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Bhagavad Gita Chapter Six: The Yoga of Meditation

The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God
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The Holy Lord said:

He who performs that action which is his duty, not caring for the action’s fruit, is a renouncer and a yogi, not he without sacrificial fire and sacred rites. (6:1)

That which they call renunciation, know that to be yoga. Without renouncing selfish purpose no one whatever becomes a yogi. (6:2)

For the sage desirous of attaining yoga, action is said to be the means. For him who has already attained yoga, tranquility is said to be the means. (6:3)

When he is truly attached neither to sense objects nor to actions, and has renounced all purpose (sarva sankalpa), then he is said to have attained yoga. (6:4)

One should uplift oneself by the lower self; one should not degrade oneself. The lower self can truly be a friend of the lower self, and the lower self alone can be an enemy of the lower self. (6:5)

For him who has conquered himself by the lower self, the lower self is a friend. But for him who has not conquered himself, the lower self remains hostile, like an enemy. (6:6)

The highest Self of him who has conquered himself and is peaceful, is thus steadfast in cold, heat, pleasure, pain, honor and dishonor. (6:7)

The yogi who is satisfied with knowledge and discrimination, unchanging, with senses conquered, to whom a lump of clay, a stone and gold are the same, steadfast–is said to be in union. (6:8)

He is preeminent among men who is impartial to friend, associate and enemy, neutral among enemies and kinsmen, impartial also among the righteous and the unrighteous. (6:9)

The yogi should fix his awareness constantly on the Self, remaining in solitude, alone, with controlled mind and lower self, without desires or possessiveness. (6:10)

Establishing for himself a firm seat in a clean place, not too high and not too low, covered with kusha grass, an antelope skin and a cloth, (6:11)

There, having directed his mind to a single object, controlling thought and activity of the senses, sitting on the seat he should practice yoga for the purpose of self-purification. (6:12)

Holding the body, head and neck erect, motionless and steady, looking toward the origin of his nose and not looking around, (6:13)

With mind quieted, banishing fear, firm in the brahmachari’s vow, controlling the mind, with thoughts fixed on me, steadfast, he should sit, devoted to me. (6:14)

Always disciplining himself thus, the yogi whose mind is subdued goes to the supreme peace of nirvana, and attains to union with me. (6:15)

Yoga is not eating too much, nor is it virtually not eating at all; not the habit of sleeping too much, and not keeping awake too much, either. (6:16)

For him who is moderate in food and diversion, disciplined in action, moderate in sleep and waking, yoga destroys all suffering. (6:17)

When he is absorbed in the Self alone, with mind controlled, free from longing, from all desires, then he is known to be steadfast. (6:18)

As a lamp in a windless place flickers not: to such is compared the yogi of controlled mind, performing the yoga of the Self. (6:19)

When the mind comes to rest, restrained by the practice of yoga, beholding the Self by the Self, he is content in the Self. (6:20)

He knows that endless joy which is apprehended by the buddhi beyond the senses; and established in that he does not deviate from the truth. (6:21)

Having attained this, he regards no other gain better than that, and established therein he is not moved by heaviest sorrow. (6:22)

Let this dissolution of union with pain be known as yoga. This yoga is to be practiced with determination, with an assured mind. (6:23)

Abandoning those desires whose origins lie in one’s intention–all of them without exception–also completely restraining the many senses by the mind, (6:24)

With the buddhi firmly controlled, with the mind fixed on the Self, he should gain quietude by degrees. Let him not think of any extraneous thing whatever. (6:25)

Whenever the unsteady mind, moving here and there, wanders off, he should subdue and hold it back and direct it to the Self’s control. (6:26)

The yogi whose mind is truly tranquil, with emotions calmed, free of evil, having become one with Brahman, attains the supreme happiness. (6:27)

Thus constantly engaging himself in the practice of yoga, that yogi, freed from evil, easily touching Brahman, attains boundless happiness. (6:28

He who is steadfast in yoga (yoga-yukta) at all times sees the Self present in all beings and all beings present in the Self. (6:29)

He who sees me everywhere, and sees all things in me–I am not lost to him, and he is not lost to me. (6:30)

He, established in unity, worships me dwelling in all things. Whatever be his mode of life, that yogi ever abides in me. (6:31)

He who judges pleasure or pain by the same standard everywhere that he applies unto himself, that yogi is deemed the highest. (6:32)

Arjuna said:

This yoga which is taught by you characterized by evenness of mind, I do not see how it endures, owing to the mind’s restlessness. (6:33)

The mind is truly unstable, troubling, strong and unyielding. I believe it is hard to control–as hard to control as the wind. (6:34)

The Holy Lord said:

Without doubt the mind is hard to control and restless; but through practice (abhyasa) and dispassion (vairagya) it is governed. (6:35)

I agree that yoga is difficult to attain by him whose lower self is uncontrolled; but by him whose lower self is controlled by striving by right means, it is possible to attain it. (6:36)

Arjuna said:

One who has faith but is uncontrolled, whose mind has fallen away from yoga without reaching perfection in yoga–which way does he go? (6:37)

Is he not lost like a dissolving cloud, fallen from both worlds–here and hereafter, having no solid ground, confused on the path of Brahman? (6:38)

You are able to completely remove this my doubt. Other than you there is no one who can dispel this doubt. (6:39)

The Holy Lord said:

Truly there is no loss for him either here on earth or in heaven. No one who does good goes to misfortune. (6:40)

Attaining the worlds of the meritorious, having dwelt there for countless years, he who has fallen from yoga is reborn in a happy and illustrious family. (6:41)

Or else he may be born into a family of wise yogis. Truly, a birth such as that is more difficult to obtain in this world. (6:42)

There he regains the knowledge he acquired in his former incarnation, and strives from thence once more toward perfection. (6:43)

Truly, without his willing it his previous practice impels him on the yogic path. He who just desires to know about yoga goes beyond the Vedas. (6:44)

By persevering effort and mastery, the totally purified yogi, perfected through many births, reaches the Supreme Goal. (6:45)

The yogi is superior to ascetics, and considered superior to jnanis and superior to those engaged in Vedic rituals. Therefore be a yogi. (6:46)

Of all the yogis, he who has merged his inner Self in me and honors me, full of faith, I consider him the most devoted to me. (6:47)

Om Tat Sat

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the sixth discourse entitled: The Yoga of Meditation.

Read Chapter Seven: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization

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Chapters for The Bhagavad Gita–The Song of God

Introduction: The Bhagavad Gita–The Book of Life

  1. Bhagavad Gita Chapter One: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two: Sankhya Yoga
  3. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Three: The Yoga of Action
  4. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Four: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Five: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Six: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seven: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eight: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Nine: The Yoga of the Royal Science and Royal Secret
  10. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Ten: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eleven: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Twelve: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Thirteen: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fourteen: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Sixteen: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demonic
  17. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seventeen: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eighteen: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Also: The Bhagavad Gita Arranged for Singing

  1. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 1: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 2: Sankhya Yoga
  3. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 3: The Yoga of Action
  4. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 4: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 5: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 6: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 7: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 8: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 9: The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Kingly Secret
  10. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 10: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 11: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 12: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 13: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 14: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 16: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demoniacal
  17. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 17: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 18: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Read about the meanings of unfamiliar terms in A Brief Sanskrit Glossary

Read the Bhagavad Gita for Awakening, a full commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri).

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