The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 6

The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 6

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the sixth chapter, Dhyāna Yoga


Srīkrishna continues the exposition of the doctrines of sanyāsa and yoga, broached in the last chapter.

One who discharges his ordained duties without being prompted by their fruits is a sanyāsi and a yogi.

In fact, both sanyāsa and yoga are identical in the sense that renunciation of the fruits of action is common to both. Karma done in the right spirit leads to yoga or concentration which is further improved by renunciation of actions.

Here Srīkrishna enunciates the great principle of self-help, since our mind can be our friend or our foe depending upon whether it is pure or impure.

Then he describes the process of meditation. The yogi should sit in a clean place, keeping the body erect and steady. Controlling and gathering the forces of the mind, he should direct it towards Srīkrishna (who is God Himself). Thus he will attain peace.

Such yoga is possible only for a person who leads a balanced life, avoiding all extremes. Such a yogi will be able to see all beings in God and God in all beings. He of an equanimous mind is the best of yogis.

Here Arjuna raises two questions:

  • How to control this fickle mind ?
  • What will happen to a yogi who fails to attain the goal ?

Srīkrishna replies that though it is difficult to control the mind, it is not impossible. It can be achieved by vairāgya (renunciation) and abhyāsa (practice).

As regards the yogi who has slipped from the ideal, he will be born once again in a family of yogis and, getting a conducive atmosphere, strives even harder, ultimately attaining the goal. A yogi, he concludes, is superior to men of  austerity or knowledge or works; and exhorts Arjuna to become one.


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)


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