Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI: 18-19

May 13, 2022

™yadā viniyataṁ cittam ātmany evā ’vatiṣṭhate
niḥspṛhaḥ sarvakāmebhyo yukta ity ucyate tadā (VI-18)

™yathā dīpo nivātastho ne ’ṅgate so ’pamā smṛtā
yogino yatacittasya yuñjato yogam ātmanaḥ (VI-19)

VI/18. When the perfectly controlled mind rests in the
self only, free from longing for all the objects of desires,
then it is said: “He is united”.

VI/19. As a lamp placed in a windless spot does not
flicker – to such is compared the yogi of controlled mind,
practicing yoga in the self.

Swamiji's Commentary

      Again and again, Krishna reminds us that control of mind and yoga imply non-attachment which itself does not mean vain, foolish and egoistic hatred of, or ‘running away from’ anything in this world, nor deluded cruelty inflicted on one’s own body. Non-attachment is an intelligent understanding of the real nature of the soul as the ‘image of God’, and the body, mind and ego as the external nature of God. The body, mind and ego provide an abode for the individualized self to dwell in, become perfect and thus witness the reality of God.

      The body exists, even as the house exists. It comes into contact with various objects of this world, even as the house comes into contact with wind, rain and sunshine. From these contacts the mind is continually learning its lessons in this vast school of the world. However, ignorance attributes pleasure and pain to the objects and experiences, and consequently reacts with attachment and aversion. These are the factors that keep the individual soul in bondage. They constantly disturb the inner equilibrium, being themselves the fruits of inner disharmony. If the mind is not at peace, life is a nightmare, a string of endless trials.

      The yogi’s mind, on the other hand, is like a lamp in a windless spot, burning calmly and steadily, illuminating all that surrounds it. This is one of the reasons why the seeker has a lamp (or candle) burning at the altar always – to remind him of the ideal he is striving for. It should never be forgotten that this inner harmony should prevail at all times, not only during meditation. The lamp in a windless place is not inert but it is unimaginably intense activity called combustion. Similarly, the yogi’s steady mind is not dull. It is the home of blossoming insight. In that insight life flows on uninterruptedly, blissfully, in strict accordance with God’s will.

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