Chapter 6

Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that a sannyasi and a yogi are one, ‘He who does his duty with no expectation of the fruit of action is at once a sannyasi and a yogi. O Arjuna, no one becomes a yogi who has not renounced his selfish purpose.’ (6.1-2) Here Krishna describes the nature of a Yogi, ‘A yogi has conquered his lower self and has attained the calm of self-mastery. He is at peace in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, in honour and dishonour. For him a clod, a stone, and a piece of gold are the same. He is equal-minded among friends, companions, and foes, among saints and sinners.’ (6.5-9)

The disciplines that a yogi must undertake in order to realise the Supreme Self are specified by Sri Krishna. He also tells Arjuna for whom Yoga is meant. ‘Arjuna, Yoga is neither for an epicure, nor for him who does not eat at all, neither for him who sleeps overmuch, nor for him who is endlessly awake.’ (6.16) Krishna defines a perfect Yogi, ‘O Arjuna, a yogi whether in pleasure or in pain, established in oneness, sees Me everywhere and sees all in Me and worships Me is considered a perfect yogi.’

Now Arjuna asks Krishna, ‘How can one achieve evenness of mind when the mind is very difficult to control just like the wind?”

Krishna says, ‘Without doubt, O Arjuna, the mind is restless and difficult to curb, but it can be controlled by constant practice and non-attachment.’ (6.35) On hearing this Arjuna asks a very significant question, ‘Though endowed with faith, a man who has failed to subdue his passion and whose mind is wandering away from Yoga (at the time of passing away) and who fails to attain perfection, that is, God-realisation, what fate does he meet with. Does he not meet with destruction like a rent cloud? He is deprived of both God-realisation and world-pleasure. His fate has deluded him in the path of Yoga. He has nowhere to go. He has nothing to stand upon.’ (6.38)

Sri Krishna enlightens Arjuna thus, ‘O Arjuna, no fall is there for him either in this world or in the world beyond. The path of woe is not for him who does good and who strives for self-realisation.’ (6.40) Krishna also says that he who falls from the path of Yoga in this life enters into a blessed and hallowed house in his next life to continue his spiritual journey. He regains all the spiritual progress he had made in the previous incarnation, and with this as the starting point he strives again for perfection.

Chapter 6 : The True Yoga

The pathway and the goal


Let a man lift himself by himself;
let him not degrade himself;
for the Self alone is the friend of the self
and the Self alone is the enemy of the self.


He who is equal-minded among friends, companions, and foes,
among those who are neutral and impartial,
among those who are hateful and related,
among saints and sinners-he excels.
Eternal vigilance over body and mind is essential


Let the yogin try constantly to concentrate his mind
[on the Supreme Self]
remaining in solitude and alone,
self-controlled, free from desires,
and longing for possessions.

The perfect yogi [yogi, or yogin]


He who sees Me everywhere
and sees all in Me-
I am not lost to him nor is he lost to Me.


The yogin who, established in oneness,
worships Me abiding in all beings lives in Me,
howsoever he may be active,

Control of mind is difficult but possible

The Blessed Lord said:


Without doubt, 0 Mighty-armed (Arjuna),
the mind is difficult to curb and restless,
but it can be controlled, 0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna),
by constant practice and non-attachment.

The perfect yogi


The yogin is greater than the ascetic;
he is considered to be greater than the man of knowledge,
greater than the man of ritual works;
therefore, do thou become a yogin, 0 Arjuna.


And of all yogins, he who full of faith worships Me,
with his inner self abiding in me,
-him I hold to be the most attuned to me [in yoga].


– The Bhagavad Gita

(This translation is taken from A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy Edited by S. Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore. 195. Princeton University Press)

Web Source: Aspiring India