Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 1)

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation

The last three verses of the last chapter are the basic aphorisms of this Yoga of Meditation or the direct means of right perception.

What is the preliminary accessory of the Yoga of Meditation? Of Course we do know it as karma, the work.

By performing निष्काम कर्म the mind gets cleansed and becomes receptive to receive knowledge.

So this chapter commences with two verses eulogizing Karma-yoga so there would be no need to think that karma is inferior.

श्रीभगवानुवाच —
अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः ।
स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥ १ ॥

He who performs the obligatory actions without depending on the results of actions is a sanyasi and a yogi, but not so is he who does not keep a fire and is actionless.

य:, he who; अनाश्रितः, without dependending on the results of actions, becoming free from selfish hankering for the fruits of actions;

करोति, performs; कर्म, actions, the नित्य कर्म such as अग्निहोत्र etc. कार्यम् , that are obligatory, that are enjoined as duties by the scriptures;

सः, he, though a performer of actions; is a सन्यासी, a saint and a योगि, a yogi. Thus he is eulogized.

सन्यास verily means renunciation, and yoga means the absence of विक्षेप or distraction or inattention in the mind.

And those two exist in him becase of the renunciation of fruits and absence of mental distractions in the form of hankering for results.

In order to state his pre-eminence in relation to persons full of desire, renunciation of the hankering for the results of actions is itself referred to the words सन्यास and योग through a figure of speech.

सन्यास and योग in the primary sense are indeed inevitable for one who performs actions without selfish motives.

Therefore this person should be considered to be a a सन्यासी and a योगि though he is न निरग्नि:, not a renouncer of fire, not one who has given up actions that are to be performed in a fire as enjoined by the Srutis; न अक्रिय:, not a renouncer of actions, not one who has given up that do not require a Vedic fire and are prescribed by the Smritis.

Or, another construction is, ‘It is not न not to be considered; that निरग्नि:, one who does not keep a fire;
and is अक्रिय:, actionless; is a सन्यासी and a योगि.

On the other hand, it is to be considered that one who undertakes works without selfish motives, and keep a fire and perform duties, is a सन्यासी and a योगि. Thus he is eulogized.

Since in this interpretation the sense of ‘one who has renounced all actions’ is derived from the word अक्रिय:, actionless, itself, and hence the word निरग्नि:, one who does not keep a fire, become redundant, therefore–taking the word, अग्नि, fire, as implying all actions–by निरग्नि: is meant a सन्यासी; and taking the word क्रिया, action, as implying modifications of the mind, by अक्रिय is meant a योगि, one who has completely restrained the modifications of his mind.

Hence, neither is a person who does not keep a fire to be considered a monk, nor is one who is actionless to be considered a yogi.

In this way the exclusion of both is to be understood seriatim.

It is to be noted that, if this be so, then both the negatives (न) become justifiable.


स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥ २७ ॥

यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः ।
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ॥ २८ ॥

One whose organs, minds and intellect have been controlled by driving the external objects he, fixing the eyes at the juncture of the eyebrows, and making similar the PraaNa and Apaana which moves through the nostrils, should become a meditator fully intent on liberation. One who is ever free from desire, fear and anger is verily free.

बहिः कृत्वा, verily driving outside again; बाह्यान्, the external; स्पर्शान्, objects, such as sound etc., which though existing outside have, through the ear etc., entered within in the form of the respective modification of the mind, ie. by not producing those modifications of the mind in their respective forms with the power of पर-वैराग्य – supreme detachment (See Yoga Sutra 1.16 that I had explained before).

Should they be internal, then they will not be ejected outside even through a thousand means, for that would lead to violation of the intrinsic disposition of things!

When when they are external ones that have entered in owing to attachment, it is possible for them to go outside as a result of detachment.

The adjective बाह्यान्, the external, is used for expressing this.

Thus having spoken about detachment (वैराग्य ) through this much, Sri Krishna speaks now about practice (अभ्यास: ‘Fixing’–which word has to be supplied–चक्षु च एव, the eyes; अन्तरे, at the juncture; भ्रूवो: of the eyebrows.

For, should there be complete closure of the eyes, there will follow the single modification of the mind, called sleep, which is the same as लय or mental inactivity.

On the other hand, if the eyes are open there will follow the four kinds of mental modifications, viz. प्रमाण (knowledge), विपर्यय (misapprehension), विकल्प (fancy), and स्मृति (memory) (See Yoga Sutra 1.6), which are of the nature of विक्षेप (distractions).

However, since all the five modifications have to be stopped, therefore the eyes have to be fixed between the brows by keeping them half closed.

Thus also, कृत्वा, making; समौ, similar, i.e. stopping their upward and downward movements through कुम्भक; (कुम्भक is stopping the breath by shutting the mouth and closing the nostrils with the fingers of the right hand.) प्राण-अपानौ, the PraaNa and the Apaana (the outgoing and incoming breaths); नास-अभ्यन्तर-चारिणौ, which moves through the nostrils.

यत-इन्द्रिय-मनो-बुद्धि:, one whose organs, mind and intellect have become controlled through this above mentioned means and he should become मुनि:, a contemplative who is detached from all objects, ie. one who contemplates on the subject “I” not objects; मोक्षपरायणः, Fully intent on Liberation.

विगत-इच्छा-भय-क्रोध:, free from desire, fear and anger–this was explained in Chapter 2 (sloka 56 – वीत राग भय क्रोध:) .

The sanyasi य:, who; is सदा, ever of this kind; is एव, verily; मुक्त:, free; not, however, that for him Liberation is still to be attained.

Or, he who is of this kind, he is verily free सदा, at all times, even while living.

By knowing what does one who is thus endued with Yoga become free? Sri Krishna says:

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥ (5.29)

He attains peace knowing Me, the partaker of the sacrifices and penances, the supreme Lord of the whole world and the friend of all beings.

ऋच्छति, one gets, ie. attains; शान्तिम्, Peace, the cessation of the whole of mundane existence, ie. Liberation;  ज्ञात्वा, by knowing, by directly realizing as the Self; मां, Me, NaraayaNa; भोक्तारं, who, as the performer and the deity, am the enjoyer or the protector of all the sacrificial austerities; who am the the great lord (महेश्वर) of all (सर्व ) the worlds (लोक), the controller of even हिरण्यगर्भ and others, and सुहृदं, the friend of all creatures, a benefactor irrespective of any service in return, the inner Controller of all, the Illuminator of all; who am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss through and through in its fullness, Truth in the highest sense, and the Self of all.

These adjectives are for dispelling the doubt “How is it that I am not liberated even though I am seeing You?”  The idea is, “Knowing Me in the form described is the only means to Libeation.”

Thus Hari proclaims the means to Liberation as the full realization of one’s own true nature, which is acquired from the practice of many spiritual disciplines and which is the case of everyone.


Bhagavan Krishna repeatedly called everyone to perform karma as a dedication to Easwara so there is no expectation of owning its result.

Such निष्काम कर्म cleanses one’s mind, making him receptive to the Knowledge of Reality to which he wont be qualified otherwise.

Having qualified with oneself with a clean mind, the next step is to abandon work altogether and take to sanyasa in pursuit of knowledge.

कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् ।
अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ॥ २६ ॥ (5.26)

To the sanyasis who have control over their mind, who are free from desire and anger, who have realized the Self, Brahman (which is final Emancipation) is present as a fact either ways (i.e. whether they are living or dead).

The absence (वियोग) of desire and anger is but their non-origination.

To those who are endued with that, कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां, who are free from desire and anger; and who are hence यतचेतसाम् , have control over their internal organ (mind), have self-control; यतीनां, who are sanyasis, who are deligent; विदित आत्मनाम्, who have realized the Self, who have direct experience of the Supreme Self; वर्तते, is present as a fact because of its eternity; ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं, Brahman which is final emancipation, Liberation; अभित:, either way, whether they are living or dead. Not that it comes in future for it is not a goal to be reached.

To one who has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to Easwara there comes about purification of the mind through karma yoga.

From that follows renunciation of all actions; thereafter, to one who is wholly given to श्रवण etc. comes the knowledge of Reality, the means to Liberation.

Now in order to state elaborately the yoga of Meditation (ध्यान), which is the proximate means to full realization and which was hinted at earlier (in sloka 24) “that yogi..attains Brahman which is final Emancipation”, Sri Krishna utters in the next three verses presenting this in a brief form.

The whole of the sixth chapter will follow as an explanation of these very three verses.

Among these three, again, Yoga is spoken of briefly in two verses.

But by the third is state its result, which is Knowledge of the supreme Self. This is the distinction.


योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः ।
स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥ २४ ॥ (5.24)

One who is happy within, whose pleasure is within, and who has his light only within, that yogi, who is at all times one with Brahman, attains Brahman which is final emancipation.

अन्त: सुख:, one who is happy within, one whose happiness is intrinsic to himself and independent, indeed, of external objects; How does the absense of external happiness occur? As to that Sri Krishna says अन्तराराम:, one whose pleasure is within–he is one whose आराम, disport, is in the indwelling Self alone, and not in such objects as women etc which are the means to external happiness.

That is, he is without the means of external happiness because of his being totally without possessions. (See 4.21)

Well, how can a sanyasi be devoid of the happiness and the means to it, since for him, even though totally without possession, there is the possibility of happiness arising from such unsought for sense-experiences as the hearing of a sweet music or the sound of a kuyil from somewhere, the touch of gentle breeze, the seeing of moonrise, the dance of a peacock etc., the drinking of a very sweet and cool water of the Cauvery, the smelling of the fragrance of jazmine flower and so on?

To that Sri Krishna says: तथा अन्तर्-ज्योतिरेव-य:, and who has his light only within: he is one whose ज्योतिः, light, Consciousness, is only within (अन्तर्) in the Self, and is not deried from the external organs, just as his happiness is only within and not derived from external objects; he is devoid of all objective knowledge, of sound etc., derived from the ear etc.

The word एव, only, is to be joined with all the adjectives.

Since during the period of समाधि there is no perception of sound etc., and since even though they are experienced during the state of व्युत्थान (awakening) there is still conviction of their unreality, therefore there is no possibility of any happiness arising to him from external objects. This is the idea.

स योगी, that yogi, who is endued with the qualifications as mentioned, who is merged in समाधि; अधिगच्छति, attains; ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं, Brahman which is final Emancipation.

Brahman is supreme Bliss, and That is itself is निर्वाण, final Emancipation, being by nature identical with the cessation of the duality which is imaginary.

For, the cessation of whatever is imagined on something is tantamount to nothing but the substratum remaining as it is.

He attains the ever-attained through the cessation of the veil of nescience, because at all times, indeed, he is ब्रह्मभूत:, one with Brahman and nothing else, as is said in the Sruti:

ब्रह्मैव सन्ब्रह्माप्येति, Being but Brahman he is merged in Brahman. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6)

And in Brahmasutra it says अवस्थितेरिति काशकृत्स्नः (1.4.22).

Kaasakrtsna thinks that the statement about the identity is in order because of the existence of the supreme Self as the जीव.

लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः ।
छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः ॥ २५ ॥ (5.25)

Those whose sins have been attenuated ie. weakened in force or effect, who are Seers, who are freed from doubts, whose organs are well under control, who are engaged in doing good to all beings, attain Brahman which is final Emancipation.

Those who, through sacrifices etc., are first क्षीणकल्मषाः, have their sins attenuated; and then through purification of the mind have become र्षय: Seers, sanyasis, who are capable of podering on subtle things; and through the perfection of श्रवण etc., छिन्नद्वैधा:, freed from all doubts; then through the perfection of निदिध्यासन, यतात्मानः, have their organs fully under control, have their minds concentrated only on the supreme Self; and the persons of this kind who, on account of their not perceiving duality, are रताः, engaged; सर्वभूतहिते, in doing good to all beings, ie. who are without cruelty, who are knowers of Brahman; लभन्ते, attain; ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम्, Brahman which is final Emancipation, as it is said in the Sruti:

यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतानि आत्मैवाभूद्विजानतः । तत्र को मोहः कः शोक एकत्वमनुपश्यतः ॥ ७॥ (Isaavaasya Upanishad 7)

When to the man of realization all beings become the very Self, then what delusion and what sorrow can there be for that seer of Oneness?


शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्छरीरविमोक्षणात् ।
कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः ॥ २३ ॥ (5.23)

One who can withstand here itself, till liberation from the body, the onrush arising from desire and anger, he is a yogi, he is happy, and he is a man.

काम which is of the nature of attachment, is the eagerness, hankering, thirst, greed, which one has with regard to things that are favorable to oneself, that are sources of happiness, when they are seen or heard of or remembered; and which comes as a result of having repeatedly contemplated on their qualities.

However, the word काम is very much in vogue to denote the desire between a man and woman have in common for sex.

Having this idea in view, लोभ, greed, as meaning greed for wealth, and काम for passion as meaning for desire for sex have been stated separately in ‘passion, anger and also greed’ (in BG 16.21).

Here, however, the word काम ia used in the sense of craving in general, and hence लोभ has not been mentioned separately.

Similarly, क्रोध, anger, which is of the nature of flaring up, is hostility, resentment, which one has with regard to the things or situations that are adverse to oneself, that are causes of pain, when they are seen, heard of or remembered; and which comes as a result of having repeatedly contemplated on their short comings.

Their intensive states, which, since they hinder the memory regarding what is opposed to custom and the Vedas, manifest themselves in the form of one’s being on the verge of acting contarily to custom and the Vedas are called वेग, onrush or impulse, because of their similarity with the rush of a stream.

Indeed as the वेग becomes very strong in the rainy season, drowns by throwing into a hollow and pushing downwards even one who is unwilling by virtue of having the memory of the customs and the Vedas, similarly the onrush of desire and anger that have become very strong–as a result of repeatedly dwelling on objects, which is comparable to the rainy season–drowns in the sea of the world, by throwing into the pit of enjoyable things and pushing downward into great hells, even one who is unwilling by virtue of one’s remembering what is opposed to the customs and the Vedas. This is indicated by the use of the word वेग.

This is all about वेगम्, onrush; काम-क्रोध-उद्भवं, which arises from desire and anger, which is in the form of agitation of the mind, which expresses itself in the form of many such external symptoms as immobility, perspiration, etc., which is unreliable because of the constant possibility of its arising from diverse causes, and which originates internally only, the self-controlled man, यः, who, through the non-attachment called वशीकर, arising from the practice of noticing defects in things; शक्नोती सोढुं, can withstand–like a तिमिङ्गिल the very large fish which can swallow a whale, withstanding the onrush of a river–, who becomes able to make it ineffective by not performing acts conducive to the onrush; इह एव, here itself, even before the functioning of he organs which is comparable to falling into pit; आ-शरीर-विमोक्षणात्, till liberation from the body; स:, he indeed; is युक्त:, a yogi; is सुखी, happy; he indeed is नरः, a man, because of his accomplishing the human Goal.

Incidentally, on the idea of वशीकर Patanjali says in his Yoga Sutra (1.15):
दृष्टानुश्रविकविषयवितृष्णस्य वशीकारसञ्ज्ञा वैराग्यम्॥१५॥

“That effect which comes to those who have given up their thirst after objects either seen or heard is called वशीकर, total detachment, physical and mental.”
But the one difference from him is indeed a beast in the form of a man, because of his remaining engrossed only in such animal behaviour as eating, sleeping, fear, sexuality etc. This is the idea.

As for आ-शरीर-विमोक्षणात् etc., the other explanation is this.

Just as a person, after his death, withstands the onrush of passion and anger–even when embraced by wailing young women and even when cremated by his sons–owing to lifelessness, similarly he who withstands them even while alive, he is a yogi.

This explanation fits in if here Sri Krishna has merely spoken of non-origination of passion and anger even while living as in death, in the way that Vasishta has said:

“Just as the body does not feel happiness and sorrow when life has departed, if one is so even when endowed with life, then one should continue in the state of sanyasa.” (नारदपरिव्राजक उपनिषद 3.27)

Here, however, the context being the withstanding of desires that have arisen, their mere non-origination cannot be the example.

This being so, there is no need for further elaboration.


The notion of the non-self as the Self is as in the thinking of the body as ‘I am Atman’ etc.

And this ignorance (अविद्य) which is the root cause of all क्लेश is called तमस् or error.

The idea of the identity of the intellect (बुद्धि) and the Self (पुरुष) is egoism (अस्मिता ), which is called मोह or delusion.

The kind of erroneous notion that even a man without the necessary means entertains in the form, ‘May all that can be classed under happiness come to me’, is called राग or attachment.

That itself is महामोह the great delusion.

The kind of erroneous notion that one has in the form, ‘Let no pain whatsoever come to me’, even when the causes of pain exist, is द्वेष, aversion. That is तामिस्र.

The particular erroneous notion ‘May I not be separated from these body, organs etc. although they are impermanent’, which is entertained even when one’s life has come to an end and which is a form of fear of death which is natural and common to all creatures including the learned, the women and the children, is अभिनिवेश tenacious clinging to life. That is अन्ध-तामिस्र.

So in Vishnu Purana it says: This अविद्या has five divisions–तमस्, मोह, महामोह, तामिस्र and अन्ध-तामिस्र that were issued out of the परमात्म Paramaatma.

The क्लेश have four states: Of these the dormant (प्रसुप्त ) state is their existence in the unmanifest form, for origination from a non-entity is not possible.

The attenuated (तनु) state is that in which a क्लेश, even though manifest, does not produce any effect in the absence of accessories.

The overpowered (विच्छिन्न) state is that in which a क्लेश, even though it has become manifest and has produced its effect, becomes overpowered by some other क्लेश more powerful than itself.

The expanded, manifested (उदार) state is that in which a क्लेश that has become manifest becomes productive of its result without hinderance, by virtue of getting associated with the accessories.

Of these four क्लेश beginning with egoism (अस्मिता) which are possesed of this kind of four states and are forms of erroneous notion, अविद्य, ignorance itself, in its general form, is the क्षेत्र, the productive field; for all the four have been shown to be the forms of erroneous notions.

In other words, अविद्य is the field that springs forth all क्लेश.

Therefore it follows that from the very cessation of ignrance, अविद्य, there comes the cessation of the क्लेश. This is the idea.

And those क्लेश remain dormant as in the case of the प्रकृति-लय i.e. those merged in Prakrti.

This is the case of those who through self-identification, become merged in the Unmanifest, in the Cosmic Mind known as महत्, the Cosmic Egoism or in the five subtle elements.

The तनु-क्लेश are those that are attenuated through the thought of their opposites (See Yoga Sutra 2.33-34) as in the case of the yogis.

In modern parlance haven’t we come across the exhotation “Think positive!”?

They (the क्लेश), which in both these states are fine or minute, are to be eliminated by resolving them into causal state (see Yoga Sutra 2.10) through निरोध i.e. suppression of the mind, through निर्बीज (निर्बीज समाधि the seedless, objectless समाधि).

But the effects of those क्लेश, which are the modifications of those क्लेश in the fine state, are gross and are called विच्छिन्न and उदार.

They are called विच्छिन्न (overpowered) because they intermittently appear again in their respective forms.

As for instance, anger, though present, does not appear at the time of attraction. Hence it is then said to be विच्छिन्न.

Similarly Kumara (a person) is attached to one woman; it does not mean he is averse to others, but his attachment is manifest with regard to one and remains latent for expression in future with regard to others. In this sense it is said to be विच्छिन्न.

Those क्लेश that have become manifest with regard to objects in general, they at that time, as manifest in their fullness are called उदार (expanded, manifested.)

Both of these – विच्छिन्न क्लेश and उदार क्लेश – being very gross, are to be eliminated through ध्यान (meditation) on Easwara (See yoga Sutra 2.11), which originate from pure सत्त्व; they do not wait for निरोध of the mind.

Those that are to be eliminated through निरोध are only the subtle ones.

And thus all the क्लेश always exist as प्रसुप्त, as तनु, or as विच्छिन्न in the pain arising from consequence, in the anticipation of loss of happiness, or in the fresh craving arising from संस्कार of happiness.

But उदार state belongs to someone of the क्लेश at sometime. This is the distinction.

And these come to be denoted by the word क्लेश since they produce pain that the nature of phychological discord.

All क्लेश do produce the kind of feeling that the mind is averse to.

Since कर्माशय the sublimal impression of right and wrong actions, called either punya or paapa, verily has for its source a क्लेश, and so long as a क्लेश, which is the root, persists, that कर्माशय has its fruition in the forms of birth, life and experience of pleasure and pain, and that कर्माशय, being the producer of its own result here and hereafter, is to be experienced in this visible life or in the unseen life (see 2.12-13 quoted before), and thus the cycle of क्लेश rotate like a Persian wheel, therefore Sri Krishna says appropriately, in this verse of Bhagavat Geetha ‘Since those enjoyments that result from contact with objects are verily the sources of sorrow and have a beginning and an end…’

They are ‘source of sorrow’ because of consequence etc. and the counteraction fo the gunas.

They ‘have a beginning and an end’ because the behaviour of the gunas is unsteady.

This is the explanation according to Yoga Philosophy.

However, the explanation according to Vedantins like me is: अविद्या means ignorance, which is beginningless positive entity.

अस्मिता means the superimposition of the idea of “I” on Consciousness.

राग (attachment), द्वेष (aversion) and अभिनिवेश (clinging to life) are that particular forms of that अस्मिता.

Thus since all these are rooted in अविद्या, therefore all of them without exception are unreal, they being essentially अविद्या.

Although they are unreal like snake superimposed on a rope, they are sources of sorrow.

And they have a beginning and an end, since like dream etc. they merely coexist with cognition.

Hence ‘a wise one’, whose erroneous perception of the basis ‘does not delight in them’, just as a man who knows the real nature of a mirage does not proceed towards it for getting water.

The idea is: Having realized that there is not the least touch of happiness in the world, one should withdraw all the organs from it.

अविद्या is the most painful defect, which is the cause of the experience of all evils, which is difficult to ward off, and which is opposed to the path of liberation has to be removed with great effort by a seeker of Liberation.


We took up the simultaneous existence of attachment, aversion and delusion with regard to pain as consequence, as anticipation of loss of happiness, and as fresh craving arising from संस्कार of happiness.

This we did using Patanjali’s line of argument. Let’s continue with him some more.

अविद्या क्षेत्रमुत्तरेषां प्रसुप्ततनुविच्छिन्नोदाराणाम्॥ (2.4)

The क्लेश, afflictions, pain-bearing obstructions have four states–in the form of being प्रसुप्त, dormant, तनु, attenuated, विच्छिन्न, overpowered, and उदार, manifest.

अविद्यास्मितारागद्वेषाभिनिवेशाः पञ्च क्लेशाः॥ (2.3|)

The five क्लेश are अविद्या, ignorance, अस्मिता, egoism, राग, attachment, द्वेष, aversion and अभिनिवेश, clinging to life.

अविद्या is the productive field of all these that follow, whether they are प्रसुप्त, तनु, विच्छिन्न, or उदार.

अनित्याशुचिदुःखानात्मसु नित्यशुचिसुखात्मख्यातिरविद्या॥५॥ (2.5)

अविद्या is taking the non-eternal, the impure, the painful and the non-self for the eternal, the pure, the happy and the Aatman respectively.

दृग्दर्शनशक्त्योरेकात्मतेवास्मिता॥६॥ (2.6) अस्मिता is the identification of the seer with the instrument of seeing.

सुखानुशयी रागः॥७॥ (2.7); दुःखानुशयी द्वेषः॥८॥ (2.8) राग is that which dwells on pleasure and द्वेष is that which dwells on pain.

स्वरसवाही विदुषोऽपि तथारूढोऽभिनिवेशः॥९॥ (2.9)

Flowing through its own nature, and established even in the learned is अभिनिवेश in short clinging to life.

ते प्रतिप्रसवहेयाः सूक्ष्माः॥१०॥ (2.10) These fine संस्कार are to be conquered by resolving them into their causal state.

ध्यानहेयास्तद्वृत्तयः॥११॥ (2.11) By ध्यान, meditation, their gross modifications are to be rejected.

क्लेशमूलः कर्माशयो दृष्टादृष्टजन्मवेदनीयः॥१२॥ (2.12)

The कर्माशय, the sublimal impression of actions has its root in these क्लेश and their experience is in this visible life or in the unseen life.

सति मूले तद्विपाको जात्यायुर्भोगाः॥१३॥ (2.13)

The root being there, the fruition comes in the form of species, life, and experience of pain and pleasure.

In that context, ‘the idea of something in that which it is not’ is called विपर्यय, misapprehension, मिथ्य-ज्ञान, false knowledge, अविद्या, ignorance and these words are synonymous.

The specialty of that ignorance is that is the source of mundane existence.

As to that, the idea of eternality with regard to the non-eternal is, for instance, as in, ‘the earth is permanent’, ‘the sky, together with the moon and the stars, is eternal’, ‘the dwellers in the heaven are immortal’.

The idea of purity with regard to the extremely loathsome impure body is as in, ‘the girl is as beautiful as the new crescent moon; her limbs seem to be made of honey and nectar; she seems to have come out piercing the moon; having wide eyes like petals of a blue lotus, she seems to be cheering up the world of mortals with her two eyes full of blandishments.’ What is connected with what!

There is also a verse of Vyasa in his Bhashya on Yoga Sutra on the verse we considered viz. 2.5:

“The wise ones verily reognize the body to be impure because of the place of its origin (womb), the seed (semen), the support (i.e. the constituents, viz. bile, phlegm, air etc.), the secretions of urine, stool, etc.), death and artificial purification through bath etc.”

By this is explained the notion of holiness in what is unholy and notion of goodness in what is evil.

Instances of the notion of joy in sorrow have been cited in the course of explaining above in Sutra 2.15.

परिणामतापसंस्कारदुःखैर्गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच्च दुःखमेव सर्वं विवेकिनः॥१५॥ (2.15)

To the discriminating one all is surely painful on account of everything bringing pain either as a consequence, or anticipation of loss of happiness, or as fresh craving arising from impressions of happiness, or also because of the counteraction of the Gunas.

Will continue explaining the क्लेशा in the next session.


Let’s Continue our discourse on Patanjali: परिणामतापसंस्कारदुःखैर्गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच्च दुःखमेव सर्वं विवेकिनः॥ (Yoga Sutra 2.15).

By the portion “…on account of everything bringing pain either as consequence, or as anticipation of loss of happiness or as fresh craving arising from impressions of happiness..”, it is stated that the joy arising from objects is incidentally, (i.e. as conditioned by time, past, present and future) painful because it is mixed with sorrow in all three times.

And by the portion, “or also as a counteraction of the gunas”, is stated that it is painful intrinsically also.

There in the sutra, परीणाम, consequence, ताप, anticipation of loss of happiness, and संस्कार, impressions of happiness are themselves the sorrows; ‘on account of them..’ This is the meaning.

The instrumental case is used to indicate the fact of being such.

To explain: All experience of joy, without exception, is indeed mixed with attachment.

For it is not possible that anyone is not attached to something and still derives joy from it!

Attachment itself, having emerged first, becomes transformed into joy through the acquisition of its object.

And that attachment, increasing every moment, is of the nature of sorrow itself, because of unavoidability of sorrow resulting from not attaining its object.

Happiness is the inactivity of the organs with regard to the objects of enjoyment, which comes from their full appeasement.

The restlessness that comes from covetousness is sorrow.

And it is not possible to bring about dispassion into the organs through repeated enjoyment, because attachment and the cleverness of the organs increase greatly in accordance with the repeated enjoyment of objects. And Bhagavatam says in (9.19.14)

न जातु कामः कामानामुपभोगेन शांयति |
हविषा कृष्णवर्त्मेव भूय एवाभिवर्धते ||

The attachment of passionate person is never appeased through enjoyment. It increases all the more over again like fire flaring up through clarified butter.

Therefore even the joy arising from objects is verily sorrow in as much as it is a transformation of attachment which is of the nature of sorrow. For, a cause and its effect are non-different. This much as regards परीणाम-दुःख, pain as a consequence.

Similarly, while experiencing joy one dislikes the causes of sorrow which are opposed to it (joy), and since there can be no enjoyment without harming other beings, he injures other beings.

And द्वेष, dislike, is a particular kind of wish in the form, ‘Let not all the causes of sorrow come to me.’  Yet no one indeed is able to avoid different sorrows.

Therefore, since even during the experience of happiness the dislike for all that is opposed to it persists constantly indeed, ‘pain as anticipation of loss of happiness’ is surely difficult to avoid.

Anticipation of loss is verily a thing disliked.

Similarly, being unable to avoid the causes of sorrow, one becomes deluded.

Thus also is to be explained the statement ‘the pain arising from delusion’.

So it has been stated by Vyasa on the Yoga Sutra: “Everyone has the experience of ‘pain as the anticipation of loss’, which remains mixed with dislike and is conditioned by sentient and insentient means.

Thus there comes to exist कर्माशय, sublimal impression, originating from dislike.

And, desiring the means of happiness, one becomes active through the body, speech and mind.

To put it in another way, one becomes nervous in body, speech and mind out of anxiety that he may not get the desired object or that it may be lost even after acquisition.

Since as a consequence, he favors or harms another, therefore he acquires पुण्य or पाप from favoring or harming others.

That कर्माशय arises from greed and delusion. So it is called “pain arising from anticipation of loss of happiness”.

Similarly, the current experience of joy leaves behind a संस्कार, impression when it subsides.

And that leads to the rememberance of that joy; that again to desire; and that to the activities of mind, body and speech; and that to the कर्माशय of पुण्य or पाप; those two to further births etc.

So far about the pain as fresh craving arising from संस्कार of happiness.

This is all about the संस्कार arising from ‘anticipation of loss’ and ‘confusion’.

Thus after saying that the joy arising from objects is sorrow itself since it is mixed with sorrow during all the three periods of time, the Sutrakara Patanjali says that it is sorrow intrinsically as well–‘or also because of the conunteractions of the gunas’.

Though the gunas, viz. सत्व, रजस् and तमस् which are of the form of joy, sorrow and delusion respectively are opposed to one another, still,like oil, wick and fire together making up a lamp, they produce a threefold single effect that is fit for the enjoyment of a person.

As to that, since when one of them predominates the other two become subsidiary, therefore though an effect is constituted by the three gunas, it is still referred to as made up of सत्व, रजस् or तमस् by the name of that one guna that predominates.

Such being the case, although the idea is the form of an experience of joy is also an effect of predominance of सत्व, still, it being the effect of रजस् and तमस् that serve as subsidiaries, is really constituted by the three gunas.

And hence, since like being joyful its beyond sorrowful and despondent is a certainty, therefore ‘to the discriminating one all is surely painful’.

Neither is even such a notion lasting, since on the ground that the behaviour of the gunas is unsteady the mind has been said to be rapidly changeful.

How can a single notion simultaneously take the form of happiness, sorrow and delusion, which are mutually opposed to one another?

The answer is, no; because there is no opposition between what has become potent and what is latent.  For, only gunas that manifest themselves equally can have hindrance in the matter of their simultaneity, but not so in the case of gunas that are unequally manifest.

As for instance, virtue, wisdom, detachment and sovereignty that have become manifest stand in opposition to vice, ignorance non-detachment and lowliness only when these have become manifest, but not so when they are unmanifest.

Indeed, the maxim is,’The mighty can stand in opposition to the mighty but not to a weakling!’

Thus it is only simultaneous dominance’ that the gunas सत्व, रजस् and तमस् also do not mutually allow but not their existence as well.

Will continue with this line of argument in the next session.