Thursday, February 10, 2011



(POST.8 : Verses 43 to 47)

Lord Krishna gave a detailed description of Dhyana Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, 5000 years prior to Patanjali Maharshi’s work on Yoga Sutras.

Dhyana Yoga and Yoga sutras both deal with the same subject matter. Dhyana Yoga of Gita gives us many additional details which are not available in Yoga Sutras. Likewise, Yoga sutras tell us many additional details which are not available in Dhyana Yoga of Gita.

But, there are many, many details which are commonly available in both. More important is the fact that they do not contradict each other in any way, any where. Thus, without an iota of doubt, we can say – Dhyana Yoga in the Bhagavad gita is the precursor to Patanjali’s  Yoga Sutras.

Lord Krishna does not claim Dhyana yoga as his own invention. He has clarified in Gita itself that he is only revealing the knowledge contained in the most ancient scriptures. Patanjali also does not claim to have invented Yoga.

Yoga existed always. It is beginningless and endless. Even Lord Siva did not invent it. Any one takes birth from Brahman and yearns for union with Brahman again.

Lord Siva, Lord Krishna are all in union with Brahman - though, for certain purposes, they may seem to retain an identity. This entire cosmic Maya is difficult to fathom and understand, until we ourselves achieve that oneness with Brahman. The whole universe is – just this oneness expressing itself in multiplicity.

You and I are also part of Brahman – but only when we recognize it by coming out of Maya, which is called by several names like Avidya, Prakrithi, Guna thrayam, Sareera thrayam, Mithya and so on.

We talk of gods, heavens, hells, doing good deeds, bad deeds etc, if we are religious, but all these are part of Maya. Else, we talk of lower things like wealth, lust, power, control over others, conquering others and so on.  As Buddha said, we will be gathering all forms of dust around us, until we become dust our self. The Power of Maya is so extraordinary.

Mind with its unsteady and wavering habit is the chief instrument of Maya. Control of Mind is the way – to come out of Maya. Krishna himself said that – it is a tough task, to control your wavering mind. But through Abhyaasa (practice) and vairagya (non-attachment), we can succeed in it, surely but gradually. Dhyana Yoga is intended chiefly for this purpose. It brings us out of the effects of Maya.  

You must keep your faith. Results will surely be flowing back to you all the time. The surest test of progress in spirituality is your increasing joy and increasing peace.

Surely, in initial stages, mind will rebel, militate and create numerous problems and try to take you back to its old ways. It just can’t allow you, to leave your attachment to physical lust, wealth, power, intoxicating things and so on – so easily. Mind  (Or, Maya)wants you to be its slave. Always! Now, you are becoming its Master. That is its problem.

But, persist in Dhyana Yoga. You will emerge as a sure winner. You will have nothing to lose except your slavery to your mind, your sorrows and your restlessness. But, suppose in your battle with your mind, you are not a complete success in this birth, but, say, 50 % success. Or even less than that. Then what?

Krishna has clearly stated what will come to the unsuccessful Yogi:
(1)      No evil destiny will ever come to him in this life or after this life.
(2)      He will certainly go to heavens and reside there happily for countless years. After that also, he will be born in the family of wealthy and pious people.
(3)      Or else, He may be born in the house of enlightened yogis. This would be the best thing that can happen to any person – but is very rare and may happen to highly devoted but unsuccessful yogis.

                      Krishna now continues further :

Verse.43 :

thathra tham Buddhi samyogam  labhathe paurvadehikam

yathahte cha thatho bhooyah samsiddhau kurunandana.

Oh Arjuna, in that next birth, the previously unsuccessful yogi automatically and quickly regains his earlier achievement level in spiritual Sadhana and from there, he strives, with renewed vigour, for perfection (in Yoga, or union with Brahman).

He may, to others, look like starting from scratch, but, he progresses so fast in all the initial stages, that we begin to feel as if he knew all of them already – which is in fact so. This knowledge and devotion comes from the previous birth.

Adi Sankara, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, and many others are all examples of this.

Verse.44 :

poorvaabhyaasena thenaiva hriyathe hyavaso api sah

jignyaasu rapi yogasya sabdha brahmaathivarthathe .

Poorva abhaasena means – Because of whatever you learnt earlier (in previous births). 

Lord Krishna says - This previous learning will draw the yogi back into the yogic path, as if he is drawn to it under some unforeseen force. Even if his sense instruments draw him towards them, his previous birth exercises its strong influence in drawing him towards yoga.

Lord Krishna says - Even if the yogi starts merely as a curious seeker, he will be able to quickly understand and master them and go beyond them towards Yoga and the Brahman.

Sabda Brahma – usually signifies the ancient scriptures of Vedas. 

Vedas are usually called Veda Poorva Bhaaga (first part) and devote to performance of various actions or Karmas. Upanishadic Vedantha is called the Veda-antha Bhaaga or the latter part of yoga, which devotes to Brahman. 

Krishna has divided the essence of all these, into 18 chapters in his Bhagavad Gita. Dhyana Yoga, the 6th chapter, is one effective way to realize the Brahman. But, its practice can go on for several years or life times. Success comes to the yogi who keeps faithfully in the yogic path.

Verse.45 :

Prayathnaath yathamaanasthu yogee samshuddha kilbishah

aneka janma samsiddhah thatho yaathi paraam gathim.

Lord Krishna says - Due to the supportive effects of (many) previous births, the yogi, who strives continuously is completely purified of his sins and imperfections. He attains fast progress in Yoga in this life. He is thus able to reach the supreme state quickly.

Krishna, is, again and again, emphasizing that your current janma’s good deeds are not a waste at all. They come with you to your next birth and aid you in your progress in your future births.

Verse.46 :

Tapasvi bhyodhiko yogee Jnaanibhyopi mathodhikah

karmibhyascha adhiko yogee thasmaath yogee bhavaarjuna.

Lord Krishna says - O Arjuna. Become a Yogi. For, the yogi is superior to the ascetics; to the jnanis who master the scriptures and to those who perform Karma (actions) (for satisfaction of selfish desires).

This is a direct Advice to Arjuna now. Become a Yogi. The yogi is more unselfish than the Janis, the ascetics and the Performers  of selfish Karmas, as per Vedas. Vedas contain details of so many Karmas for achieving so many desires.

Readers may note that this advice of Lord Krishna is – not only to Arjuna. It is directly to EACH OF US too. This is the specialty of Gita.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a DESCRIPTION. Dhyana Yoga is the PRESCRIPTION. You can’t have any one better than Lord Krishna – from whom you can receive this expert advice.


yoginaamapi sarveshaam madgathe naantharaathmanaa

shraddhaavaan bhajathe yomaam sa me yuktha thamo mathah.

No doubt, yogis are all, superior to ascetics, Jnaanis and performers of selfish Karmas. But, whom do I consider the best yogi?

Lord Krishna says - Of all the yogis, that yogi who constantly worships me with great devotion, with his mind focused on me, him, I consider him as the best Yogi.

When Arjuna did great penance and pleased Lord Siva, he was an ascetic. When he and other Pandavas performed Raja soya Yaaga and other Vada prescribed Karmas for satisfaction of their deep desires, they were performers of Karma. People who mastered vedic knowledge like Bhishma are Jnaanis.

But, Yogi, being the most unselfish of all, who can see himself in all people and all people in him self and see the Lord in all is the best of all. Of the Yogis, the one whose mind is totally focused on  the lord is the best yogi.

Be a Yogi and be a devotee to the Lord too.

In the last (next) post, we will see a brief summary or the essence of Dhyana Yoga – and from there, we will proceed to Patanjali’s Yoga sutras in future posts.

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