Chapter 6

Dhyana Yoga

(The Path of Meditation)

1. The Blessed Lord said: "He who performs action and discharges his duty without seeking the fruits thereof is the true renunciate, not the one who has merely given up rites, rituals and the sacred fire.

2. Know that what is called renunciation is the same as Yoga, O Pandava; for none can become a Yogi without renouncing the pursuit of desires.

3. "For him who seeks the heights of Yoga, work is said to be the means, and when he has attained Yoga, serenity is the hallmark.

4. "When a man is not attached to sense objects or to action, and in addition has shed all desires, then alone is he said to have ascended to Yoga.

5. "Man should subjugate his mind to the Self and not degrade himself by letting the mind become the slave of the self; the mind can thus be a friend or a foe.

6. "For him who has conquered the self by the Self 29 , his mind is a friend; but for him whose mind is not responsive to the Self, the mind remains an enemy.

7. "The serene man, having subdued his mind and become absorbed in the Supreme Self, is steadfast in the midst of pairs of opposites such as cold and heat, pleasure and pain, as also honor and dishonor.

8. "That man is a true Yogi who is content with Wisdom and discrimination, who, having conquered his senses, remains unshaken, and to whom clay, stone and gold are alike.

9. "He stands supreme who regards alike friends, enemies, neutrals, arbiters, the hateful, kinsfolk, as also saints and sinners.

10. "Living in solitude, controlling his thoughts and body, free from desires and the feeling of possessiveness, a Yogi, should constantly concentrate on the Self.

11. "Locating a clean spot, arranging his seat to be neither too high nor too low, covering it with kusa grass, deer skin and a cloth;

12. "Having seated himself on the seat so prepared, concentrating on a single object, controlling his thoughts and senses, he should practice Yoga for self-purification.

13. "Holding erect the body, head and neck balanced as well as still, concentrating the eyes on the tip of the nose, looks not wandering;

14. "Serene and fearless, firm in continence, mind under full control, he should sit with thoughts concentrated on Me, and regarding Me as his Supreme Goal.

15. "Concentrating thus, the Yogi who has subdued his mind attains Supreme Peace and mergence with Me.

16. "O Arjuna, Yoga is clearly not for him who eats too much or too little; nor for him who sleeps too much or too little.

17. "For him whose habits of eating and recreation are controlled and regulated, who is tempered in sleep and waking, and whose actions are disciplined, Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain.

18. "When the mind, completely controlled, becomes fully established in the Self and also free from earthly desires, then the person is said to be established in Yoga.

19. "Even as a lamp in a windless place does not flicker, so is the disciplined mind of a Yogi focused on the Self.

20. "When thought by spiritual exercise is checked and comes to rest, and the self beholding the Self finds contentment therein.

21. "When the self experiences the Supreme Bliss derived from deep meditation and is firmly established [in that Bliss], it (the self) moves not a bit from Reality.

22. "Attaining such a state, the aspirant will realize that there is nothing more precious; and once established in that state, he is not moved even by the heaviest of sorrows.

23. "This [state of] severance from the misery of affliction and pain is known as Yoga, and should be practiced with determination and an undistracted mind.

24. "Completely renouncing all desires arising from thoughts of the world, and fully curbing by the mind all the senses;

25. "Let him, little by little, reason controlled by fortitude, attain peace; and, fixing his mind on the Self, let him think of nothing else.

26. ''Restraining the restless and fidgety mind from wandering, he should subjugate it solely to the Self.

27. "Verily comes Supreme Bliss to that Yogi whose mind is calm, whose passion is subdued, who is sinless and who has become one with Brahman.

28. "Thus, transcending sin, abiding always in the Eternal, the Yogi attains with ease the Infinite Bliss that flows from Brahman.

29. "His mind harmonized by Yoga, he sees himself in all beings and all beings in himself; He sees the same in all.

30. "He who sees Me in everything and everything in Me, him I shall never forsake, nor shall he lose Me.

31. "He who, established in oneness, worships Me as abiding in all beings, always lives in Me, whatever his lot.

32. "Him I hold as a supreme yogi, O Arjuna, who, out of a sense of identity with others on account of the perception of the same Atman in all, feels their joy and suffering as his own."

33. Arjuna said: "Madhusudana, so fickle is my mind that I cannot see how I can attain this equanimity which Thou hast revealed.

34. "My Lord, verily is the mind wayward, turbulent, obstinate and powerful; to control it is as difficult, it seems to me, as to control the wind."

35. Bhagavan Krishna replied: "True, O Mahabahu, the mind is restless and exceedingly difficult to curb. But it can be restrained, O Kaunteya, by untiring effort and detachment.

36. "Yoga is hard to attain, I concede, for a man who cannot control himself; but for him who strives hard and has controlled himself, it is possible."

37. Arjuna asked: "O Krishna, what becomes of him who, though endowed with faith, has not been able to subdue his passions nor direct his mind to contemplation and thus fails to attain perfection in Yoga?

38. "Having failed in both 30 , does he, lost on the spiritual path, come crashing down like a riven cloud without support?

39."O Krishna, it behoves Thee to dispel this doubt of mine; there is none but Thyself who can destroy such a doubt."

40. The Blessed Lord said: "O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is such a man destroyed or lost. For none who tread the path of righteousness ever come to grief.

41. "He who has fallen from Yoga attains higher worlds, to which men of meritorious actions alone are entitled, and having resided there for countless years, is reborn in the house of the pious and prosperous.

42. "Or else he will be born in a family that is spiritually very advanced; however, such a birth is hard to attain.

43. "In that birth, O Kurunandana, he automatically regains the spiritual insight of his previous birth and strives still further to attain perfection.

44. "He feels compulsively drawn to a spiritual path by the force of his previous striving; nay, even he who merely wishes to know of Yoga rises above those who duly perform all Vedic rites but in a routine manner.

45. "Assisted by the purification undergone through many births, the Yogi who strives diligently, finally reaches the Supreme State.

46. "Higher than the [mere] ascetic is the Yogi and superior is he even to the man of [bookish] knowledge; and of course, he is also greater than the man of action. Therefore, O Arjuna, be thou a Yogi.

47. "And of all Yogis, he who worships Me with faith, his inmost self abiding in Me, him I consider to be the greatest."

Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads, the Science of Brahman, the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the sixth chapter, entitled:



29i.e., the mind by the Atman.
30i.e., in quelling the passions and in contemplation.