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Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of self-help

by BS Murthy

                                                                      <<Back to Chapter 5

Chapter-6: Practice of Restraint 

This chapter of 47 slokas, known as aatma samyama yoga, Self Restraint, deals with all aspects of self-control needed for renunciation in action. Here Arjunaís queries as to what would be the fate of man, were he to fail midway, in his efforts at self- control (s37). Even if it were the case, asures the Lord, still one wouldn't come to grief here or hereafter (s40). What is more, after being born many times over, eventually he  attains moksha(s45). Further in s46, the Lord asserts that such a man is superior to the ritualistic character, and concludes in s47 that he remains His most blessed devotee.

Seen in this background, s 41 and s42 are clearly interpolations not only for affecting the continuity of the text but also for what they contain. S41 would have it that those who perform the asvamedha (ritualistic horse sacrifice) would reach heaven to be born again rich. Likewise s 42 would have us that, or such would be born in  learned homes.It would seem that s46-s47 are digressions, but in effect they carry forward the Lordís discourse from s32, at which point Arjuna interrupted Him with his queries. 

S10-s17 deal with aspects of ascetic practice and do seem to be interpolations, even going  by  what  is stated in the very opening verse, besides breaking the continuity in the proposition.

1     

Thus spoke the Lord:

Forego none if forsake chores

Eye not gain ín thou be freed.

2     

If thou let go its godly

Makes that hard thy self-interest. 

3

Uphill though the way forsake

As ín when thou make it there

Stay thus put with no more strain.

4     

Reining senses sans motive 

Wise on selfless deeds focus.

5     

Noble or naughty itís thy make

Self thus thine but shapes thyself.

6

Mind if reined, itís thy friend

Foe it turns, let when loose.

 

7     

Overcome if vicissitudes 

Vibe thee well with Me Supreme.

8     

Valuable or be otherwise

Treat all alike self-realized

Thus they remain ever even.

9     

Wise is one, folks who treats 

None the fear ín sans favour.

18   

With no longing freed of want

Itís then thou reach yogic state.

19   

Rooted in self yogi true

Lamp he likens in still air. 

20   

Restrain mind in self-focus  

Beatitude of life that makes

21   

Transcends senses if thy mind

Itís then thou reach state of bliss.

22   

Rooted so on peak of bliss 

Wise not bother lows of life. 

23   

So to live in yogic state

Untie wise from life's bothers.

24      

Wise keep tabs on self-impulse

Affects to without are they immune.

25            

Wed wise focus with calm mind

Makes that life of theirs tranquil.

26

Pulled by wants as trips the mind  

Gain ground wise by self-leverage.

27   

Passions languid, mind tranquil

Keep man ever on blissful course.

28

Mind that's pure with self-control

Leads that man to State Brahman.

29

Espy wise in right outlook 

Others in self ín vice versa.

30   

Discern Me in what they see

Ever they find Me nearby them.

31   

Me who sees in all beings

Heís the one that dwells in Me.

32   

Heís the yogi self-feels who

Joys of others ín grief as well.

33   

Thus spoke Arjuna:

Frail being man, fail I see

Yoga Thou espouse, lasting in practice.

34   

Can one ever tame his mind

Like the wind that yields to none?

35    .

Thus spoke the Lord:

Calm ín custom bring in ropes

Tough ask though to subdue mind.

36    

Fail keep going unruly 

Persevere self-willed all the way.

37    .

Thus spoke Arjuna:

What if one

Throws up all

Lacks who zeal

Hath though faith?

38   

Resolve if dissolves in mid-course

Wonít that be like scattered clouds?

39   

Kindly dispel all my doubts 

Think I none of else for that.

40   

Thus spoke the Lord:

Strives if one to enrich self

Ends not in grief here or there.

 43  

Harnessed habit, of births past

Helps man strive to self-realize.

44

With the reason thus imbibed

Realized outwit scholars there.

 

45   

Awareness of  births of yore

Helps the striving gain moksha.

46   

Ahead in protocol comes yogi 

Learned, ascetics, as all sticklers for rituals.

47   

Heís the yogi of yogis

Self-inner who fills with Me.

 

Ends thus:

Practice of Restraint,

The Sixth Chapter 

Of Bhagavad-Gita,

Treatise of self-help.

(cont...)

<<Back to Chapter 5

Introduction  Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4   

Chapter 5    Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8    Chapter 9  

Chapter 10 Chapter 11   Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 

Chapter 15  Chapter 16  Chapter 17  Chapter 18

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