Swamiji summarizes Lord Krishna’s discussion thus far:
- The topic of Bahiranga saadhana. These are the general disciplines to be observed by a person who wants his meditation to be successful.
- Samatvam (equanimity) as one discipline, the importance of self-confidence, self-effort and self-integration of various personalities (the physical, the psychological, the intellectual). If a person takes care of all these disciplines, then the self-knowledge is very easy.
- Krishna then mentioned the benefit of gaining the self-knowledge. This comes in the form of a total change of one’s perspective of the world. According to Vedanta, the world does not have an intrinsic capacity to bind, to persecute, torment or disturb an individual. The individual gives the power to the world to disturb them. This occurs when a person has an unhealthy perspective of the world. The perspective is in your hands!
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 6 Sloka 9
साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते ।।6.9।।
सुह्यन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु in the goodhearted, in friends, in enemies, in the indifferent, in neutrals, in haters, and in relatives साधुषु in the righteous अपि also च and पापेषु in the unrighteous समबुद्धिः one who has equal mind विशिष्यते excels.
The yogis look upon all—well-wishers, friends, foes, the pious, and the sinners—with an impartial intellect. The yogi who is of equal intellect toward friend, companion, and foe, neutral among enemies and relatives, and impartial between the righteous and sinful, is distinguished among humans.
In this verse, Krishna says, not only does a jnaani have samtvam regarding inanimate objects, he has the sama darshanam regarding the living beings as well. Equanimity towards the living beings is more difficult, esp. with human living beings. When we befriend a person, we develop raga, dvesha, krodha, etc. Krishna has given a wide range of human beings.
सुहृत् means by his very nature he is a well-wisher of everyone and will help anyone without any conditions or expectations.
मित्रम् another good person but this person is a conditional helper – helps only when the other is a known person.
अरि (not seen separately due to the sandhi) means enemy
उदासीन: means an indifferent person. He does not harm nor do any good. मध्यस्थ: a mediator.
द्वेष्य: one who is hateful; one who provokes hatred by his behavior
बन्धु: a relative; connected by family relation.
साधु: a noble person who follows dharma. सुहृत् means a person doing good to others. A साधु: is a person leading a life of values, whether an opportunity arises to help others or not.
पापेषु one who leads a life of अधर्म – an unrighteous person.
These are the various types of people. A jnaani’s attitude towards all of them is equanimity.
How can you see all the people equally when one person is a saint and another a criminal? The समबुद्धिः must be understood very well. This was discussed in Chapter 5, Verse 18 as विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने |
Swamiji explains समत्वम् again.
समत्वम् can be looked at from two angles:
- the philosophical and
- freedom from raga-dvesha.
The philosophical angle means that a jnaani looks at the true nature of everyone. This is the atma-svaroopam. All the differences in character belongs to the anatma or the body-mind complex. Behind this body-mind complex, everyone has only one reality, God! God or atma is uniformly present in everyone; therefore, everyone is innately good. A jnaani’s vision is samtvam – that everyone is a beautiful atma.
The other angle of samatvam is that it is freedom from raga and dvesha. Neither attachment nor hatred. Both are forms of dependence. Attachment is the dependence on the presence of an object. Hatred is the dependence upon the absence of the object. A jnaani is समः means he doesn’t have attachment and hatred. Neither a presence or absence of something or someone affects him.
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 6 Sloka 10
योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः ।
एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः ।।6.10।।
योगी the Yogi युञ्जीत let him keep the mind steady सततम् constantly आत्मानम् self रहसि in solitude स्थितः remaining एकाकी alone यतचित्तात्मा one with the mind and the body controlled निराशीः free from hope अपरिग्रहः noncovetousness.
Those who seek the state of Yogi should reside in seclusion, constantly engaged in meditation with a controlled mind and body, getting rid of desires and possessions for enjoyment.
Krishna talks about the Antaranga Saadhanam from Verse 10 to Verse 15. These are specific disciplines to be observed just before meditation (Bahiranga sadhana is observed throughout all our transactions).
Krishna discusses 8 steps/stages in Antaranga saadhana. Meditation will be effective, if these steps are observed.
Stage 1: देश नियमः Desha NiyamaH
- देशः a secluded place of meditation with minimum disturbances.
- एकाकी alone; try to be alone.
- Let the place be spiritually and physically clean. The space should be associated with spirituality; puja room, temple, ashrama etc.
Stage 2: काल नियमः Kaala NiyamaH (Krishna does not mention this).
- कालः Early morning is ideal for meditation. But the ideal time for meditation is when you are relaxed and not sleepy.
Stage 3: आसन Aasana
- आसनम् where should you be seated? You can sit on a chair if you are not able to sit on the floor. The main aim is the mind!
- Every meditator should have his/her own aasanam. It should be neither too soft nor too hard. Neither too high nor too low.
Stage 4: शरीर स्थितिः Shareera SthitaH; Posture of the body
- You should sit steadily; Keep the neck and head straight and relaxed
Stage 5: प्राणसाम्यं Praanasaamyam
- Even breathing. The breathing should be relaxed and smooth.
Breathing and our thoughts are interconnected.
Stage 6: इन्द्रिय निग्रहः Indriya NigrahaH; Sensory restraint
- Sense organs can influence the mind since every sense organ is a gateway in which the world enters the mind.
- Krishna says to withdraw the sense organs by turning the mind away.
- Krishna specifically mentions the eyes – the most powerful sense organs. If the eyes are open, all the things seen enter the mind and triggers the thoughts to wander. When the eyes are closed, by laws of association, we tend to sleep. Krishna says, let the eyes be half-closed, as though you are looking at the tip of your nose.
Stage 7: मनो निग्रहः Mano NigrahaH; Withdrawal of the mind
- The mind must be withdrawn from mundane things; all the worldly roles you play in life as husband/wife/neighbor/mother etc. Each role has its set of anxieties and worries.
- For 15 minutes, shed all your roles. Become a sanyasi mentally. Relate to God or your Guru. These are the two relationships that have no problems.
Invoke the Guru. By law of association, you are reminded of the teachings. The relationship to the guru is in the context of teaching. Withdraw your mind; surrender to the Lord.
Stage 8: बुद्धि निश्चयः Buddhi NishchayaH
- Conviction regarding the necessity and utility of meditation. It should not be a mechanical routine. Need to meditate whole-heartedly, knowing the role of meditation.
With this conviction, sit in meditation, withdraw the sense organs; withdraw the mind. Now, you are fully available for meditation. These 8 steps are not meditation but specific preparation, called antaranga saadhanaani. The details will be discussed in the next class.