Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI: 20-21

May 14, 2022

atro ’paramate cittaṁ nirruddhaṁ yogasevayā
yatra cai ’vā ’tmanā ’tmānaṁ paśyann ātmani tuṣyati (VI-20)

™sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad buddhigrāhyam atīndriyaṁ
vetti yatra na cai ’vā ’yaṁ sthitaś calati tattvataḥ (VI-21)

VI/20. When the mind, restrained by the practice of yoga,
attains to quietude and when seeing the self by the self,
he is satisfied in his own self,

VI/21. When he (the yogi) feels that infinite bliss which can be
grasped by the pure intellect and which transcends the senses,
and established wherein he never moves from the reality...

Swamiji's Commentary

      Satisfaction is an inner subjective experience. When the sensual urge, the surge of the animal passions (which is nothing more than tension, stress or pain), subsides on account of an artificial release of the tension by the appeasement of that urge, there supersedes an experience of satisfaction within oneself; but since it is merely an appeasement, the tension builds up once again and once again man experiences pain. As he continues with this policy of appeasement, the intervals between two periods of stress become shorter and shorter and there is continuous pain.

      The yogi knows this and he therefore consciously remains rooted in the fountain-source of satisfaction, satisfaction in the self (ātma). He resolutely refuses to let the tension or urge build up, culminating in futile appeasement. Such an attitude is possible only if we are able to lift the veil of ignorance which hides the fountain of infinite bliss beyond the intellect and the senses. The veil usually confuses our vision and deludes us into thinking that the happiness that is experienced after the appeasement of the urge, comes from the appeasement itself. It is thought that causes this confusion; thought is the veil. Thought links the external experience with the inner delight – and craves for its repetition and continuance. Thought silenced is meditation.

      The yogi overcomes this confusion through meditation. Delight experienced in meditation, without any external prop, gives the lie to the old notion that happiness is outside. Independent happiness is the most intense, and it is unshakable because it is self-dependent. So long as our peace or happiness depends upon external agencies, we cannot be happy.

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