Wednesday, March 28, 2012

VI: 1



Verse 1

Krishna says,

"Those who do the tasks
Dictated by duty,
Caring nothing
For the fruit of the action,
Are Yogis and true Sannyasins.
But those who fulfill their vows
By simply refraining,
Making excuses
For the avoidance of labor,
They are neither Yogis
Nor true Sannyasins."

Swami Chidbhavananda:

Krishna is saying in so many words that nobody is to discard action. All have their duties, which are to well-executed. Arjuna's plea to forego engagement in the impending war, to beat a retreat and to take up the beggar's bowl, is an example of a wrong orientation. Awakened Yogis and Sannyasins [renunciates] discharge duties in a worshipful spirit, and they are not attached to the fruits.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

Sannyasins emphasize the external condition of nonattachment to maintain the consciousness of God in their activities, while Yogis emphasize the inner perception of God in meditation, which they then strive to carry forth into their daily actions. If novitiates pursue the spiritual path principally by thinking only of God while performing activities, they are Sannyasins. If truth-seekers concentrate primarily upon seeking God in meditation, they are Yogis. Those devotees who combine the two approaches are the ones who quickly come to know God. They are both Sannyasins and Yogis.

Sri Krishna Prem:

Some have divided the path elucidated by Krishna in the Gita into three stages: the way of purification, the way of illumination and the way of unity. The first six chapters correspond to a certain extent with the way of purification. This sixth chapter marks a transition to the the way of illumination for it sets forth a technique of mental discipline which is meant to transform the consciousness from its ordinary, waking condition to those higher levels which, up to this point, have been working behind the scenes, glimpsed perhaps in occasional flashes of inspiration, but always as something slightly out of reach and outside the dominion of the will, coming and going with an apparent caprice that veils some mysterious law. The technique is called Dhyan Yoga, the Yoga of meditation. It corresponds, more or less, with the method systematized by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.

At the very outset, it needs to be made clear for whom this practice will benefit and for whom it will not. This has vital importance, since there are many who consider the practice of meditation to be the Yoga par excellence, eagerly embarking on the practice without treading the all-important preparatory stages, including reflection on the eternal truths regarding the soul and the world, and calm discernment of one's own character.

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