Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI 24-25

May 16, 2024

saṁkalpaprabhavān kāmāṁs tyaktvā sarvān aśeṣataḥ
manasai ’ve ’ndriyagrāmaṁ viniyaṁya samantataḥ (VI-24)

™śanaiḥ-śanair uparamed buddhyā dhṛtigṛhītayā
ātmasaṁsthaṁ manaḥ kṛtvā na kiṁcid api cintayet (VI-25)

VI/24. Abandoning without reserve all desires born of thought
and imagination and completely restraining the whole group
of the senses by the mind from all sides,

VI/25. Little by little let him attain to quietude by the intellect
held firmly; having made the mind establish itself in the self, 
let him not think of anything.

Swamiji's Commentary

Saṁkalpa has been translated into thought, notion, concept. But, simply, it is when a thought is entertained and strengthened. The saṁkalpa is formed between the experiencer and an experience which takes place in the mind. So, what we call our thoughts are not very different from imagination, yet, throughout the day we think!

Suddenly we realize that life has been a slave to these saṁkalpā (these imaginary objects which give rise to cravings and desires), and we have painted a gruesome world in which we see friends, enemies, saints, sinners and so on; and because this mind or saṁkalpa interferes, we do not know what is natural to us, and life is a struggle. The yogi, having determined this, constantly endeavors to withdraw himself into his own self – knowing that this is the greatest source of joy and satisfaction – whilst carrying on his normal activity in the yoga spirit.

      That is what my Master called his ‘background of thought’. Even while he worked, lived and enjoyed in the external world, as it were, he was established within the self. This swinging between meditation and life is Krishna’s way of intimating their unity. One without the other is imperfect and incomplete.

      During the active state, the yogi tries to realize, ‘All this is God’; but in order to prevent subtle attachment and self-delusion creeping in, during meditation he tries to remove the consciousness of the all completely, and remains rooted in the self alone. Firmly holding on to the one God thought, ‘All this is God’, the mind drops all other thoughts and desires and remains serene. But, God is not thought; hence even this has to be transcended. Beyond thought is a dimension quite different from all that has been thought of or expressed. Krishna, the supreme preceptor, points to that.

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