Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI: 37-39

May 22, 2020

arjuna uvāca
™ayatiḥ śraddhayo ’peto yogāc calitamānasaḥ
aprāpya yogasaṁsiddhiṁ kāṁ gatiṁ kṛṣṇa gacchati (VI-37)

™kaccin no ’bhayavibraṣṭaś chinnābhram iva naśyati
apratiṣṭho mahābāho vimūḍho brahmaṇaḥ pathi  (VI-38)

™etan me saṁśayaṁ kṛṣṇa chettum arhasy aśeṣataḥ
tvadanyaḥ saṁśayasyā ’sya chettā na hy upapadyate (VI-39)

VI/37. Arjuna said: He who is unable to control himself though
he has faith, and whose mind wanders away from yoga, what
end does he, having failed to attain perfection in yoga,
meet, O Krishna?

VI/38. Fallen from both, does he not perish like a rent cloud,
supportless, O mighty-armed, deluded on the path of Brahman?

VI/39. This doubt of mind, O Krishna, do thou dispel completely;
because it is not possible for any but thee to dispel this doubt.


Swamiji's Commentary

      Granted, it is possible to control the mind if we have the necessary faith. But, faith in the electric kettle alone will not boil the water! We have to fill it with water, plug it in and switch on the current. Yet, something might still go wrong somewhere and our purpose may be defeated.

      This is especially true in the path of yoga. Worldly duties and scriptural rituals often drop away from the student of yoga, yet, in the words of lord Krishna, if these are abandoned prematurely, out of delusion or because they are painful and troublesome, it would be wrong. How does one know?

      Sometimes the scriptures themselves warn us that the abandonment of these duties is sin. We are on the horns of a dilemma now. We, as students of yoga, do not have sufficient faith in the scriptures to fulfill our duties. We have faith in yoga; but we may not have the will-power, the understanding, single-minded dedication to the quest and the ability to look within and see that pleasure is a mental creation and pleasure-seeking a folly. We have leapt off one cliff of the ravine but have not been able to reach the opposite side, or so it seems.

      Are we doomed to destruction or frustration, then?

      It is a very real and valid fear. We abandon worldly pleasures, but have no inner strength to reach supreme bliss. Do we then wander about as demented men or stray dogs?

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