Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI: 22-23

May 15, 2024

yaṁ labdhvā cā ’paraṁ lābhaṁ manyate nā ’dhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthito na duḥkhena guruṇā ’pi vicālyate  (VI-22)

taṁ vidyād duḥkhasaṁyogaviyogaṁ yogasaṁjñitaṁ
sa niścayena yoktavyo yogo ’nirviṇṇacetasā  (VI-23)

VI/22. ...having obtained which, he thinks there is no
other superior gain; wherein established, he is not moved
even by heavy sorrow,

VI/23. Let that be known by the name of yoga, the severance
from union with pain. This yoga should be practiced with
determination and with an understanding mind.


Swamiji's Commentary

      When everything is all right and the sun is shining on you, you may think that you have no doubts at all and that you know exactly what God is, what meditation means, and that you see God. But when there is trouble in life, where is that God? Suddenly the ego rises; there is insecurity, fear, agony and all your belief deserts you. This is the danger of a belief. So Krishna says here: If you have a vision of truth, test it against this definition: established in that truth, can you withstand the greatest calamity and smile?” If you can, then it is possible that you have discovered the truth. If you have not been put through such a test, then suspend the judgment.

      As long as we identify the self with mind, body and the world, and experience only external ‘pleasure’, we are always in pain. When this deluded identification is removed and the consciousness is united with the self (as in yoga) then we are in bliss, we are bliss itself.

      This is the highest attainment; for there can be no happiness greater than the bliss that is independent and complete. This bliss cannot be removed from one established in it, nor can it be modified in him.

      Since he is totally detached from the world, the body and the mind, and since he has realized that the self is an independent silent witness of the world phenomena (including his body and mind), he remains unmoved in all conditions. He knows the self to be the immortal, eternal, all-full, perfect and independent bliss. The real divinity within.

      What we need is firm determination (not the pig-headed obstinacy with which it is confused), real understanding and an intelligent approach to the truth of our essential, divine being.

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