Significance of Chapter 6 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita- Dhyana Yoga


Chapter 6 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita is known as the "Dhyān Yog” or “The Yog of Meditation". This chapter is of great importance as it explains all about the practices of Meditation and the importance of balancing one's mind and emotions. 

This physical body is purified by a daily bath with water, the money is purified through selfless donation. Similarly, through applying Meditation, the Mind is not only purified but also the spiritual realization is enhanced. This chapter teaches us valuable lessons about how to lead a peaceful and harmonious life.

Important Verses of Chapter 6 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 6- Shloka 4: 

यदा हि नेन्द्रियार्थेषु न कर्मस्वनुषज्जते |
सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते || 4||

yada hi nendriyartheshu na karmasv-anushajjate
sarva-sankalpa-sannyasi yogarudhas tadochyate


"When a person is neither attached to the pleasures of the senses nor actions, at that time such a person who has renounced all desires for the fruits of actions is called a yogarudha, that is, a person who is established in Yoga."


This shloka clears curiosity about who is in the Equanimity (Samta) or Yogarudh and what are the consequences of not being in Samta.
Lord Krishna advices non-Attachment with worldly things, Karma as well as Sankalps. 

In this world, any type of attachment to the fruits of actions is related to five types of Senses, namely: sound (शब्द), touch (स्पर्श), form (रूप), taste (रस) and smell (गन्ध). This is the main obstacle in the path of a person’s welfare or liberation.

Those who do not get attached to favorable circumstances, persons, and to the comfort of the body, respect, growth. Those who neither enjoy them nor collect them, rather feel that all these subjects are perishable, that person becomes Yogarudha (in equanimity).

Bhagwad Gita clearly says that if a man does his duties selflessly and without asking for any returns or fruits of his actions, then only he attains salvation (moksha). On the other hand, he who takes shelter of the fruits of his actions, gets bound and keeps on going through the cycle of birth and death.

All the favorable things that are available to us are not ours but belong to this world, and therefore should be used only for the benefit of the world. For example, when you help a needy with something, consider that material as his own and offer it to him. Think that you have become debt free to some extent.

Similarly, there should be no attachment to one’s actions. It is a fact that when any work is accomplished, one feels happy, but when the work is not done properly, he feels sad. This existence of happiness and sorrow is the attachment of karma. 
Therefore, a person must perform his work following guided procedure and with proper enthusiasm, but without being attached to it. Then, there would be no feeling of sorrow or happiness in the heart.

There should not either be any attachment to ‘not doing work’. This gives rise to laziness and carelessness.

We should also not get attached to pledges or resolutions. If thoughts such as 'If we get this, we will be so happy', arise in our mind, then such indulgence becomes a resolution or pledge.

That is why all thoughts should be abandoned. Then one becomes Yogarudh. 

Don't even have the thought of your liberation; because the power of bondage is strengthened by the resolution of liberation, therefore, do not keep any resolution and remain indifferent.

In essence, this verse emphasizes the importance of renouncing desires and selfish motives to attain the state of yoga. A true yogi practices self-discipline and selflessness, acting without the attachment to results. By doing so, they become firmly established on the path of spiritual growth and liberation. The verse highlights the key characteristic of a yogi – the ability to act with detachment, free from the bondage of desires, and focused on the path of self-realization.


Chapter 6- Shloka 5: 

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: || 5||

“uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hyatmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanaḥ”

Meaning : 

"A man should salvage or uplift himself through the power of his mind and should not disgrace or let himself fall. Because it is you, who is a friend as well as an enemy of self. This mind could be the friend as well as the enemy of the soul."


Let us understand what is Uplift and Downfall.

1. When we do any work to get some fruit or to fulfill a particular desire, we get attached to it. Instantly we are confronted by the defects of affection, fondness, ego, senses of self-image, love hatred, anger, fear, etc. And this cycle goes on. This is called downfall.

2. If a person does work considering it as his duty, without expecting any reward, he elevates himself, letting off all the above-mentioned imperfections. This is known as the Uplift of the soul or self. This person attains salvation, and is called a Karmayogi.

 उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं 'uddhared atmanatmanam' means instead of seeing the shortcomings in others, see the deficiencies in yourself and try to remove them. Advise yourself, become your own master.
While a trained mind is the best friend, an uncontrolled mind could be the worst enemy for a spiritual aspirant. Hence a Mind could be conquered through Meditation.

In summary, this verse teaches us the power of self-awareness and self-control. By cultivating positive thoughts, practicing self-compassion, and exercising self-discipline, we can elevate ourselves to higher levels of consciousness and well-being. On the contrary, indulging in negative thinking and self-destructive behaviors can lead to our own downfall.

The verse encourages us to be the masters of our minds and take charge of our thoughts and actions to nurture a positive and constructive self-relationship. By doing so, we can elevate ourselves on the path of self-realization and lead a fulfilling life.

Chapter 6- Shloka 7:

जितात्मन: प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहित: |
शीतोष्णसुखदु:खेषु तथा मानापमानयो: || 7||

jitātmanaḥ praśhāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ
śhītoṣhṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣhu tathā mānāpamānayoḥ

Meaning : 

"The one who has conquered himself (his mind), in dualities of cold-heat (favorability-adversity), joy-sorrow, and honor-disgrace, God always remains with that person (yogi) without any reason. Such yogi remains peaceful and steadfast in his devotion to attaining God."


What is the law of mind? 

The mind always flows downwards like water. Just like a water pump is needed to raise the water from a lower level to a higher one, a mantra or meditation is needed to elevate the mind. 

Who is a Jitatma (जितात्मा)?

The person who does not take any help from the body, mind, intellect, senses, etc., and even does not have any kind of kinship with them, is known as 'Jitatma'. 

There are two types of situations in a man's life - favorable and unfavorable. Favourability brings happiness and adversity brings about sorrow. 

However, the ‘Jitatma Purush’ does not feel happiness and sorrow at all, neither outside nor inside. He would always remain unaffected and in equality in all circumstances. His inner peace will not be disturbed.

The same thing applies in case of honor and insult. A Karmayogi’s mind remains calm and unruffled even in the face of insults and abuses. There is not even the slightest variation in his peace.
This proves that man has attained the divine essence. The man who has learned to live in equanimity has conquered the world.

Chapter 6- Shloka 9:

सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु |
साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते || 9||

sādhuṣhvapi cha pāpeṣhu sama-buddhir viśhiṣhyate

Meaning : 

A Yogi looks upon all - well-wishers, relatives, friends, enemies, neutrals, mediators, jealous, pious, and sinful - with an impartial attitude and standpoint, is considered distinguished among humans.


In this verse Lord Krishna describes the characteristics of a person who has attained a state of equanimity and balanced intellect. 

This part of the verse refers to different categories of people one may encounter in life. It lists various types of individuals:

Suhṛit: Those who are well-wishers and friends.
Mitra: Friendly acquaintances or companions.
Aryudāsīna: Neutral or impartial individuals, those who remain uninvolved in conflicts or don't take sides.
Madhyastha: Mediators or those who act as intermediaries in resolving disputes.
Dveṣhya: People who are hostile or with whom there is enmity.
Bandhuṣhu: Relatives or family members.

sādhuṣhvapi cha pāpeṣhu sama-buddhir viśhiṣhyate:
This part of the verse describes the attitude of the person who has attained a higher level of wisdom and understanding:

Sama-buddhir: This term means "equal-mindedness" or "equanimity" in one's intellect.

So, the verse conveys the message that a person with an equanimous and balanced mind treats all these different types of people with equal respect and impartiality. They do not let their emotions or biases sway their behavior towards anyone, be it friends, enemies, neutral individuals, relatives, or even saints and sinners.

This verse highlights the ideal state of mind that one should strive to attain – treating everyone with equal-mindedness, without any discrimination or prejudice. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining harmony and balance within oneself and towards others, regardless of their relationship or behavior towards us. Such an attitude helps in fostering peace, understanding, and spiritual growth.

Chapter 6- Shlokas 16 and 17 

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नत: |
न चाति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन || 16||

natyashnatastu yogo ’sti na chaikantam anashnatah
na chati-svapna-shilasya jagrato naiva charjuna 

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा || 17||

yuktahara-viharasya yukta-cheshtasya karmasu
yukta-svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-ha


Those who eat too much or too little or none, sleep too much or too little or none, would be unable to attain success in Dhyana Yoga.
Those who are temperate and self-controlled in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and disciplined in sleep, can mitigate all material pains by practicing Yoga system and can attain success in Dhyana Yoga.


In this verse, Lord Krishna emphasizes the importance of moderation and balance in one's lifestyle. He advises that a practitioner of yoga should maintain a disciplined and regulated approach to various aspects of life, including eating, sleeping, working, and leisure activities.

Nātyaśhna-tastu yogo'sti: "There is no yoga for one who eats too much." Overindulgence in eating can lead to physical and mental lethargy, making it challenging to engage in disciplined spiritual practices like yoga. It's important to consume food in moderation, neither indulging in excessive eating nor starving oneself.

Na chaikāntamanashnatah: "There is no yoga for one who eats too little." On the other hand, excessive fasting or undernourishment can weaken the body and mind, making it difficult to focus and concentrate during yoga practice. Adequate nutrition is essential for maintaining the physical and mental health required for spiritual pursuits.

Na chātisvapna-shīlasya: "There is no yoga for one who sleeps too much." Excessive sleep can lead to dullness and lack of motivation. It hinders the development of self-discipline and dedication required in the practice of yoga.

Jāgrato naiva chārjuna: "There is no yoga for one who does not sleep enough." Lack of sufficient sleep can lead to fatigue and restlessness, making it hard to concentrate during meditation and other yoga practices. Proper rest is essential for a clear and focused mind.

Yukta-āhāra: This means "moderate eating" or consuming food in a balanced manner. Overindulgence or excessive eating can lead to physical and mental disturbances, affecting one's ability to focus during yoga practice.

Yukta-vihāra: It refers to "moderate recreation" or engaging in leisure activities in a balanced way. While recreation is essential for relaxation, excessive indulgence can distract from spiritual pursuits.

Yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu: This implies "moderation in work and action." It advises maintaining a balanced approach to work without being overly ambitious or lethargic.

Yukta-svapnāvabodhasya: "Moderate sleeping" is crucial for rejuvenation and maintaining mental clarity. Too much or too little sleep can affect one's ability to practice yoga effectively.

In summary, these two verse emphasize the significance of moderation and balance in various aspects of life, such as eating, sleeping, and daily routines. By maintaining a balanced lifestyle, a practitioner can lay a strong foundation for the practice of yoga, enhancing their spiritual progress and overall well-being.

Chapter 6- Shloka 30

यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति |
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति || 30||

yo mam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati
tasyaham na pranashyami sa cha me na pranashyati

Meaning : 

The devotee who sees me everywhere and sees everything in me, I am not unseen to him nor is he ever unnoticed by me.


In this profound verse, Lord Krishna explains the state of a realized yogi who has attained a deep level of spiritual consciousness and unity with the divine.

Yo māṁ paśhyati sarvatra: "For one who sees Me everywhere." The "Me" refers to the divine presence or the Supreme Consciousness represented by Lord Krishna. A realized yogi perceives the divine presence permeating the entire creation. They see the underlying oneness in everything and recognize the divine essence in all beings and things.

Sarvaṁ cha mayi paśhyati: "And sees everything in Me." This means that the enlightened yogi perceives the entire universe as an expression of the Divine. They understand that everything that exists is interconnected and sustained by the Divine Consciousness.

Tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśhyāmi: "I am never lost to him." Lord Krishna assures that for the one who sees this unity and recognizes the presence of the Divine in all aspects of life, He is never distant or separated from them. Such a devotee maintains a constant connection with the Divine.

Sa cha me na praṇaśhyati: "Nor is he ever lost to Me." Lord Krishna reciprocates the devotee's love and devotion. The enlightened yogi, who sees the Divine in everything, becomes dear to the Lord and remains eternally connected with the Divine Consciousness.

This verse highlights the concept of universal interconnectedness and the intimate relationship between the Divine and the individual soul. A realized yogi perceives the Divine presence everywhere, leading to a deep sense of unity and divine love. The verse assures that when one establishes such a profound connection with the Divine, it becomes unbreakable, and the devotee and the Divine are never separated from each other.

Chapter 6- Shloka 35

असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलम् |
अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते || 35||

asanshayam maha-baho mano durnigraham chalam
abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grihyate


Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, undoubtedly the mind is restless and very difficult to restrain. However, by practice and detachment, it can be controlled.


In the previous shloka, Arjuna told the Lord that it was very difficult to control the Mind. Because this mind is very fickle, confusing, dogged, and strong. Tying or Binding is as challenging as keeping the air tied in the fist. 

Although lord confirmed this argument, he at the same time provided the solution. By reminding his mother Kunti, who was very prudent, judicious, and detached from indulgences or extravagances. One must detach himself from worldly affairs and be involved in God. That could be achieved only through regular and uninterrupted practices.

Asaṁśhayaṁ mahā-bāho mano durnigrahaṁ chalam: "Undoubtedly, the mind is restless and hard to restrain, O mighty-armed Arjuna." Lord Krishna acknowledges the inherent nature of the mind, which tends to be agitated and difficult to control. The mind is known for its wandering tendencies and constant distractions, making it challenging for individuals to keep it focused and steady.

Abhyāsa (Practice): Regular and dedicated practice of spiritual disciplines such as meditation, contemplation, mantra repetition, and self-awareness helps in calming the mind. By repeatedly redirecting the mind's attention to a chosen focal point, one can gradually bring it under control.

Vairāgya (Detachment): Detachment refers to cultivating a state of dispassion or non-attachment towards the material world and sensory experiences. When one reduces the excessive fascination with the external world and worldly desires, the mind becomes less agitated and more focused on spiritual pursuits.

Through the combination of abhyāsa (practice) and vairāgya (detachment), one can gradually discipline the mind and establish a state of mental equilibrium. This controlled mind becomes a powerful tool for spiritual growth and self-realization.

This verse reminds Arjuna, and all seekers of truth, that while the mind may be restless and challenging to manage, sincere practice and detachment can lead to mastery over the mind, helping them progress on the path of spiritual evolution.

Chapter 6- Shloka 46

तपस्विभ्योऽधिकोयोगी, ज्ञानिभ्योऽपिमतोऽधिक:|
कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिकोयोगी, तस्माद्योगीभवार्जुन|| 46||

tapasvibhyo ’dhiko yogi, jnanibhyo ’pi mato ’dhikah
 karmibhyash chadhiko yogi, tasmad yogi bhavarjuna


“The Lord declares that a yogi is superior to the tapasvī (ascetic), superior to the jnani (a knowledgeable person), and even superior to the karmi (ceremonial performer). Therefore, O Arjun, strive to be a yogi.”


In this verse, Lord Krishna emphasizes the supremacy of a yogi over other paths of spiritual seekers, such as ascetics, knowledgeable individuals, and those who perform prescribed duties.

Tapasvibhyo'dhiko yogī: "Greater than the ascetics (tapasvis) is the yogi." Tapasvis are individuals who practice severe austerity and penance to attain spiritual growth. While their dedication and effort are commendable, Lord Krishna suggests that a true yogi, who has mastered the mind and attained self-realization through yoga, surpasses them in spiritual attainment.

Jñānibhyo'pi mato'dhikaḥ: "Greater than the knowledgeable (jñanis) is the yogi." Jñanis are highly knowledgeable individuals who have profound understanding and wisdom. Despite their intellectual acumen, a yogi, who has experienced the union with the Divine through yoga, holds a higher position in the spiritual journey.

Karmibhyaśhchādhiko yogī: "Greater than the performers of prescribed duties (karmis) is the yogi." Karmis are those who diligently perform their prescribed duties and follow the path of righteousness. However, a yogi, who has realized the ultimate truth and transcended the material world through yoga, stands above them in spiritual evolution.

Through this verse, Lord Krishna emphasizes the significance of the yogic path in attaining spiritual realization and self-mastery. While other paths like austerity, knowledge, and righteous actions are essential and commendable, the practice of yoga unifies and transcends these paths, leading to a direct experience of divine consciousness and liberation.

Hence, Lord Krishna highly recommends Arjuna become a Yogi rather than an ascetic or a Gnani, or a ceremonial worker.

Chapter 6- Shloka 47

योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना |
श्रद्धावान्भजते यो मां स मे युक्ततमो मत: || 47||

 yoginam api sarvesham mad-gatenantar-atmana
shraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah


"Among all the yogis, the one with inner self abiding in Me with faith and considering Me as the ultimate goal, is considered the most deeply absorbed in yoga, and I consider that person to be the best yogi.”


There are various types of Yogis- karma yogis, bhakti yogis, jnana(gyan) yogis, aṣhṭaṅg yogis, hatha yogis, etc. Shree Krishna declares the bhakti yogi as the greatest, superior to all other yogis. That is because God is not only bound by the powerful bhakti or devotion of that yogi but also becomes a slave of his devotee. 
“Although I am supremely independent, I become enchained and dominated by my devotees. They conquer my heart and are very dear to me.”  
Yogināmapi sarveṣhāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā: "Among all the yogis, the one with inner self abiding in Me." The most accomplished yogi is the one who maintains constant awareness of the Divine within their heart (antara-atman) and experiences a profound connection with the Supreme (Mad-gatena).

Śhraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ: "With faith and considering Me as the ultimate goal, worships Me." This exceptional yogi practices their sadhana (spiritual practices) with unwavering faith, dedicating all their actions to the Divine. They view the Supreme as the ultimate goal of their existence and engage in loving devotion (bhakti) towards the Divine.

Lord Krishna affirms that this deeply absorbed and devoted yogi is the most elevated among all practitioners of yoga.

Sa me yuktatamo mataḥ: "I consider that person to be the best yogi." The phrase "yuktatamo matah" indicates that according to Lord Krishna, such a devoted yogi is the most accomplished and accomplished among all yogis.

This verse highlights the significance of sincere devotion, surrender, and single-pointed focus on the Divine as the ultimate aim of yoga. Lord Krishna emphasizes that the yogi who lovingly merges their inner self with the Divine through faith and devotion is considered the highest and most accomplished practitioner of yoga. 

In a nutshell, Chapter 6 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita teaches us the importance of mastering our minds, leading a balanced life, practicing meditation, and nurturing compassion and detachment. By following these principles, we can achieve inner peace, find purpose and meaning in life, and develop a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.


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