Yoga Problems

This is a presentation of Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 6, Texts 26-47

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.

Arjuna: What would be gained by the effort?

Krishna: You will become a spiritual being, without impurity, without the obscuration of materialism. You will gain the utmost happiness within your radiantly peaceful mind.

Arjuna: Where does this happiness come from?

Krishna:By casting off impurity, you come into constant union with soul. You find yourself immersed in unlimited happiness because you are always enjoying the caress of Spirit.

Arjuna: How can I have “constant union with soul” while I am still in this material world?

Krishna: You will see that this world is also spirit. You will see spirit in everything, and everything in spirit. Everywhere you look, you will see the same thing: spirit.

Arjuna: [Looks at Krishna affectionately, at a loss for words].

Krishna: Seeing that “spirit” you will see me! You will see me in everything, and everything in me. You will never lose touch with me, nor I with you! See me in everything and you will be singularly engaged in my devotion, always and everywhere. You will be a yogi always immersed in me.

In my opinion, such a person is the paramount yogi. She treats all living things as dearly as her own self, and feels their happiness and sadness as if it were her own.

Arjuna: Krishna, slayer of evils, the yoga of equipoise that you describe seems impossible for me. I am too distracted and unsteady for it. O Krishna, my mind is very impatient, overpowering, distorted, and stubborn. I think it would be easier to control the wind than control the flow of my thoughts.

Krishna: No doubt the mind’s restlessness is very difficult to curb, my strong friend. But you can do it by practice and detachment. Without it, yoga is impossible; but with it you can attain success.

Arjuna: If I were to sincerely try, but fail to control my mind and attain perfection in yoga; what would I achieve? Would I not then have failed in both a worldly and spiritual sense; like a piece of cloud torn off and then disappearing into the sky? That is my fear, Krishna. I don’t think anyone other than you can completely destroy this doubt.

Krishna: Arjuna, if you made sincere effort in yoga, you would never face failure; neither in this world nor beyond. My dear, one who does good never attains ill.

Arjuna: Then what, exactly, would happen to me?

Krishna: The imperfect yogi first goes to the realms of paradise. After spending many years there, he again appears on Earth, in a blessed and pure family, or even in a family of wise yogis. Ah, what a rare and valuable birth! It will then be natural to revive the spiritual intelligence he developed in his previous incarnation, and continue further towards perfection.

Arjuna: Why is it “natural” for him to again take up yoga?

Krishna: His former practice will certainly magnetize him automatically towards being curious about yoga. Thus he will quickly pass through all the scriptures.

Arjuna: What if he again fails?

Krishna: The process continues, even if it takes several lifetimes. Eventually his endeavors become very tenacious and all the faults which troubled his progress are cleansed. Eventually he attains perfection and the supreme goal.

Arjuna: What did you mean when you said, “He quickly passes through all the scriptures”?

Krishna: The scripture mostly regulates selfish deeds. He quickly becomes better than that and becomes interested in philosophy and knowledge. He will also quickly assimilate the wisdom of scripture, and thus become a yogi, dedicating the flow of his thoughts to union with the spirit. The yogi is the best of all people, so try to be a yogi, Arjuna.

Arjuna: Of all yogis, which type is the best?

Krishna:  In my opinion, the very best of all yogis is the one who sincerely loves me, seeking me within the core of his own self.

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