Bhagavad Gita - Chapter VI:
Dhyana Yoga

Text 37
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • arjuna uvaca
  • ayatih sraddhayopeto
  • yogac calita-manasah
  • aprapya yoga-samsiddhim
  • kam gatim Krishna gacchati.
English Translation:
Arjuna said: 0 Krishna, what is (he destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalism who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization with faith but who later desists due to worldly- mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?

The path of self-realization or mysticism is described in the Bhagavad-Gita. The basic principle of self-realization is knowledge that the living entity is not this material body but that he is different from it and that his happiness is in eternal life, bliss and knowledge. These are transcendental, beyond both body and mind. Self- realization is sought by the path of knowledge, by the practice of the eightfold system or by bhakti-yoga. !n each of these processes one has to realize the constitutional position of the living entity, his relationship with God. and the activities whereby he can reestablish the lost link and achieve the highest perfectional stage of Krishna consciousness. Following any of the above-mentioned three methods, one is sure to reach the supreme goal sooner or later. This was asserted by the Lord in the Second Chapter: even a little endeavor on the transcendental path offers a great hope for deliverance. Out of these three methods, the path of bhakti-yoga is especially suitable for this age because it is the most direct method of God realization. To be doubly assured.

Arjuna is asking Lord Krishna to confirm His former statement. One may sincerely accept the path of self-realization, but the process of cultivation of knowledge and the practice of the eightfold yoga system are generally very difficult for this age. There- fore, despite constant endeavor one may fail. for many reasons. First of all, one may not be sufficiently serious about following the process. To pursue the transcendental path is more or less to declare war on the illusory energy. Consequently, whenever a person tries to escape the clutches of the illusory energy, she tries to defeat the practitioner by various allurements. A conditioned soul is already allured by the modes of material energy, and there is every chance of being allured again, even while performing transcendental disciplines. This is called : deviation from the transcendental path. Arjuna is inquisitive to know the results of deviation from the path of self-realization.

Text 38

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • kaccin nobhaya-vibhrastas
  • chinnabhram iv nasyati
  • apratistho maha-baho
  • vimudho brahmanah pathi.
English Translation:
0 mighty-armed Krishna, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a raven cloud, with no position in any sphere?

Purport: There arc two ways to progress. Those who are materialists have no interest in transcendence; therefore they are more interested in material advancement by economic development, or in promotion to the higher planets by appropriate work. When one takes to the path of transcendence, one has to cease all material activities and sacrifice all forms of so-called material happiness- If the aspiring transcendentalist fails, then he apparently loses both ways; in other words, he can enjoy neither material happiness nor spiritual success. He has no position; he is like a riven cloud. A cloud in the sky sometimes deviates from a small cloud and joins a big one. But if it cannot join a big one, then it is blown aw ay by the wind and becomes a nonentity in the vast sky.

The brahmanah pathi is the path of transcendental realization through knowing oneself to be spiritual in essence, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, who is manifested as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Lord Sri Krishna is the fullest manifestation of the Supreme Absolute Truth, and therefore one who is surrendered to the Supreme Person is a successful transcendentalist. To reach this goal of life through Brahman and Paramatma realization takes many. many births (bahunam janmanam ante} Therefore the supermost path of transcendental realization is bhakti-yoga. or Krishna consciousness, the direct method.

Text 39

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • etan me samsayam Krishna
  • chettum arhasy asesatah
  • tvad-anyah samsayasyasya
  • chetta na hy upapadyate.
English Translation:
This is my doubt, 0 Krishna. and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.

Krishna is the perfect knower of past, present and future. In the beginning of the Bhagavad-Gita, the Lord said that alt living entities existed individually in the past, they exist now in the present, and they continue to retain individual identity in the future, even after liberation from the material entanglement. So He has already cleared up the question of the future of the individual living entity. Now, Arjuna wants to know of the future of the unsuccessful transcendentalist. No one is equal to or above Krishna, and certainly the so-called great sages and philosophers who are at the mercy of material nature cannot equal Him. Therefore the verdict of Krishna is the final and complete answer to all doubts, because He knows past, present and future perfectly-but no one knows Him. Krishna and Krishna conscious devotees alone can know what is what.

Text 40
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sri-bhagavan uvaca
  • partha naiveha namutra
  • vinasas tasya vidyate
  • na hi kalyana-krt kascid
  • durgatim tata gacchati.
English Translation:
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Prtha, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.

"If someone gives up all material prospects and takes complete shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no loss or degradation in any way. On the other hand a non-devotee may fully engage in his occupational duties and yet not gain anything." For material prospects there are many activities, both scriptural and customary. A transcendentalist is supposed to give up all material activities for the sake of spiritual advancement in life, Krishna consciousness. One may argue that by Krishna consciousness one may attain the highest perfection if it is completed, but if one does not attain such a perfectional stage, then he loses both materially and spiritually. It is enjoined in the scriptures that one has to suffer the reaction for not executing prescribed duties; therefore one who fails to discharge transcendental activities properly becomes subjected to these reactions. The Bhagavaiam assures the unsuccessful transcendentalist that there need be no worries. Even though he may be subjected to the reaction for not perfectly executing prescribed duties, he is still not a loser, because auspicious Krishna consciousness is never forgotten, and one so engaged will continue to be so even if he is lowborn in the next life. On the other hand, one who simply follows strictly the prescribed duties need not necessarily attain auspicious results if he is lacking in Krishna consciousness.

The purport may be understood as follows. Humanity may be divided into two sections, namely, the regulated and the non-regulated. Those who are engaged simply in bestial sense gratifications without knowledge of their next life or spiritual salvation belong to the non-regulated section. And those who follow the principles of pre- scribed duties in the scriptures are classified amongst the regulated section. The non-regulated section, both civilized and non-civilized, educated and non-educated, strong and weak, are full of animal propensities. Their activities are never auspicious, because while enjoying the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, defending and mating, they perpetually remain in material existence, which is always miserable. On the other hand. those who are regulated by scriptural injunctions, and who thus rise gradually to Krishna consciousness. certainly progress in life.

Those who arc following the path of auspiciousness can be divided into three sections, namely

  1. the followers of scriptural rules and regulations who are enjoying material prosperity,
  2. those who are trying to find ultimate liberation from material existence, and
  3. those who are devotees in Krishna consciousness.

Those who are following the rules and regulations of the scriptures for material happiness may be further divided into two classes: those who are fruitive workers and those who desire no fruit for sense gratification. Those who are after fruitive results for sense gratification may be elevated to a higher standard of life-even to the higher planets- but still, because they are not free from material existence, they are not following the truly auspicious path. The only auspicious activi ties are those which lead one to liberation. Any activity which is not aimed at ultimate self-realization or liberation from the material bodily concept of life is not at all auspicious. Activity in Krishna consciousness is the only auspicious activity, and anyone who voluntarily accepts all bodily discomforts for the sake of making progress on the path of Krishna consciousness can be called a perfect transcendentalist under severe austerity. And because the eightfold yoga system is directed toward the ultimate realization of Krishna consciousness, such practice is also auspicious, and no one who is trying his best in this matter need fear degradation.

Text 41
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • prapya punya-krtam
  • lokan usitva
  • sasvatih samah sucinam
  • srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate.
English Translation:
The unsuccessful yogi. after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born Into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.


AThe unsuccessful yogis are divided into two classes: one is fallen after very little progress, and one is fallen after long practice of yoga. The yogi who falls after a short period of practice goes to the higher planets, where pious living entities are allowed to enter. After pro- longed life there, one is sent back again to this planet, to take birth in the family of a righteous brahmana vaisnava or of aristocratic merchants.

The real purpose of yoga practice is to achieve the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness, as explained in the last verse of this chapter. But those who do not persevere to such an extent and who fail because of material allurements are allowed, by the grace of the Lord, to make full utilization of their material propensities. And after that, they are given opportunities to live prosperous lives in righteous or aristocratic families. Those who are born in such families may take advantage of the facilities and try to elevate themselves to full Krishna consciousness.

Text 42
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • atha va yoginam
  • eva kule bhavati
  • dhimatam etad dhi
  • durlabhataram loke
  • janma yad idrsam.
English Translation:
Or if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.


Birth in a family of yogis or transcendentalists-those with great wisdom-is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives a spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the acarya or gosvami families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. In India there are many such acarya families, but they have now degenerated due to insufficient education and training. By the grace of the Lord, there are still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation. It is cer tainly very fortunate to take birth in such families.

Fortunately, both our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and our humble self had the opportunity to take birth in such families, by the grace of the Lord, and both of us were trained in the devotional service of the Lord from the very beginning of our lives. Later on we met by the order of the transcendental system.

Text 43
Sanskrit working:

  • tatra tam buddhi-samyogam
  • labhate paurva-dehikam
  • yatate ca tato bhuyah
  • samsiddhau kuru-nandana.
English Translation:
On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success 0 son of Kuru.


King Bharata, who took his third birth in the family of a good brahmana. is an example of good birth for the revival of previous transcendental consciousness. King Bharata was the emperor of the world, and since his time this planet has been known among the demigods as Bharata-varsa. Formerly it was known as Ilavrta-varsa. The emperor, at an early age, retired for spiritual perfection but failed to achieve success. In his next life he look birth in the family of a good brahmana and was known as Jada Bharata because he al- ways remained secluded and did not talk to anyone. And later on he was discovered as the greatest transcendentalist by King Rahugana. From his life it is understood that transcendental endeavors, or the practice of yoga. never go in vain. By the grace of the Lord the transcendentalist gets repealed opportunities for complete perfection in Krishna consciousness.

Text 44
Sanskrit working:

Engligh Wording:

  • purvabhyasena tenaiva
  • hriyte hy avaso ’pi sah
  • jijnasur api yogasya
  • sabda-brahmativartate.
English Translation:
By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles-even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.


Advanced yogis are not very much attracted to the rituals of the scriptures, but they automatically become attracted to the yoga principles, which can elevate them to complete Krishna consciousness, the highest yoga perfection. In the Srimad- Bhagavatam, such disregard of Vedic rituals by the advanced transcendemalists is explained as follows:

"0 my Lord! Persons who chant the holy names of Your Lordship are far, far advanced in spiritual life, even if born in families of dog-eaters. Such chanters have undoubtedly performed all kinds of austerities and sacrifices, bathed in all sacred places, and finished all scriptural studies."

The famous example of this was presented by Lord Caitanya, who accepted Thakura Haridasa as one of His most important disciples. Although Thakura Haridasa happened to take his birth in a Muslim family, he was elevated to the post of namacarya by Lord Catianya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. Krishna Krishna. Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And because he chanted the holy name of the Lord constantly, it is understood that in his previous life he must have passed through ail the ritualistic methods of the Vedas. known as Sabda-brahma. Unless, therefore, one is purified, one cannot take to the principles of Krishna consciousness or become engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord. Hare Krishna.

Text 45
Sanskrit working:

Engligh Wording:

  • prayatnad yatamanas
  • tu yogi samsuddha-kilbisah
  • aneka-janma-samsiddhas
  • tato yati param gatim.
English Translation:
And when the yogi engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress* being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many* many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.


A person born in a particularly righteous, aristocratic or sacred family becomes conscious of his favorable condition for executing yoga practice. With determination, therefore, he begins his un- finished task, and thus he completely cleanses himself of all material contaminations. When he is finally free from all contaminations, he attains the supreme perfection-Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is the perfect stage of being freed of all contaminations- This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita: "After many, many births of executing pious activities, when one is completely freed from all contaminations, and from all illusory dualities, one becomes engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord."

Text 46
Sanskrit working:

Engligh Wording:

  • tapasvibhyo ’dhiko yogi
  • jnanibhyo ’pi mato ’dhikah
  • karmibhyas cadhiko yogi
  • tasmad yogi bhavarjuna.
English Translation:
A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, 0 Arjuna, in all circum- stances, be a yogi.


When we speak of yoga we refer to linking our consciousness with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such a process is named differently by various practitioners in terms of the particular method adopted.

When the linking process is predominantly in fruitive activities it is called karma-yoga, when it is predominantly empirical it is called jnana'yoga. and when it is predominantly in a devotional relation- ship with the Supreme Lord it is called bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga. or Krishna consciousness, is the ultimate perfection of all yogas, as will be explained in the next verse. The Lord has confirmed herein the superiority of yoga, but He has not mentioned that it is better than bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is full spiritual knowledge, and therefore nothing can excel it. Asceticism without self-knowledge is imperfect. Empiric knowledge without surrender to the Supreme Lord is also imperfect. And fruitive work without Krishna consciousness is a waste of time. Therefore, the most highly praised form of yoga performance mentioned here is bhakti-yoga. and this is still more clearly explained in the next verse.

Text 47
Sanskrit working:

Engligh Wording:

  • yoginam api sarvesam
  • mad-gatenantar-atmana
  • sraddhavan bhajate yo
  • mam sa me yuktatamo matah.
English Translation:
And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me-he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.


The word bhajate is significant here. Bhajate has its root in the verb Bhaj, which is used when there is need of service. The English word ''worship" cannot be used in the same sense as bhaj. Worship mean* to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a demigod and may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned. Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. Failing to do this, he falls down. The Bhagavatam confirms this as follows:

"Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position."

In this verse also the word bhajanti is used. Therefore, bhajanti is applicable to the Supreme Lord only, whereas the word "worship" can be applied to demigods or to any other common living entity. The word avajananti. used in this verse of Srimad- Bhagavatam. is also found in the Bhagavad-Gita. Avajananti mdm mudhah: "Only the fools and rascals deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna." Such fools take it upon themselves to write commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita without an attitude of service to the Lord. Consequently they cannot properly distinguish between the word bhajanti and the word "worship."

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakii in bhakli-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga: all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakli-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jnana-yoga. When jnana-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him. it is called astanga-yoga. And when one surpasses the astanga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. it is called bhakti-yoga. the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogi who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma- yogi, jnana-yogi ovdhy ana-yogi, raja-yogi, hatha-yogi etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Krishna conscious is the highest stage of yoga. just as. when we speak of Himaiayan. we refer to the world's highest mountains, of which the highest peak. Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Krishna consciousness on the path of bhakii-yoga lo become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogi concentrates his attention on Krishna, who is called Syamasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus like face is as effulgent as the sun. whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower-garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoli.

He incarnates in different forms such as Rama. Nrsirhha. Varaha and Krishna. the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of mother Yasoda, and He is known as Krishna, Govinda and Vasudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulence and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogi.

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga. as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."

"Bhakti means devotional service to the Lord which is free from desire for material profit either in this life or in the next. Devoid of such inclinations, only should fully absorb the mind in the Supreme. That is the purpose of naiskarmya."

These are some of the means for performance of bhakti or Krishna consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of the yoga system.

Thus end the Purports to the Sixth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita in the matter of Dhyana-yoga.

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