Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 18)

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः ।

न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन ॥ १६ ॥ (6.16)

But, O Arjuna, Yoga is not possible for one who eats too much, nor for one who does not eat at all; neither for one who habitually sleeps too long, nor, surely, for one who keeps awake.

That food is appropriate for oneself which when eaten gets digested and brings about ability of the body to work.

For one who, ignoring this, eats more through greed, योगः, Yoga; न अस्ति, is not possible, because one gets diseases as a result of ills of indigestion.

Nor is Yoga possible अनश्नतः, for one who does not eat; एकान्तं, at all, because the body becomes incapable of work owing to lack of energy.

Therefore a yogi should not eat either more or less than what is appropriate for himself.

Or, the idea is that Yoga is not achieved by one who eats more or less than the quantity of food needed.

Similarly, न एव, there is surely no Yoga for one who habitually sleeps too long; or जाग्रतः, for one who keeps awake too long.

‘O Arjuna, be careful’–this is the intention.

One of the च (and) in the second line of the verse is meant for conjoining the transgressions of the limit of food; the other च in the later half of the verse is meant the unmentioned defects as have been stated in the Markandeya PuraNa.

O emperor, a yogi should not practice Yoga for the realization of the Self when his belly is inflated, when he is hungry, when he is exhausted or when his mind is troubled. Nor when it is too cold, nor when it is too hot, not when it is both cold and hot, not when it is windy–meditation should not be undertaken during these periods.

Krishna thus states the exclusions from Yoga and proceeds to speak of coming into association with Yoga for those who observes the rules.

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ॥ १७ ॥ (6.17)

To one whose food and movements are regulated, whose effort in works is moderate, and whose sleep and wakefulness are temperate comes Yoga which is the destroyer of sorrows.

(युक्त-आहार-विहारस्य:) आहार means what is gathered in viz. food; विहार means movement ie. walking; to one in whom these two are regulated (युक्त), of regular measure.

Similarly (युक्त-चेष्टस्यः) to one whose effort (चेष्टा) is moderate (युक्त), havin a fixed time, even in other कर्मसु, works, such as repetition of ॐ, recitation of upanishads etc.

Similarly, (युक्त-स्वप्न-अवबोधस्य:) स्वप्न here means sleep, and अवबोध means wakefulness, to one in whom those two are temperate (युक्त), regulated in time.

To him भवति, comes, योगः, Yoga; समाधि becomes accomplished through the intensity of spiritual disciplines; not to anyone else.

What is the result of Yoga that is thus accomplished through special effort?

In answer Krishna says: दुःखहा, (it becomes) a destroyer of sorrows; ie. it becomes cause of cessation of sorrows, together with their roots.

Why so?

Because it leads to the Knowledge of Brahman, which is the means of destroying nescience, the source of all sorrows of mundane existence.

As for the regulation of food here it is as has been stated before in Yoga:

Half the stomach is for food together with curries; the third quarter is for water. However the fourth quarter one should leave for moment of air.

The regulation about walking is that, ‘one should not walk for more than a योजन (about 9 miles, some say it is a bit less than 5 miles).

The regulation about diligence in work consists in avoidance of garrulity (excessive talkativeness, especially on trivial matters) etc.

The regulated time for sleep and wakefulness is this–dividing the night into three parts, remaining awake during the first and the last part and sleeping in the middle part.

These are the guidelines given in the Yoga Sutra.

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 17)

Those transformations of the बुद्धि (intellect) in which the quality of सत्त्व alone predominates undertakes संयम on the सात्विक transformations of the intellect.

What is संयम?

To the one who, in that state, underakes संयम (self-control consisting of धारणा,concentration, ध्यान meditation and समाधि absorption).

This was explained in detail in my commentary to verse 4.26 ( )

One who undertakes संयम on the सात्विक transformations of the intellect, comes as a result of the power of control.

This power of control is like that of a master i.e. rulership, over all transformations of the गुण (सत्त्व, रजस्  and तमस् ).

This power of control brings in omniscience–consisting in the discriminative knowledge of them just as they are.

This discriminative knowledge is with regard to those very transformations existing as the substrata.

शान्तोदिताव्यपदेश्यधर्मानुपाती धर्मी॥१४॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.14)

The substrata possessed of characteristics that are quiescent (शान्त, i.e. past), present (उदित, risen) or future (अव्यपदेश्य, unmanifested).

(विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती॥३६॥ Yoga Sutra 3.36).

The mastery over गुण and discriminative knowledge — these two are the mystic power called विशोका (free from afflictions).

And in the two Sutras it is said that Liberation comes from non-attachment (विशोका).

The Benefit of the discriminative knowledge is as follows:

“To the one who has only the realization of the difference between the intellect and the Person comes ruler-ship over all things and knowledge of everything.

तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्वीजः समाधिः॥५१॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.51)

“Form the renunciation of even that (the ruler-ship stated above) comes Liberation following the destruction of the seed of evil.”

Thus it has been said: Since in one who, even when he has that knowledge of the distinction between the intellect and the Person (प्रसङ्ख्यान) is an अकुसीद, a non-seeker of the mystic fruits, no other idea occur, therefore the knowledge of the distinction (between the प्रधान and पुरुष) becoming fully developed in every way, there follows धर्म-मेघ-समाधि.

In याज्ञवल्क्य स्मृति it is said: “As compared with sacrifices, good conduct, control of the external organs, non-injury, charity, scriptural study, and rites and duties, the highest virtue is this that is the realization of the Self through Yoga.

प्रसङ्ख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य सर्वथा विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः समाधिः॥२९॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.29)

It follows that धर्म-मेघ means that which showers धर्म, virtue, the realization of the identity between the inmost Self and Brahman.

It means that धर्म-मेघ is the means to the realization of Truth.

From that follows the cessation of the क्लेस and the stock of संस्कार of actions.

From धर्म-मेघ-समाधि  comes Liberation, from Liberation comes the total cessation of the five kinds of क्लेस–अविद्या (ignorance), अस्मिता (egoism), राग (attachment), द्वेष (aversion) and अभिनिवेश (clinging to life)–and of the stock of संस्कार of actions.

These संस्कार of actions are of three kinds–dhaarmic, adharmic and misram or mixed and they are rooted in ignorance.

The Liberation destroys these संस्कार because the seeds of karma become destroyed when ignorance ceases.

For, it is appropriate that when the cause ceases the effect should cease absolutely.  This is the idea.

This being so संप्रज्ञात-समाधि attained in the place of एकाग्र (onepointedness) has been spoken of before in explaining the concentrating the mind.

We also referred to the ‘fully controlling of the mind’ when we talked of असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि attained in the plane of निरोध (full restraint).

By ‘Peace’ is referred the steady flow of the mind (प्रशान्त-वहिता), which is the fruit of the संस्कार born of the समाधि in the plane of निरोध.

धर्म-मेघ-समाधि is the cause of Liberation through the experience of Truth; by ‘steadfastness in My true nature’ has been shown the Liberation approved by the Upanishads.

The idea is that, since Yoga has such great result, therefore, it should be accomplished with great diligence.

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 16)

The realization of the distinction between the mind and the Person is achievable through selfless action dedicated to Easwara.

The indication of this has already shown on the commentary of verse 4.24 ( ).

In the rainy season, from the sprouting of grass the existence of its seeds can be inferred.

Similarly when in a person it is seen that due to love for the established conclusion of Vedanta there occurs horripilation of hair through thrill and shedding of tears of joy on hearing of the path of Liberation.

Here also it can be inferred that there exists in him the ‘seed’ of ‘perception of the distinction’ which is conducive to Liberation and which is accompanied through the performance of rites and duties.

On the other hand, take the case of one in whom that kind of ‘seed’ produced through rites and duties does not exist.

For him, when he hears of the path of Liberation, there arises love for the anti-Liberation point of view.

He exhibits clear lack of love for the arguments on the side of the established conclusions of Vedanta.

But in him who has that ‘seed’, there arises a spontaneous enquiry into the nature of the Self–Who amd I?

And this ceases once he has realized the distinction.

When this occurs, what follows? The author of the Sutra gives the answer: तदा विवेकनिम्नङ्कैवल्यप्राग्भारञ्चित्तम्॥२६॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.26)

Then the mind, flowing along the channel of discrimination, ends on the highland of Liberation.

निम्न means a low land (channel) fit for the flow of water. प्राग्भार  means a highland unfit for that flow.

And the mind, which ever flows on in the form of a running stream of modifications, is comparable to water.

That mind of this person, flowing before along the wrong channel in the form of indiscrimination between the Self and the non-Self, ended in the enjoyment of objects.

But now, flowing along the proper channel in the form of discrimination between the Self and the non-Self, it reaches up to Liberation.

And whatever hinderances there may be in this mind that flows along the channel of discrimination should be eliminated, together with their causes.

This is said in two Sutras: तच्छिद्रेषु प्रत्ययान्तराणि संस्कारेभ्यः॥२७॥ Yoga Sutra 4.27) & हानमेषां क्लेशवदुक्तम्॥२८॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.28).

“During the breaks that occur in that mind following the course of discrimination, there arises other perceptions originating from संस्कार .

“It is said that their elimination should be as in the case of क्लेश (affliction).”

In that mind that is following the course of discrimination there occurs during the  breaks, during the intervening periods, other perceptions in the form of ‘I’, ‘mine’ etc. as are found in the state व्युत्थान (emergence from Samaadhi); they are born of the संस्कार formed by the experiences in the state of previous व्युत्थान, even though these संस्कार are fading.

The क्लेश viz. अविद्या etc. which through the fire of Knowledge are in a state like that of a burnt seed, do not sprout again in the ‘field’ of the mind.

Similarly the संस्कार which through the fire of Knowledge are in a state like that of a burnt seed, cannot give rise to other perceptions (different from the flow of discriminative knowledge).

The संस्कार which arising from the fire of Knowledge, however, continue so long as the mind lasts.

This point has been explained in great detail in the commentary to verse 5.22.

And thus when the mind following the course of discrimination becomes steady on account of the non-emergence of other perceptions, then प्रसङ्ख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य सर्वथा विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः समाधिः॥२९॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.29), to the one who, in spite of having attained the knowledge of the distinction (प्रसङ्ख्यान) between the intellect and the Person, is an अकुसीद (non-seeker of its fruits), comes धर्म-मेघ-समाधि from the discriminative knowledge of the highest degree.

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 15)

श्रद्धावीर्यस्मृतिसमाधिप्रज्ञापूर्वक इतरेषाम्॥२०॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.20)

The समाधि of others who follow the prescribed path comes from श्रद्धा, the delight in Yoga, वीर्य, enthusiasm, स्मृति, recollection, समाधि, concentration, प्रज्ञा, insight.

That समाधि, however, which is attained by those who see the difference between the Self and the non-Self, and who are distinct from those that have succeeded through birth, medicine, incantation and austerity, comes from श्रद्धा etc.; it is that which has श्रद्धा etc. as its पूर्व, means.

That is, it is an उपाय-प्रत्यय–it has उपाय, the prescribed means, as its प्रत्यय, cause.

Among them the means, श्रद्धा implies delightfulness of the mind with regard to Yoga. Indeed that protects the Yogi like a mother!

From that springs वीर्य, enthusiasm, in the man who delights in Yoga and is a seeker of discrimination.

In the person in whom वीर्य has arisen, there comes स्मृति, recollection, regarding the preceding stages he has passed over.

And from the recollection of the mind, becoming free from anxiety, attains समाधि. समाधि here means onepointedness.

In the person whose mind has become one-pointed, there arises, through discrimination, insight into the object of meditation.

From the practice of that insight and through supreme detachment, पर-वैराग्य, follows the असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि  in the case of seekers of Liberation. This is the idea.

Samkhya Kaumudi says: “All objects other than the power of Consciousness (ie. Purusha) are indeed changeful every moment, even in that state of निरोध (total restraint) of all mental modifications there does surely exist a flow of transformation of the mind as such as also a flow of the impressions (संस्कार)  caused by that flow of transformation.

Perhaps having this in mind Patanjali says: विरामप्रत्ययाभ्यासपूर्वः संस्कारशेषोऽन्यः॥१८॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.18),

“The other ie. the असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is that in which only the impressions remain..”

To explain, the mind can undergo changes in two ways–either with a tendency towards producing its effects, viz. the modifications in the form of प्रमाण, विपर्यय, विकल्प, निद्रा and स्मृति, or towards merging into its cause viz. the प्रदान.  In असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि the second tendency is in evidence.

Patanjali states the usefulness of that संस्कार in Yoga Sutra 3.10: तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥  “As a result of that संस्कार, the mind comes to have a steady flow.”

प्रशान्तवाहिता, steady flow, means the cessation–through a reverse transformation–of the mind that is devoid of modifications, like a fire that is without any more fuel.

As for instance, a fire blazes up by increasing gradually with the supply of fuel and offering of oblations such as clarified butter etc.

But when the fuel etc. get exhausted, it becomes slightly less intense at the first instance.

In the succeeding moments, however, it becomes more and more pacified. Thus it becomes gradually more subdued.

Similarly, the cessation of the mind that has become fully restrained becomes successively more continuous.

As to that, the impression born from the previous cessation is itself the cause of the succeeding cessation.

And then, like a fire without fuel, the mind, gradually becoming inactive, merges into its own source, together with the impressions (संस्कार) of the state of व्युत्थान  (ie. क्षिप्त, मूढ and विक्षिप्त), समाधि (onepointedness) and निरोध (total restraint).

After that, when from the perfection of the resulting असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि there follows full realization born of the hearing of the great Upanishadic sayings, then there comes about the cessation of nescience.

From that follows the eradication of the contact between the ‘Seer’ and the ‘seen’ which is due to that nescience.

As a consequence, when there comes the cessation of all the five kinds of mental modifications, then the Purusha established in his own nature, is said to be pure, absolute and liberated.

Thus Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 1.3 तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥३॥ “Then there comes about the establishment of the Seer in His own nature.”

‘Then’ means ‘when all the mental modifications have been restrained.’

But when the modifications are present, then although the Seer is ever pure in His nature as the eternal, immutable, Consciousness, yet from the beginningless contact with, ‘the seen’, which is caused by nescience and which leads to the superimposition on him of the idea of identity with the mind, He comes to possess the characteristics of the modifications of the mind, and though a non-enjoyer, becomes as it were a sufferer of sorrows!

Patanjali says of this in Yoga Sutra 1.4: वृत्तिसारूप्यमितरत्र॥४॥ ‘At other times’ means ‘when the modifications are manifest’.

This very fact is elaborated in Yoga Sutra 4.22: द्रष्टृदृश्योपरक्तं चित्तं सर्वार्थम्॥२३॥

“The mind being colored (affected) by the Seer and the seen, is said to be representing all.”

The mind itself, being colored by ‘the Seer and the seen’, appears as the perceiver and the thing perceived, as identified with the nature of the Conscious and of the insentient, as not an object though it is an object by nature, as sentient though insentient.

Mind is like a crystal, and it is said to be representing all.

Hence some persons, become deluded by this identification of the mind with sentience, say that mind is itself conscious.

तदसङ्ख्येयवासनाभिश्चित्रमपि परार्थं संहत्यकारित्वात्॥२४॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.24)

“That mind, though diversified by innumerable impressions, is for the enjoyment of the Other because it acts unitedly with others.”

He Himself, for whose enjoyment and liberation that mind exists, is the Other ie. other than the mind, the ununited Conscious Person.

But the mind, which is like a pot acts in unison with others, is not sentient. This is the purport.

विशेषदर्शिन आत्मभावभावनाविनिवृत्तिः॥२५॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.25). “For one who has realized the distinction, the enquiry into the nature of the Self ceases.”

For one who has thus realized the distinction between the mind and the Person, the enquiry into the nature of the Self, which enquiry existed previously in his mind, due to indiscrimination, ceases, because when the distinction is perceived the erroneous notion of identity cannot occur.

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 14)

Indeed अभ्यास, practice, and वैराग्य (detachment), have been mentioned as the two means to असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि.

Of them since अभ्यास, which is dependent on some object, cannot be the cause of the objectless समाधि, therefore पर-वैराग्य (supreme detachment) itself which is not dependent on any object, is said to be the cause.

But अभ्यास becomes helpful as an indirect means to असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि through the medium of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.

So it has been said in Sutra 3.7 (त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः॥७॥ as explained in detail before). To give in succinctly, as compared with the group of five disciplines viz. यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार , the three disciplines viz. धारणा (concentration), ध्यान (meditation) and समाधि (absorption), are more intimate practices for सबीज-समाधि.

The word समाधि, when it occurs among the group of disciplines, denotes अभ्यास itself; because समाधि in the primary sense of self-absorption is the goal and not a discipline.

तदपि वहिरङ्गं निर्वीजस्य॥८॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.8) “Even that group of three disciplines is an external practice in respect of निर्बीज-समाधि.

Even that group of three disciplines viz. धारणा, ध्यान and समाधि, however, is an external practice indirectly helpful with regard to निर्बीज-समाधि.

That is to say, for that निर्बीज-समाधि, however, पर-वैराग्य (supreme detachment) is absolutely the intimate practice.

This निर्बीज-समाधि, again, is of two kinds–भव-प्रत्यय  and उपाय-प्रत्यय. (भवप्रत्ययो विदेहप्रकृतिलयानाम्॥१९॥ Yoga Sutra 1.19).

“The समाधि of the विदेह and प्रकृति-लय has for its cause (प्रत्यय) the mundane state (भव).

Of the aforementioned विदेह, who have achieved the सानन्द-समाधि, the निर्बीज-समाधि that comes as a result of some particular birth, particular medicine, particular incantation, or particular austerity is a भव-प्रत्यय–it is that which has the भव, mundane state, for its प्रत्यय, cause; it is that of which the प्रत्यय, cause, is भव, the mundane state characterized by the absence of discrimination between the Self and the non-Self.

भव-प्रत्यय means that which is caused by the mere fact of birth, as in the case of birds flying into the sky. (The विदेह and the gods are from their very birth endowed with such mystic powers as ‘becoming subtle’ etc.)

The idea is that this kind of समाधि should be spurned by people seeking Liberation, because it is a cause of mundane state again.

Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 13)

While discussing Geetha Sloka (4.26) ( ) we discussed about the latent impression of व्युत्थान.

These latent impression of व्युत्थान are two sets called (a) क्षिप्त (scattered), मूढ (stupified), विक्षिप्त (restless) and also (b) the impressions originating from the सवितर्क, निर्वितर्क and सविचार समाधि that persist even in the state of एकाग्र (one pointedness).

So how can ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा, which is attained through the purity of the mind resulting from perfection in निर्विचार समाधि, become established in a mind that is moved by those impressions?

तज्जः संस्कारोऽन्यसंस्कारप्रतिबन्धी॥५०॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.50) Patanjali says: “The impression arising from that ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा opposes the other impressions.”

The impression formed by that ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा, being powerful on account of having been born of the insight into reality, obstructs, renders ineffective or destroys, the impressions that are born of व्युत्थान (i.e. born of the states of क्षिप्त (scattered), मूढ (stupified), विक्षिप्त (restless) and of the states of समाधि  (viz. सवितर्क, निर्वितर्क and सविचार). since they are weak on account of having been born of the knowledge of unreal objects.

When those impressions are overpowered, then the perceptions arising from them cease to occur.

From that comes समाधि; from that the insight (प्रज्ञा) born of समाधि; from that the impressions (संस्कार) arising from insight.

Thus the store of the newer and newer latent impressions increases.

From that, again, arises insight (प्रज्ञा); and from that, (newer) impressions (संस्कार) again.

Now let’s consider an objection.

(Objection:) Well, granted that the impressions (संस्कार) of व्युत्थान , which arise from the knowledge of unreal objects, are obstructed by the impressions created by the insight gained in the संप्रज्ञात-समाधि which relates only to reality.  However, since these later impressions do not have anything to obstruct them, therefore there can occur सबीज-समाधि in the plane of एकाग्र itself, not, however, निर्बीज समाधि in the plane of निरोध (full restraint).

In answer, let us see what Patanjali says. तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्बीज: समाधिः॥५१॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.51)

“On the resraint of even that (संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि), there follows the निर्बीज समाधि (the seedless समाधि) as a result of the elimination of all impressions (संस्कार).”

On the restraint, on the elimination through a special effort of the yogi, of that संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि which orignates in the plane of एकाग्र–the word ‘even’ implies ‘of the संस्कार of the क्षिप्त , मूढ and विक्षिप्त states as well’–, there follows the निर्बीज, objectless, असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि, as a result of the elimination of all, of the संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि as well.

And that निर्बीज समाधि together with its means, has been stated in the Sutra: विरामप्रत्ययाभ्यासपूर्वः संस्कारशेषोऽन्यः॥१८॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.18).

(असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is the) other (type of समाधि) (अन्यः ) that is preceded (पूर्वः ) by the practice (अभ्यास ) of stopping or rejection (विराम ) of the mental fluctuations (प्रत्यय ) (which is the natural fruit of the highest वैराग्य  or Renunciation, but that) it (still) contains a residue (शेषः ) of latent impressions (संस्कार).”

The other i.e. असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is that in which only the संस्कार remain and which is preceded by the practice of the means of rejection of mental activity.

विराम, rejection, stands for that through which the rejection is achieved;  So it means the giving up of the mental activities in the form of वितर्क, विचार, अस्मिता etc.

The प्रत्यय, the means of that which is पर-वैराग्य, supreme detachment.

Or the meaning of विराम-प्रत्यय is that it is a विराम, rejection, and also प्रत्यय, a particular form of mental modification (i.e. rejection which is a particular form of thought.)

The अभ्यास, practice, of that विराम-प्रत्यय means getting it repeatedly fixed in the mind.

So the alternative translation of the Sutra is: “The other is that in which only the impressions remain and which is caused by the practice of fixing the thought process in the form of ‘rejection of mental activity’.

That of which that very thing viz. विराम-प्रत्यय-अभ्यास is the पूर्वम्, cause, is the अन्यः, other, which is distinct from सबीज-समाधि  mentioned before.

That is to say, it is the निर्बीज-असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि, संस्कार-शेष:, in which only the संस्कार, latent impressions, remain (शेष); it is totally without any mental modification.