Baghawat Geeta, Class 98: Chapter 6, Verses 43 to 47


Shloka # 43:

तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम्
यतते ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन।।6.43।।

There he acquires memory of the ideas relating to his previous body, and he labors harder, O Bharata prince! to achieve perfection.

Continuing his teaching of the Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, in spite of Sri Krishna’s encouragement Arjuna became pessimistic with respect to his own spiritual journey. He understood that this journey requires knowledge and purification of the mind. He feels he cannot master his own mind. Mind is after all the most difficult thing to master. That is why victory over mind is considered the greatest victory. Sri Krishna says it is a pre-requisite for gyanam. Arjuna feels he will never be able to obtain it, certainly not in this lifetime. Therefore, he has already started thinking of his preparations for the next life. It is like children who take an exam and know they have not done well, thinking of taking the exam again.

Yogabhrashta is spiritual failure. Sri Krishna has started answering Arjuna’s question in shlokas 40 through 45. He points out that a person on this path has no fall at all. Shankaracharya says, once spiritual teaching is received, it cannot be destroyed. There, however, maybe a stage of temporary stagnation. It is like the glowing ember covered by ashes, even with a little fanning the fire comes back. So also such a seekers’ spiritual vasanas come back to life. He picks up the thread in his next life. Spiritual failure of this janma becomes spiritual genius in next janma.

Even if one has failed in spiritual life in this life, he will still get swarga. Then he comes back in another birth to pursue spiritual life. Spiritual life can be clearly obtained only in two lokas. They are Manushya loka and Brahma Loka. If so, why not all go to Brahma Loka? Shankaracharya says going to Brahma Loka is very difficult. Getting manushya loka is also not easy. In manushya loka he or she gets the ideal continuation of his spiritual journey.

How does this continuation occur?

First, an environment for scriptural study should be available. Second, I should have an interest in such a study. Yoga Bhrashta will have both in next life, the environment and inclination. In that ideal environment (India is ideal for spirituality) the spiritual inclination arrives early in a yoga bhrashta. Swamji says any genius in any field (music, science, arts) was a bhrashta in his previous life. At death, jiva takes poorva vasanas with it to the next birth. His inclination towards materialistic world is less. He cannot explain his own inclination other than attribute it to his poorva janma vasana.

Once he has the inclination he can’t take this new life for granted. He has to use his free will to promote spirituality. This inclination has to be nourished. Therefore, the Yogabhrashta strives more and more in this new life. Due to his vasanas his effort is considerably reduced. Success of his spiritual journey is assured even with lesser effort.

Shloka # 44:

पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोऽपि सः
जिज्ञासुरपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्मातिवर्तते।।6.44।।

Though not a master of himself, he is attracted by his prior discipline. Even he who desires to know about Yoga goes beyond the sphere of Vedic injunctions.

How does this spiritual inclination express itself? Where ever and whenever spirituality is practiced in any form, he has an automatic interest in it. He is helplessly drawn to it. Parents often discourage a child’s inclination in this area. They don’t understand that child’s attraction is due to his or her vasanas.  Sri Aurobindo is a good example.

They say of Aurobindo that his parents did not want him to be in Indian culture at all; they liked the western culture; therefore he was given western education and sent to England; and to a materialistic atmosphere. There he comes in contact with people who are working for the freedom of India and he gets associated with those people, and he begins to feel and if I am working for the freedom of my motherland, should I not know about India, what is its culture, what is its history; philosophy and he gradually gets sucked into it and he comes to freedom struggle and goes to Pondicherry and becomes a yogi.

Therefore, if the spiritual fire is there; nobody can stop; and if the spiritual fire is not there; whatever you do it will not work.

People who don’t have the spiritual fire within them, should be allowed to follow their materialistic tendencies. Encourage them to worship god. Spiritual maturity is an evolution, not a revolution.

Due to his vasanas, a yogabhrashta, starts his interest in spirituality as a casual (hobby) student. But his fire catches on later. Spiritual fires are of three types: karpura buddhi (camphor), Kari buddhi (coal) and vazhathandu buddhi (banana trunk).

He becomes a camphor student. He transcends shabda brahma or karma kanda. Karma kanda is finite result. He transcends anitya phalam and obtains nithya phalam or moksha.

Shloka # 45:

रयत्नाद्यतमानस्तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिषः
अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम्।।6.45।।

The Yogin who strives hard and who has been perfected in the course of many lives attains the supreme goal, all his sins having been washed away.

What happens to Yogabhrashta in the present life (as a spiritual genius)? How does he feel the advantage of his vasanas? Sri Krishna says, he is free from impurities; he has a shudha antahakarana or mental purity.

How does mental purity express itself?

In chapter # 5, in the beginning, this topic is discussed. His natural inclination towards spirituality shows his mental purity.

How did he get it? Is God partial to him? This advantage he enjoys because he has obtained it from his many, many past lives. He has clarity about life’s purpose. He is not hoodwinked by materialistic goals.

Therefore, being an evolved person, he requires very limited effort in this life. His spiritual journey is a most enjoyable one. He effortlessly reaches his destination of moksha. He enjoys following Shruti-viddhi.

Shloka #46:

तपस्विभ्योऽधिको योगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपि मतोऽधिकः
कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिको योगी तस्माद्योगी भवार्जुन।।6.46।।

The Yogin is superior to the performance of austerities; he is deemed superior even to the knower of the Vedas; he excels those who do works. Therefore, O Arjuna! be a Yogin.

With the previous shloka Sri Krishna’s answers to Arjunas’s question is complete. Arjuna need not be pessimistic. Just listening to Gita gets him swarga. The question is raised, if a person has a past dosha (Sanchita karma) what happens to a Yoga bhrashta? His spiritual samskara is so strong that they keep poorva doshas at bay. They are not destroyed, as one needs gyanam to destroy past karmas, but they are kept at bay. So, don’t worry about sanchita papam. Don’t be pessimistic. Don’t ask, when will I get moksha? Rather, enjoy the spiritual journey.

In next two shlokas Sri Krishna comes back to meditation. Here he glorifies Vedantic meditation. He also glorifies the meditator. He says, among all sadhakas the Vedantic meditator is the greatest one.

Yogi’s are of four kinds.

1) Tapasvi: He is an upsaka, a saguna yogi;

2) Gyani: One who has gone through sravanam and mananam;

3) Karmi: He is a karma yogi;

4) Nidhidhyasanam: Vedantic meditator.

All four are yogis. Among them the Nidhidhayasana Yogi is best of all as he is closest to reaching the goal of moksha.

Therefore Arjuna, to get moksha, you have to do Nidhidhyasanam all by yourself. Unlike in sravanam and mananam no Guru can help you here. So recollect and assimilate the teachings.

Shloka # 47:

योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना
श्रद्धावान्भजते यो मां मे युक्ततमो मतः।।6.47।।

Among even these Yogins, he who, full of faith, worships Me, his inner self, absorbed in Me, him – I deem the most integrated.

Now Sri Krishna concludes the chapter by glorifying the meditator.

Almost same idea as in shloka # 46 is communicated. The one who meditates upon Me, Atma or God as Atma, with shraddha, he will become a jivan mukta. His mind remains absorbed in Me in total concentration.

He is the greatest sadhaka among Yogi’s. This is my teaching. This concludes Ch # 6 on Dhyanam. The chapter is also known as Atma Samyama chapter or one on control of mind.

Take away:

  1. Spiritual maturity is an evolution, not a revolution.
  2. A natural inclination towards spirituality shows one’s mental purity.

With Best Wishes

Ram Ramaswamy