatha gyansyasi tat shrunu II sloka 1

श्री भगवान उवाच

मय्यि असक्त मनः पार्थ योगं युञ्जान मदाश्रयः ।
आसं शयं संग्राम माम यथा ग्यन्स्यसि तत् शृणु ।। श्लोक १

The Blessed Lord said
Listen O Partha, how with your mind clinging to Me, and taking refuge in Me and practising yoga, you will without any doubt know me in full.

The term  mad asrayah  connotes complete indifference to the fruits of action, fame, name and such like earthly acquisitions and a staunch attachment to the Lord alone.

Samagram signifies the glory, might, energy, overlordship and similar divine attributes of Iswara.

He who perceives the perfect functioning of a government cannot help appreciating it. Similarly one's admiration is carried on to a divine level when one devotes oneself to the study of the cosmic functioning of the Lord.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Essence of Chapter 6

The contents of this mail below has been completely taken from the ebook Swamy Desikan’s GeethaarTa Sangraham which has been Annotated as a Commentary in English By Oppiliappan kOil SrI Varadachari Sathakopan ( 
This ebook is available at  I have also attached the book for ease of download.
Translation of Alavandar's Gitarthasangraham, by Diwan Bahadur VK Ramanujachari, published by Andavan Ashram has also been provided below.  
Ramanuja - Srirangam

Swamy Desikan’s brilliant summary of the 47 slOkams of the 6th Chapter takes this form in his GeethArtha Sangahram Paasuram:

yOga muRcchiyum yOgil sama nilai naalvahayum
yOgin upAyamum yOgu tanAl varum pERuhaLum
yOgu tanil tann thiRamudai yOgu tann mukkiyamum
NaahaNai yOgi navinRanan mudi veeranukkE

யொக முர்ச்சியும் யோகில் சம நிலை நால்வஹ்யும்
யோகின் உபாயமும் யோகுதனால் வரும் பெருஹளும்
யோகுதனில் தன் திறமுடை யோகுதன் முக்கியமும்
நாஹனை யோகி நவின்றனன் முடி வீரனுக்கே

The Lord, who is engaged in yOga nidhrA on AdhisEshan, instructed Arjuna with the splendid crown on

1. The methods of performing yOgam to visualize JeevAthmA
2. The four kinds of yogam that leads to sama darsanam
3. YOgam as a means for PurushArTam
4. The phalans resulting from practicing yOgam and
5. The importance of Bhakthi yOgam, which is far superior to the four kinds of yOgams to develop sama darsana roopa Jn~Anam.

Yogabhyasa vidhih yogi chaturdha yoga sadhanam I
Yoga siddhih sva yogasya parabhyam shashta uchyate II sloka 10

योगाभ्यास विधिः योगी चतुर्धा योग साधनं ।
योग सिद्धिः स्व योगस्य पराभ्यां षष्ट उच्यते ।। श्लोक १०

MEANING The anushtAna kramam /abhyAsa vidhis (prescribed ways) of practicing Karma/Jn~Ana yOgams to gain direct the visualization of the Self (aathmAvalOkanam), the four different kinds of yOgis, the aids for aathmAvalOkanam such as practice (abhyAsam) and Vairaagyam (detatchment), the phalans of practicing such yOgam and the greatness of the yOgam that is focused on the Lord Himself are described in the Sixth Chapter.

ACHARYA RAAMANUJA'S COMMENTARY ON THE 6TH ADHYAYAM (HIGHLIGHTS)In the FIFTH Chapter, Karma yOgA with all its ancillaries was taught by the Lord to ArjunA. In the SIXTH Chapter named “Communion through Meditation”, the requirements for the practice of yOga for the vision of the Self through Karma and Jn~Ana yOgams are taught by the Lord. The involvement of Jn~Ana in Karma yOgA leading to the visualization of the Self is emphasized.

SLOKAM 6.29:
Sarva bhuta stham atmanam sarva bhutani cha atmani I
Ikshate yoga yukta atma sarvatra sama darshanah II sloka 29

सर्व भूत स्थं आत्मानं सर्व भूतानि च आत्मनि ।
ईक्षते योग युक्त आत्मा सर्वत्र सम दर्शनः ।। श्लोक २९

MEANING: “He whose mind is fixed in Yoga sees equality everywhere; he sees himself as abiding in all beings and all beings in his self”.

“On account of the similarity between one self and other selves when they are separated from Prakruthi (i.e., the body), all selves are by themselves only of the nature of knowledge. Inequalities pertain only to Prakruthi or the bodies they are embodied in. One whose mind is fixed in Yoga has the experience of the sameness of the nature of all the selves as centers of intelligence, the perceived differences being caused only by the body. When separated from the body all are alike because of their being forms of centers of intelligence. An enlightened yogi therefore sees himself as abiding in all beings and all beings abiding in him in the sense that he sees the similarity of the selves in himself and in every being. When one's self is visualized, all selves become visualized, because of the similarity of all selves. This is supported by the statements: “He sees sameness everywhere” (Geethai: 6.29). The same is again referred to in, “This yOga of equality which has been declared by you”-- (6.33)

Yo mam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati I
Tasyaham na pranashyami sa cha me na pranashyati II sloka 30
यो माम पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति ।
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति ।। श्लोक ३०

“To him, who sees Me in every self and sees every self in Me, I am not lost to him and he is not lost to Me”.

Lord Krishna assures Arjuna that any one who after practicing yOga has fallen away from it will not be lost and that he will be born in the house of noble and wise yOgis in his next birth. He will strive to siddhi from where he left off in his previous birth. Even if he had gone astray once, the accumulated merit earned in previous janmAs would propel him towards the supreme goal of Moksham.

Meaning from Alavandar's Gitarthasangraham, translated by Diwan Bahadur VK Ramanujachari, published by Andavan Ashram
श्लोक ९०
Yogabhyasa vidhih yogi chaturdha yoga sadhanam I
Yoga siddhih sva yogasya parabhyam shashta uchyate II sloka 10
योगाभ्यास विधिः योगी चतुर्धा योग साधनं ।
योग सिद्धिः स्व योगस्य पराभ्यां षष्ट उच्यते ।। श्लोक १०

MEANING: In the sixth chapter, the following matters are dealt with - instruction to practise of yoga (meditation); 4 stages of realisation; the help to yoga; its attainment; and the superiority of meditation on himself, ie., the highest atma.

Explanation: The first subject is the principal topic in this chapter; the others are subordinate to it. It was indicated in the closing verses of the fifth chapter and is here fully described in verses 10 to 14 & 16-17, 24 to 26. The following is a summary :

Meditation should be done in a retired place; not frequented by people and disturbed by sounds. The yogi should be alone, and not allow even his disciple to be with him. The place should be pure - ie., pure in itself, not owned or , controlled by impure persons, and not touched by impure things. He should adopt the sitting posture; standing will cause fatigue and lying down will induce sleep. He should place a firm seat that is neither much raised nor too low and should cover it with a cloth, deerskin and kusa grass. The cloth is for making the seat soft; over it should be placed the deer skin to prevent crumpling and also to secure purity; over all the kusa grass should be spread. The mode of sitting is next described. The yogi should hold the body, head and neck erect, immovable and steady; and for this purpose he should provide a support for the back; otherwise there will be fatigue from the effort to hold the body erect. He should withdraw the outer senses from all objects and make them inactive. The eyes should be placed so that nothing but the tip of the nose maybe seen. The drawing of the senses away from the objects is a difficult process and should be practised with perseverance. This is known as pratyahara. The mind should then be fixed on the atma; being fickle, it will go forth, but must be brought back and fixed on the atma. This fixing of the mind on the atma is known as dharana. When every thought of the other things is excluded, and the thought of the atma flows in a continuous stream, it becomes dhyana. This is yoga.

2. Regarding this yoga certain directions are given. First, the yogi should give up the desire for everything other than the atma, and the thought that "this is mine" in everything. The desire and the thought "this is mine" will disturb meditation. Next his mind should be cheerful and free from fear. Without this condition meditation will be impossible. Next, he should observe the vow of the student. Though the expression is in general terms, abstinence from sexual intercourse is intended. This is necessary in order that the yogi may carry on yoga without fatigue. Sexual intercourse includes seeing, speaking to or thinking of a woman as an object of enjoyment. Next there must be moderation in taking food, in sleep, in work and exercise. The gita states that one who does not observe these directions is not fit for yoga. Lastly, the yogi should fix his mind on a figure of the highest atma and retain it thereon. This renders the mind pure and makes it steady. This is stated in the vishnu purana :

As a fire fanned by the wind burns up dry grass, so Vishnu abiding in the mind of a yogi burns up all his sins. The figure of the highest atma is both pure and attractive. It is therefore said to be subha (pure) and asraya. No other object possesses these attributes. Many embodied jivas may be found, who are attractive, and on, whom the mind may be retained steadily; but they are not pure. A freed jiva is pure; but the mind cannot grasp his svarupa (substance).

3. Among the helps to yoga, pranayama or regulation of the breath is included; but no reference is made of it in this chapter. but in the the closing verses of Chapter V it is stated that prana and apana moving within the nostrils should be made equal. The commentary explains that this refers to their movement. Prana is the breath that comes out and apana the breath that goes in. Neither should be faster or slower than the other. This is, however, a point on which personal instruction should be obtained from one that does the practise.

4. The state in which the atma is realised is given in verse 19.thus
A lamp, standing in a windless place, does not flicker, but shines brightly. To such may be likened the atma of the yogi, who restraining the mind, practises yoga.  The full effect of the analogy should be realised. The atma is like the lamp; his attribute jnana is like its light; and the mind is like the wind. In the state of bondage jnana moves to objects through the mind and senses. As the mind does not dwell on any object other than the atma, jnana is not scattered, and the atma shines in full splendour.

5. This realisation fills up the yogi with delight. This is stated in the verses 20 - 23. This delight is quite unlike the pleasure perceived by the senses; it must be perceived by the attribute jnana alone. Once it is attained, there will be no more suffering. Seeing the atma the yogi will not seek anything else; he will be unwilling to rise from the yoga; and when rises from it, he will not mind any other gain or be affected by any loss, however great.

6. Thus the practise of yoga, the main topic of the chapter, has been described. Three other matters are dealt with, which are subsidiary to yoga. Of them the first is the perception of likeness of four kinds described in verses 29 to 32. The yogi, that has attained realisation of the atma, perceives that atmas differ from one another, as the bodies in which they dwell differ; and that considered by themselves they possess but one feature, and this is that they are jnana. This means that they are self proved, and that they are intelligent beings, as having the attributes of jnana. They are also ananda, and this means that their svarupas fill them with infinite delight as stated in the previous para. They perceive that all atmans are therefore exactly alike. When the yogi reaches the next higher step, he perceives that when the karmas of atmas are completely destroyed, their own forms hitherto hidden emerge, and that they then become like the highest atma. This is stated in the Gita itself:

Resting on this wisdom, they have reached my likeness; they do not become the object the objects of either creation or dissolution (XIV-2)

In the next higher step the yogi perceives that when his karmas are destroyed, his attribute jnana fully expands, and that though he himself is an atom (anu), his jnana extends to everything and in this respect he is like the highest atma, who is in every object. In this step owing to the deep impression made on himself by the realisation, he continues to perceive the likeness even when he has risen from yoga. In the highest step he perceives that as he is like the other atmas, he is unconnected with any good or evil that may come to h
im, as others are  unconnected with them. For his connection with wife and children is due to karma, and does not pertain to his nature. The yogi that has reached this step is said to be the best yogi.

7. The next matter is how the fickle mind may be controlled and fixed on the atma so as to perceive the likeness thus described.This was Arjuna's question; and the reply given in verse 35 is that the mind maybe restrained by practise (abhyasa)  and the absence of desire (vairagya). This means that by dwelling on the faults found in objects other than the atma, a disgust for them maybe created, and that by dwelling on the merits of the atma a leaning towards it maybe formed. Thus the mind may be  drawn away from every object and fixed steadily on the atma.

8. The last matter relates to the great merit of yoga (meditation). Arjuna enquired what becomes of one who commence the practice of yoga with fervour, but who for failure to continue it with firmness does not reach the goal, and becomes disinclined to do it fully. Sri Krishna replied in verses 40-43. First, the yogi does not reap any unwelcome fruit; for 

No one doing a good thing reaches an unpleasant end (verse 40)

The yogi longed for some worldly fruit, and did not practise yoga with firmness. He has enjoyment of the same kind, but very superior, going to the worlds reached by men of good deeds. His enjoyment does not end, as the enjoyment of good men ends with their karma; but it continues for a long time, till he himself becomes tired of it. If his disinclination to pursue the yoga practise was in an early stage, he is reborn in the family of those that are pure and wealthy. This is an environment suited for recommencement of the practise. If it was at a later stage, he is born as a son of those that know and practise yoga and receives instruction from them. In this birth the knowledge of yoga that he had in the previous birth comes to his mind, and with this he will so strive as to reach the goal. Ordinarily a new birth obliterates all previous impressions ; but in the case of the yogi this does not take place. By his former practise of yoga he is irresistbly drawn again to it. It is known that one can attain swarga as the fruit of karma like agnishtoma, and release from bondage as the fruit of bondage; the yogi attains both; and this us the peculiar merit of yoga.

9. The chapter closes with the praise of yoga and the direction to Arjuna to do it. Lest he should become content with it, and go no further. Sri Krishna stated that one that meditated on himself - ie., the highest atma - was the best yogi.

For an introduction given earlier to the Gitarthasangrahas by Swamy Alavandar & Swamy Desikan
For Essence of the 1st chapter go to

For Essence of the 2nd chapter go to

For Essence of the 3rd chapter go to

For Essence of the 4th chapter go to

For Essence of the 5th chapter go to

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 47

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

Yoga is unparalleled 46-47
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 47

Who among the yogis is the best one ?
Krishna as Damodaran
Yoginam api sarvesam madgatena antah atmana I
Shraddhavan bhajate yah mam sah me yuktatamah mantah II sloka 47
योगिनाम् अपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेन अन्तः आत्मना ।
श्रद्धावान भजते यः मां सः मे युक्ततमः मन्तः ।। श्लोक 47

And of all the yogis, he who worships Me with faith, his innermost self merged in Me, - him I hold to be the most devout.

All those who practise meditation, concentration and purification of the mind are good yogis. A purified mind easily gets at whatever it wants to own. That yogi excels who, instead of turning his powerful mind on the minor deities and mundane things, devotes himself to the worship of the Iswara, the Supreme goal. There is no higher state than this to be attained by man. 
Meditate on the Enlightenment and Bliss which are eternal. Then you gain Bliss which is everlasting. This bliss in the ordinary man is shrouded in ignorance. As your desire for sense pleasures decline, your devotion to the Lord develops into divine thirst.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

The characteristics of the jivatman,  the individual soul have so far been expounded in these six chapters. To what extent the jivatman can elevate himself has also been enumerated. There is no purpose superior to the devotion to the Lord, to which a highly evolved soul can apply himself. The following six chapters are devoted to the definition of Iswara and development of Bhakti. This last stanza in this chapter gives the link between the first six chapters and the second six chapters. It is indicated here that the development of one form of yoga into another is as natural and spontaneous as the evolution of a boy into a youth. Karma yoga evolves into Raja yoga  and this again evolves into Bhakthi yoga. 

Iti shrimad bhagavadgitasu upanishatsu brahma vidyayam yogashastre shrikrishna arjuna samvade dhyana yogo nama shashtodhyayah II
इति श्रीमद भगवद्गीतासु उपनिषत्सु ब्रहम विध्यायां  योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्ण अर्जुन संवादे ध्यान योगो नाम षष्ठोध्यायः  ।। 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 46

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

Yoga is unparalleled 46-47
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 46

Tapas vibyah adhikhah yogi gyanibhyaha api mantah adhikah I
Karmibhyah cha adhikah yogi tasmat yogi bhava arjuna II sloka 46

तपस विभ्यः अधिखः योगी ज्ञानिभ्यः अपि मन्तः अधिकः ।
कर्मिभ्यः च अधिकः योगी तस्मात योगी भव अर्जुन ।। श्लोक ४६

The yogi is deemed superior to ascetics, superior to men of knowledge even; he is also superior to ritualists. Therefore be you a yogi, O Arjuna

It is incumbent on man to choose an ideal in life lest he should drift and deviate into an empty existence. The higher the ideal the harder it is to achieve. Still, an attainable great ideal has to be fixed. The highest and best of all ideals is to become a yogi. And he is a yogi who is consciously and deliberately moving towards divinity which is the plan and purpose of creation. As a man advances in yoga his mind gets purified and thus becomes all powerful.

An ascetic is one who undergoes a voluntary mortification to obtain celestial powers and enjoyments here and herefater.  The ritualist also has this aim in mind. But instead of self mortification he chooses to appease and propritiate the favours of the  celestials to this end. So he performs the elaborate rituals mentioned in the vedas, putting complete faith in them. But the yogi's case is simple, natural, direct and to the point. In and through desirelessness he comes close to the supreme goal - param gatim 
If however, a patch of cloud of desire happens to pass through the firmament of his heart, that desire gets immediately fulfilled because of the purity of his heart. This way the yogi is superior to the ascetics & ritualits. The men of knowledge  mentioned here are those that seek enlightenment through the scriptures. But the truths revealed in the sacred books are directly shining in the pure heart of the yogi. He need not draw inspiration from books. He is therefore superior to men of knowledge. In becoming a yogi, man achieves everything.

What is the good of mere book learning? The  learned may at best be adept in aptly and accurately quoting from the scriptures. One's lifelong repeating them verbatim effects no change to life and improvement brought on it. Scriptural knowledge is of no avail to the one attached to earthly life.

A worldly man may be as informed in religion as a spiritual man; or he may even excel in learning and intelligence. He may even be endowed  with the rigidity of a yogi's life and the detachment of a sanyasin In the midst of these merits his life may dwindle into nothing if he utilises them all not for the glory of the Lord but for self- glorification, name, fame and wealth. 
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 45

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

The Fate of the Imperfect Yogi 37-45

1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 45

Prayatnat yat manah tu yogi samshuddhat kibishah I
Aneka janma samsiddhatah  tatah yati param gatim II sloka ४५
प्रयत्नात  यत् मानः तु योगी संशुद्धत किल्बिषः  ।
अनेक जन्म संसिद्धतः ततः याति परां गतिं ।। श्लोक ४५

The yogi who strives with assiduity, purified from sins and perfected through many births reaches then the supreme goal. 
Learning and wealth cannot be acquired in a day or two. One has to apply oneself to them constantly. But one is held to be learned in a measure even while in the process of studying. Similarly, one is also held as a man of means even while yet earning money. A man is likewise beheld as a yogi even when he is assiduously practising it. Learning  wealth and spirituality developed by these several individuals never go waste. Spirituality in particular persists and progresses in the yogi through successive births. As he gets purified  from sins he ceases to be affected by the inevitable fluctuations in the earthly life. Constancy of the ideal in the midst of all eventualities in his characteristic. His serenity steadily evolves into beautitude which is the supreme goal. Whereas the man given to the vedic rites oscillates and merely speculates about his future prospects here and hereafter. 
The new born calf totters and tumbles down several times before learning to frisk about. Similarly teh sadhaka has to struggle much before he meets with success
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Yoga being hard to achieve, what is the harm in the ordinary man having recourse to any other ways of accomplishing the desired ends? the sovereignity of yoga is extolled in the next sloka. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 44

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

The Fate of the Imperfect Yogi 37-45
1 Gita Sloka every day - Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 44

Poorva abhyasena tenaiva hriyate hi avashah apisah I
Jigyasuh api yogasya shabda brahma ativartate II sloka 44
पूर्व अभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते हि अवशः अपिसः ।
जिज्ञासुः अपि योगस्य शब्द ब्रह्म अति वर्तते ।। श्लोक ४४

By that very former practice he is led on in spite of himself. Even he who merely wishes to know of yoga rises superior to the performer of vedic rites.

A man pressingly caught up in the midst of a marching multitude, is bound to be pushed on to the destination without much effort on his part. Similarly, the yoga propensity stored up in the mind in the previous births, combined with the present favourable and augmenting atmosphere, rapidly carries the yogi on towards the goal.

Two soldiers in the war front were taken prisoners by the enemy and forced to work for him. One of the two got himself reconciled to his captivity and chose to be a careerist under the enemy, while the other earnestly studied the ways and means of his escape, in the midst of his toiling for the enemy. People of the world are like the first prisoner, intent on making the best of the earthly life. The yoga jignasu  or enquirer into yoga  is superior like the second prisoner in as much as he gives thought to self-emancipation. The chanters of the vedas and those others engaged in the vedic rites are concerned  with enjoyments on earth and in heaven. Being bound to life in the senses, they are inferior. The scope of the  ritualistic vedas also is limited to the senses. The vedas merely promote and prolong the wheel of birth and death. The enquirer of yoga gets to know of the possibilities of liberating himself from the wheel of birth and death. He is therefore greater than the earth bound man. He who practises yoga is greater still; for he is progressing towards perfection and liberation.

In what respect is the yogi, progressing in his sadhana, superior to the man given to th vedic rites? the elucidation comes in the next sloka

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 43

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission.

The Fate of the Imperfect Yogi 37-45
1 Gita Sloka every day - Chapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga - Sloka 43
 Uddhava @ Krishna's feet
Tatra tam buddhi samyogam labhate paurva dehikam I
Yatate cha tato bhuyah samsiddhau kuru nandana II sloka 43
तत्र तं बुद्धि संयोगं लभते पौर्व देहिकम ।
यतते च ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरु नन्दन ।। श्लोक ४३

There he regains the knowledge acquired in his former body, and he strives more than before for perfection, O joy of the Kurus.

The prospective yogi born in the house of the pure and prosperous begins his new life with the enjoyment of some harmless pleasures which he innocently harboured in his heart iin his previous birth. Facilities for the fulfilment of those sinless desires are in abundance in the new setting. No sooner are the guiltless pleasures gone through, than this aspirant takes to the practice of yoga. But that yogi who is born in a family of wise yogis has a better start. The favourable environment draws out the latent yoga elements in him. He feels as though he were going through the old lessons again. His inborn tendency ministered by the helpful surroundings leads him on rapidly towards the ideal.