Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 164

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The True Yoga

Control of Mind is Difficult but Possible
arjuna uvaca
33. yo yam yogas tvaya proktah
samyena madhusudana
etasyd 'ham na pasyami
canalatvat sthitim sthiram
Arjuna said
(33) This yoga declared by you to be of the nature of equality (evenness of mind), 0 Madhusudana (Krsna), I
see no stable foundation for, on account of restlessness.

34. cancalam hi manah
krsna prarnathi balavad drdham
tasya 'ham nigraham manye
vãyor iva suduskaram
(34) For the mind is verily fickle, 0 Krsna, it is impetuous, strong and obstinate. I think that it is as difficult to control as the wind.

sribhagavan uvaca
35. asamgayaln mahabdho
mano durnigraham calam
abhyasena tu kaunteya
vairagyena ca grhyate
The Blessed Lord said
(35) Without doubt, 0 Mighty-armed (Arjuna), the mind is difficult to curb and restless but it can be controlled, 0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna), by constant practice and non-attachment.
Cp. Yoga Sutra, I, 12. abhyasavairagyabhyam tan nirodhah. The teacher points out that the restless mind, accustomed to act on impulse, can be controlled only by non-attachment' and practice.[1]
Arjuna realizes that there is so much of obstinacy and violence, waywardness and self-will in human nature. We are inclined to shut our eyes to the defects of our nature and harden our hearts against the Light. Tapasya is what is needed.

36. asarnyatatmand yogo
dusprapa iti me matih
vasyatmana tu yatata
sakyo 'vaptum uuayatah
(36) Yoga is hard to attain, I agree, by one who is not self-controlled; but by the self-controlled it is attainable by striving through proper means Arjuna asks what happens to the soul who attempts and fails. Defeat is temporary : He who starts well reaches the End.

37. ayatih sraddhayo 'peto
yogac calitamanasah
aarapya yogasamsiddhim
kam gatim krsna gacchati
(37) He who cannot control himself though he has faith, with the mind wandering away from yoga, failing to attain perfection in yoga, what way does he go, 0 Krsna Arjuna's question refers to the future of those, who, when they die are not at war with Eternal Goodness though they are not disciplined enough to contemplate the splendour of Eternal Purity Are the alternatives eternal heaven and everlasting hell as some believe or is there a chance for such individuals to grow towards perfection after death?


References and Context

  1. When there is earth to he upon, why trouble about bed ? When one's arm is readily available, why need pillows ? When there is the palm of one's hand, why seek for plates and utensils? When there is the atmosphere, the bark of trees etc., what need is there of silks? satyam ksitau kim kaaipoh prayasaih bahau samsiddhe hy upa barhanaih kim satyamjalau kith purudkannapatraih digvalkaladau sati him dukulaih. Bhagavata, II, 2, 4.