Perfection of Yoga

This is an English rendering of Bhagavad-Gita’s Sixth Chapter, texts 16-26

Arjuna: What are some pitfalls to watch out for, some guidelines for success on this path of yoga?

Krishna: Don’t eat too much, but don’t starve either. Don’t sleep too much, but don’t stay up all the time either. Be intelligent in how you eat, relax, work, sleep, and stay awake. Then yoga will not be painful.

Arjuna: When is the path of yoga complete?

Krishna: The path is complete when your thoughts are fully under your control and thus remain fixed within the soul, freed from all selfish desires. Such a mind is like a candle in a windless place; it never wavers from its inward focus. By dedication to yoga, you will have stopped the outward flow of thoughts and directed them inward towards your soul; experiencing the satisfaction of truly seeing your self. Comprehending that vision is so limitlessly and transcendentally delightful that you will never wander off from its reality.  When you attain it, you will want to attain nothing else; nothing else will seem important. When you are within it, not even the most severe suffering can disturb you. By knowing it, your union with misery will be dissolved, and your union with reality established.

The path begins with the deep determination to practice yoga wholeheartedly. Then one completely gives up all convictions to pursue selfish desires, and constantly disciplines the mind and senses in all respects. Gradually the intelligence becomes strong and takes control. Then, it places the thoughts and emotions of the mind within the soul, and never even considers anything else.

Arjuna: But when I attempt to fix the mind within myself, it wanders.

Krishna: It will wander here and there at first, because it is a restless and unsteady thing. Wherever it goes, bring it back and again place it under your control.


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