Yoga – The Greatest Secret
For this reason, the fourth adhyãy presents this yoga as a close secret. Shri Krishna says, ‘इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवान् अहमव्ययम्।’ – ‘Imam vivasvate yogam proktavãn ahamavyayam’ – ‘O Arjuna, I explained this everlasting yoga to Vivasvãn, i.e., the Sun’ (Gitã 4.1). Thereafter, it had been spread in the world, but as time went on it gradually diminished and was forgotten. Therefore, ‘स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः। ’ – ‘Sa evãyam mayã tedya yogaha proktaha purãtanaha’ – ‘I have explained and continue to explain that same ancient secret of yoga to you today’ (Gitã 4.3). ‘भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतद् उत्तमम्॥’ – ‘Bhaktosi me sakhã cheti rahasyam hyetad uttamam.’ – ‘You are my devotee and dear friend, therefore I have revealed this secret of yoga, the greatest secret, to you’ (Gitã 4.3).
Truly, conviction in the form of Paramãtmã is a personal matter. No one can understand it or believe it in place of another. It can be sometimes taken incorrectly and have an opposite effect. But Arjuna’s heart was that of a devotee. He had great affection for Shri Krishna. This affection was expressed with friendship. Moreover, this friendship was not like that of an ordinary person. It was saturated with a feeling of divinity. This is why Shri Krishna did not hesitate to reveal this personal secret to him. ‘अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्।’ – ‘Ajopi sannavyayãtmã bhootãnãmeeshvaropi san’ – ‘O Parth! I am unborn, i.e., I am not born by fate. I am imperishable. I am the controller of all things.’
A True Yogi Is a True Upãsak
In the ninth adhyãy of the Gitã, an exact description of yoga sadhana is given. Shri Krishna says, ‘सततं कीर्तयन्तो मां यतन्तश्र्च दृढव्रताः। नमस्यन्तश्र्च मां भक्ता नित्ययुक्ता उपासते ॥’ – ‘Satatam kirtayanto mãm yatantashcha drudhavratãhã, namasyantashcha mãm bhaktã nityayuktã upãsate.’ – ‘Those devotees who are ever engrossed in yoga continuously sing my virtues, they continually strive to attain me, they are firm in their vows and always humble. Whilst doing all of this, they do my upãsana’ (Gitã 9.15).
Thus, a true yogi is a true devotee and a true upãsak.
The same message resonates in the eighth adhyãy. Shri Krishna says, ‘अनन्यचेताः सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः। तस्याहं सुलभः पार्थ नित्ययुक्तस्य योगिनः॥’ – ‘Ananyachetãhã satatam yo mãm smarati nityashaha, tasyãham sulabhaha Pãrtha nityayuktasya yoginaha’ (Gitã 8.14).
To accomplish yoga one has to learn to focus one’s mind on Paramãtmã. This shloka promises that one will easily attain the sãkshãtkãr (realization) of Paramãtmã by simply doing yoga in this manner of focusing and always remembering him.
Further, in the twelfth adhyãy, the goal of the greatest yogi is described, ‘मय्यावेश्य मनो ये मां नित्ययुक्ता उपासते। श्रद्धया परयोपेतास्ते मे युक्ततमा मताः॥ ’ – ‘Mayyãveshya mano ye mãm nityayuktã upãsate, shraddhayã parayopetãste me yuktatamã matãhã.’ – ‘The yogi who engulfs his mind in me and does my upãsanã with great faith is, according to me, the greatest yogi’ (Gitã 12.2).
Where There Is God of Yoga,
There Is Everything
Let us take a look at the words with which Sanjaya concludes the Gitã. Sanjaya says, ‘व्यासप्रसादात्व्छ्रुतवान् एतद् गुह्यमहं परम् । योगं योगेश्वरात् कृष्णात् साक्षात् कथयतः स्वयम् ॥’ – ‘Vyãsaprasãdãchchhrutavãn etad guhyamaham param, yogam yogeshvarãt Krishnãt sãkshãt kathayataha svayam.’ – ‘Having attained divine eyes with the grace of Shri Vyãs, I have heard the great secret of yoga from the God of yoga, Shri Krishna, himself’ (Gitã 18.75). Therefore I say, ‘यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो घनुर्घरः। तत्र श्रीíवजयो भूतिर्घ्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥’ – ‘Yatra Yogeshvaraha Krishno yatra Pãrtho dhanurdharaha, tatra shreervijayo bhootirdhruvã neetirmatirmama.’ – ‘I believe that wherever there is the God of yoga, Krishna, and wherever there is the great archer, Arjuna, there is everything – grace, victory, prosperity and stable morality’(Gitã 18.18).
Thus, the precepts of yoga, which commence with the words ‘Buddhiryoge tvimãm shrunu’ – ‘O Parth, listen to the precepts on yoga’ in the forty-ninth shloka of the second adhyãy, carry on continuously to the last shloka of the Gitã, ‘Yatra Yogeshvaraha Krishnaha’ (Gitã 18.78). From the beginning to the end, yoga is clarified throughout.
To summarize its profound message, it can be said that the yoga of the Gita is yoga of the manifest form of Paramãtmã.
Pondering over the above sentences of the Gitã, it becomes clear that the yoga of the Gitã is completely based on conviction in Paramãtmã. It is respected as being synonymous to conviction in Paramãtmã and is invigorated by the practice of upãsanã to Paramãtmã. Yoga without conviction in the manifest form of Paramãtmã is not yoga at all. Yoga sadhana without the upãsanã of manifest Paramãtmã is not yoga sadhana at all. For this very reason, the closing statement of every adhyãy features the word ‘योगशास्त्रे’ - ‘yogashãstre’, to reinforce the message that the Gitã is a shastra which teaches the highest form of yoga.
Indeed, the Bhagavad Gitã has left no stone unturned in revealing this secret of yoga. There is nothing in it that could leave room for confusion.
Sadhu Bhadreshdas, Ph. D., D.Litt.
Translated by: Sadhu Paramvivekdas