Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 157

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The True Yoga

11. sucau dese pratisthapya
sthiram ãsanam atmanah ;
na 'tyucchritam na
'tinicm cailajinakusottaram
(11) Having set in a clean place his firm seat, neither too high nor too low, covered with sacred grass, a deerskin, and a cloth, one over the other,

12. tatrai kagram manah krtva
upavisya 'sane yunjyad
yogam atmaviguddhciye
(12) There taking his place on the seat, making his mind one-pointed and controlling his thought and sense, let him practise yoga for the purification of the soul
yoga here means dhyana yoga, meditation. To realize truth, man must be delivered from the clutches of practical interests which are bound up with our exterior and material life. The chief condition is a disciplined disinterestedness. We must develop the power to see things as a free undistorted intelligence would see them. For this we must get ourselves out of the way. When Pythagoras was questioned why he called himself a philo-
sopher he gave the following story. He compared human life with the great festival at Olympia where all the world comes together in a motley crowd. Some are there to do business at the fair and enjoy themselves. Others wish to win the wreath in the contest and some others are merely spectators and these last are the philosophers. They keep themselves free from the urgencies of immediate problems and practical necessities. 8. points out that the essential qualifications of a seeker of wisdom are a capacity to discriminate between the eternal and the non-eternal, detachment from the enjoyment of the fruits of action, terrestrial and celestial, self-control and an ardent desire for spiritual freedom.[1] For Plato, the aim of all knowledge is to raise us to the contemplation of the idea of good, the source alike of being and knowing, and the ideal philosopher is one whose goal, at the end of a life lived to the full, "is always a life of quiet, of indrawn stillness, of solitude and aloofness, in which the world forgetting, by the world forgot, he finds his heaven in lonely contemplation of the `good.' That and that alone is really life." "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." This purification of the heart, cittasuddhi, is a matter of discipline. Plotinus tells us that "wisdom is a condition in a being at rest. "[2]

13. samam kayagrrogrivarn
dharavann acaam sthirah
sampreksya nastkagrat,
evam disag ca 'navalokayan
(13) Holding the body, head and neck, erect and still, looking fixedly at the tip of his nose, without looking around (without allowing his eyes to wander).
Posture or asana is here mentioned. Patanjali points out that the posture should be steady and pleasing so as to aid concentration. A right posture gives serenity of body. The body must be kept clean if the living image of God is to be installed in it.
sampreksya nasikagram. The gaze is to be fixed on the tip of the nose. A wandering gaze is not a help to concentration


References and Context

  1. nityãnityavastuviveka, ihdmutraphalabhogaviragah, .same sameidisadhana sampa, mamuksuvam.
  2. Enneads, IV, 4, I2.