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Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6 – The Science of Self-Realization (Abhyasa/ Aatma Saiyam Yoga)

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Chapter 6 – The Yoga of Self Control (Abhyasa/ Aatma Saiyam Yoga)

In chapter six Lord Krishna reveals Astanga Yoga, and the exact process of practicing such yoga.

He explains in detail the difficulties of the mind and the procedures by which one may gain mastery of their mind through yoga which reveals the spiritual nature of a living entity.

Thus this chapter is entitled: The Science of Self-Realization.

Abhyasana Yoga


  1. (Shloka 1-4)        : Nishkaam karma yoga
  2. (Shloka 5-10)     : Self improvement and qualities of God realized souls
  3. (Shloka 11-32)   : Dhyaan yoga
  4. (Shloka 33-36)  : Control of mind
  5. (Shloka 37-47)  : What happens when a yogi fails

Bhagwad Gita : Chapter 6

6.1 Shree Bhagwan said “He who does his duty without expecting the fruit of action is sanyasi and yogi both, and not the one who has simply renounced the fire or given up all activity.”

6.1 ShreeBhagwanovaach

anaashritah karmaphalam kaaryam karam kroti yah

sa sanyaasi cha yogi cha na niragnirna chakria

6.2  Arjuna, you must know that what they call as sanyas is no other than yoga; for none becomes a yogi without giving up planned thoughts about the world.

6.2 yam sanyaasam-iti prahur-yogam tam vidhi paandava

na hiyassanyast-sankalpo yogi bhavati kashchana

6.3 To the contemplating soul who desires to climb the heights of karma yoga, disinterested action is called the first stepping stone; for the same man when he is established in yoga absence of all worldly thought is said to be the way to blessedness.

6.3 aaruruksho-muner-yogam karam karnam-uchyate

yogaaarurasya tasayaiva shamh karnam-uchyate

6.4 When a man ceases to have any attachment either for the object of senses or for actions, and has renounced all thoughts of world, he is said to have climbed to the heights of yoga

6.4 yadaa hi nendriaartheshu na karmswanushajjate

sarvasankalp sanyaasi yogaarustadochyate

6.5 one should lift oneself by one’s own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for one’s own self is one’s friend, and one’s own self is one’s enemy

6.5 udharet-atmana-atmaanam na-atmaananam-avsaadyet

aatmaiv hiyatmano bandhuraatmaiv ripuraatmanah

6.6 one’s own self is the friend of the soul by whom the lower self (consisting of mind, senses, and body) has been conquered; even so the very self of him who has not conquered his lower self behaves antagonistically like an enemy.

6.6 bandhuraatmanastasya yen-atmaiv-atmana jit

anaatmanastu shatrutve vartaitaatmaiv shatruvat

6.7 The Supreme Spirit is rooted in the knowledge of the self controlled man whose mind is perfectly serene in the midst of pairs of opposites ,such as cold and heat, joy and sorrow, honor and ignominy.

6.7 jitaatmanah prashaantasya paramaatma samahitah

sheetoshna-sukhdukheshu tatha maanaapmanauo

6.8 The yogi whose mind is sated with janana (Knowledge of Nirguna Brahma) and vijnana (Knowledge of manifest Divinity), who is unmoved under all circumstances, whose senses are completely mastered, and to whom mud, stone and gold are all alike, is spoken of as a God realized soul.

6.8 gyan-vigyan-tript-aatma kootastho vijitendriah

yukta iti-uchyate yogi sama-loshtashma-kanchanah

6.9 He who looks upon well wishers and neutrals as well as mediators, friends and foes, relatives and objects of hatred, the virtuous and the sinful, with the same eye stands supreme.

6.9 suhrinmitrar-udaseen-madhayasth-dveshya-bandhushu

sadhushvapi cha papeshu sam-budhir-vishishyate

6.10 Living in seclusion all by himself, the yogi who has controlled his mind and body, and is free from desires and void of possessions, should constantly engage his mind in meditation

6.10 yogi yunjeet satatam-aatmanam rehsi stithah

ekaki yat-chit-aatmaa nirashir –aprigrah

6.11 Having firmly placed his seat in a spot which is free from dirt and other impurities with the sacred kusa grass, deerskin and cloth spread thereon one below another( kusa below, deerskin in the middle and cloth uppermost), neither very high nor very low.

6.11 shuchau deshe pritshthapaye sthiram-aasanam-aatmanh

nati-utshritam nati-neecham chaila-jin-kushotram

6.12 And occupying that seat , concentrating the mind and controlling the functions of the mind and senses, he should practice yoga for self purification.

6.12 tatra-aikaagram manh kritwa yat-chitendria kriyah

upvishyasane yujadyogam-aatma-vishudhye

6.13 Holding the trunk, head and neck straight and steady, remaining firm and fixing the gaze on the tip of his nose, without looking in other directions.

6.13 samam kaye-shiro-greevam dharyan achalam sthira

samprekhshaya nasika-agram swam dishash-cha-anvalokyan

6.14 Firm in the vow of complete chastity and fearlessness, keeping himself perfectly calm and with the mind held in restraint and fixed on Me, the vigilant yogi should sit absorbed in Me

6.14 prshant-aatma vigatbhi-brahamchari-vrate stithah

manah syamaya machito yukta aasit matparah

6.15 Thus constantly applying his mind to Me, the yogi of disciplined mind attains the everlasting peace, consisting of supreme bliss, which abides in Me

6.15 yunj-naivam sadaatmanam yogi niyat-mansah

shantim nirvanparmam matsanstham-adhigachchiti

6.16 Arjuna, this yoga is neither for him who overeats, nor for him who observes a complete fast; it is neither for him who is given to too much sleep, nor even for him who is ceaselessly awake.

6.16 nati-ashantastu yogo-asti na chaikantam-anshnatah

na chati swapansheelasya jagrito naiv cha arjunah

6.17 Yoga which rids one of woe, is accomplished only by him who is regulated in diet and recreation, regulated in performing actions, and is regulated in sleep and wakefulness.

6.17 yukta-aahaar-vihaarasya yukta-chaishtasya karmasu

yukta-swapnaav-bodhasaya yogo bhavati duhkhha

6.18 When the mind which is thoroughly disciplined gets riveted on God alone , then the person who is free from yearning for all enjoyments is said to be established in yoga.

6.18 yada viniayatam chittam-aatmaniaiv avtishthte

nisprihah sarvakamebhayo yukt iti-uchate tada

6.19 As a light does not flicker in windless place, such is stated to be the picture of the disciplined mind of yogi practicing meditation on God.

6.19 yatha deepo nivaatastho nengate soapmaa smrita

yogino yat-chitasaya yunjato yogam-aatmnah

6.20 The state in which, curbed through the practice of yoga, the mind becomes still, and in which, realizing God through subtle reason (purified by meditation on God) the soul rejoices only in God.

6.20 yatroparmate chittam nirudham yog-savya

yatra chaiv-aatmana-aatmanam pashya-aatmani tushyati

6.21 Nay, in which the soul experiences the eternal and super-sensuous joy which can be apprehended only through the subtle and purified intellect, and wherein established the said yogi moves not from Truth on any account.

6.21 sukham-atiantikam yat-tat-budhigrahm-ateendriam

vaitee yatra na chaivayam sthitash-chalati tatvatah

6.22 And having obtained which he does not reckon any other gain as greater than that; and established in which he is not shaken even by the heaviest of sorrows.

6.22 yam labhdhava chaaparam laabham manayate nadhikam tatah

yasmin-sthito na duhkhen gurunapi vichalayate

6.23 That state called yoga, which is free from the contact of sorrow ( in the form of transmigration), should be known; Nay, this yoga should be resolutely practiced with an unwearied mind.

6.23 tam vidyat-duhkh-sanyog-viyogam yog-sanjitam

sa nishchayen yoktavayo yogo-anirvan-chaitasa

6.24 Completely renouncing all desires arising from the thoughts of the world, and fully restraining the whole pack of senses from all sides of the mind.

6.24 sankalap-prabhvan kaamaanas-tyaktva sarvan-asheshta

mana-saivendriaygramam viniaymay samantatah

6.25 He should through gradual practice attain tranquillity; and fixing the mind on God through reason controlled by steadfastness, he should not think of any thing else.

6.25 shanai shanairuparmed-budhya dhriti-graheetia

aatma-sanstham manah kritvana kinchatapi chintayet

6.26 Drawing back the restless and fidgety mind from all those objects after which it runs, he should repeatedly fix it on God.

6.26 yato yato nishcharati manam-chanchalam-asthiram

tatsto niyamaeitad-aatmaniaiv vasham-nyet

6.27 For to the yogi whose mind is perfectly serene, who is sinless, whose passion is subdued, and who is identified with Brahma, the embodiment of Truth, Knowledge and Bliss, supreme happiness comes as a matter of course.

6.27 prashant-mansam hionam yoginam sukham-uttamam

upeiti shant-rajsam brham-bhootam-akalmasham

6.28 The sinless yogi, thus uniting his self constantly with God, easily enjoys the eternal Bliss of oneness with Brahma.

6.28 yunjnaivam sadaaatmanam yogi vigat-kalmashah

sukhen brahm-sansparsham-atiantam sukhamashnute

6.29 The yogi who is united in identity with the all pervading, infinite consciousness, and sees unity everywhere, beholds the self present in all beings and all beings as assumed in self.

6.29 sarva-bhootastham-aatmanam sarva-bhootani chatmini

eekhshate yog-yukta-aatma sarvatra sama-darshanah

6.30 He who sees Me (the Universal Self) present in all beings existing within Me, never looses sight of Me, and I never loose sight of him.

6.30 yo maam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayee pashyati

tasyam na pranashyami sa cha may na pranashyati

6.31 The yogi who is established in union with Me, and worships Me as residing in all beings (as their very Self); abides in Me, no matter what he does.

6.31 sarva bhaoota stitham yo mam bhajtyekatwam aasthita

sarvaatha vartamano-api sa yogi maei varatate

6.32 Arjuna, he who looks on all as one, on the analogy of his own self, and looks upon the joy and sorrow of all with a similar eye , -such a yogi is deemed the highest of all.

6.32 aatmaupamyen sarvatra samampashyati yo arjuna

sukham va yadi va duhkham sa yogi parmo mata

6.33 Arjuna said

Krishna, owing to restlessness of mind, I do not perceive the stability of this yoga in the form of equanimity which you have just spoken of.

6.33 Arjuno uvaach

yo-ayam yogas-tvaya prokta saamyen madhu-sudhana

aitasyaam na pashyaami chanchalatvaat-stitham sthiraam

6.34 For, Krishna, the mind is very unsteady, turbulent, tenacious, and powerful; I consider it as difficult to control as the wind.

6.34 chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramithi balavad-dridam

tasyaahm nigrahm manye vaauriv sudushkaram

6.35 Shree Bhagwan said

The mind is restless no doubt, and difficult to curb, Arjuna; but it can be brought under control by repeated practice (of meditation) and by the exercise of dispassion, O son of Kunti.

6.35 ShreeBhagwanovaach

asanshyam mahabahu mano dunigraham chalam

abhyaasen tu kauntey vairagyen cha greehyate

6.36 Yoga is difficult of achievement for one whose mind is not subdued; by him, however, who has the mind under control, and is ceaselessly striving, it can be easily attained through practice. Such is my conviction.

6.36 asayant-aatmna yogo dushprap iti mey mati

vashya-aatmana tu yata-ta shakyo-avaptum-upayatah

6.37 Arjuna said

Krishna, what becomes of the soul who, though endowed with faith, has not been able to subdue his passion, and whose mind is therefore diverted from yoga (at the time of death), and who thus fails to reach perfection in yoga (God-Realization)

6.37 Arjuno uvaach

ayati sharadhyo-peto yogach-chalit-maanasah

apraapya yog-sansidham kaam gatim Krishna gachchatee

6.38  Krishna, strayed from the path leading to God-Realization and without any thing to stand upon, is he not lost like the torn cloud, deprived of both God-Realization and heavenly enjoyments ?

6.38 Kach-chinobhai-vibhrishtash-chchinna-bhramiv nashyatee

apritashtho mahabaho vimoodo brahmna pathi

6.39 Krishna, it behoves You to slash this doubt of mine completely; for non other than you can be found, who can clear this doubt.

6.39 aitanme sanshyam Krishna chchetum-arhasiy-asheshtah

twadanyah sanshayasyaasya chcheta na hi up-padyate

6.40 Shree Bhagwan said

Dear Arjuna, there is no fall for him either here or hereafter; for none who strives for self-redemption (i.e. God-Realization) ever meets with evil destiny.

6.40 ShreeBhagwanovaach

parth naiveh namutra vinashas-tasya vidyate

na hi kalyan-krit-kashchit-durgatim taat gachchati

6.41 He who has fallen from yoga, obtains the higher worlds, (heaven etc.) to which men of meritorious deeds alone are entitled, and having resided there for countless years, takes birth in the house of pious and wealthy family.

6.41 prapya punya-kritam lokan-ushitva shashwatih samah

shuchinaam shreemataam gehe yog-bhrashto-abhijayate

6.42 Or ( if he is possessed of dispassion) he is born in family of enlightened yogis; but such a birth in this world is very difficult to obtain

6.42 athwa yoginaam kule bhavati dheemtaam

aitadhi durlabhtaram loke janam yadeedrisham

6.43 Arjuna, he automatically regains in that birth the spiritual insight of his previous birth; and through that he strives, harder than ever, for perfection ( in the form of God-Realization)

6.43 tatra tam budhi-sanyogam labhate paurva-dehikam

yat-te cha tato bhooyah sansidho kuru-nandana

6.44 The other one (born in rich family), though under the sway of his senses, feels drawn towards God by force of the habit acquired in his previous birth; nay, even the seeker of enlightenment in yoga transcends the fruit of actions performed with some interested motive as laid given in Vedas

6.44 poorva-abhyasen tainaiv hiayate hiavasho-api sah

jigyasur-api yogasya shabda-brahma-ativartate

6.45 The yogi, however, who diligently takes up the practice attains perfection in this very life with the help of latencies of many births, and being thoroughly purged of sin, forthwith reaches the Supreme state.

6.45 pryatnaat-yatmaanastu yogi sanshudhi-kilbasha

anek-janam-sansidhas-tato yaati paraam-gatim

6.46 The yogi is superior to ascetics; he is regarded as superior even to those versed in sacred lore. The yogi is also superior to those who perform action with some interested motive. Therefore, Arjuna, do become a yogi.

6.46 tapasvibhyo-adhiko yogi gyanibhio-api mato-adhikah

karamibhayashcha-adhiko yogi tasmadyogi bhava arjuna

6.47 Of all the yogis, again, he who devoutly worships Me with his mind focussed on Me is considered by Me to be the best yogi.

6.47 yoginam-api sarvesham mad-gaten-antar-aatmanaa

shradhawaan-bhajte yo maam sa me yukta-tamo matah


Thus in the Upanishad sung by the Lord, the Science of Brahma, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shree Krishna and Arjuna, ends the sixth chapter entitled ” The Yoga of Self Control. “


om tat-sat-iti shree-mad-bhagwat-geetasupnishatsu

brahm-vidyaayaam yog-shastre



naam shashtho-adhyayh ||6||



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