C L Kaloo
The Bhagavad Gita explains that the process of linking oneself with the supreme is called Yoga, and as such there are various techniques of union and in this context, the great majority of believers in the world’s major religions are fundamentally “Bhakti-yogis.” The Lord in the Holy Gita explained that each technique of unity of soul with spirit (union with God) viz Bhakti-Yoga, Dhayana-yoga or Karma-yoga blend each other ultimately as action is transcended through action and then the wheel of Karma ceases to revolve because the bonds of attachment fall-away. However, a spiritual entity gradually detaches his ego from the senses by adopting various techniques of concentration either through Bhakti-yoga or Dhayana-yoga and attaches his life-force, mind and ego to God (super conscious soul). Thus, such an ardent devotee advances by means of step by step methods of Yoga- say Bhakti-yoga or Dhayana-yoga. He is then acknowledged by God to be better versed in the science of union of soul, in His primal manifestation as the cosmic “AUM” vibration (Holy Ghost) and its creative differentiations in the Cosmos and in the microcosm of his own being. Thus, he experiences the Primary SAMADHI (Sevikalpa Samadhi), while being in a transcendental state, oblivious of external creation, he perceives God in one of his divine qualities or aspects- in form or formless. Ultimately, a stage comes when he attains the highest SAMADHI (nirvi kalpa) in which he experiences, both Form and Formless Lord immanent in creation and also in the absolute beyond creation.
Even a devotedly spiritual aspirant realizes God in duality as well as in unity. What the Lord said in 12th Adhaya-shloka-2 (12:2 B.G) is to attain fixity of mind on HIM and remain ever united to HIM while engaging oneself in day to day activities of this material world. This shloka is quoted here under:
“mayy avesya manoyemam- nitya-yukta upasate
Sraddhaya parayopetes- teme yukta tama-matah”
Means: Those who fix their minds on my personal form and are always engaged in worshipping me, with great faith are considered by ME to be most perfect.
Here, the Lord refers to personalists in Bhakti-Yoga as HE means to convey to the devotees or spiritual aspirants that those who worship HIM (the Lord) directly by means of cultivating faith, and with devotion, find easier and better versed method to perceive God. The Lord, in this context, indicated that there are different ways to realize the Absolute truth, but Bhakti Yoga or devotional service to HIM is the highest of all, as this shloka reveals. Thus, Bhakti Yoga is most direct and easiest means of union with God. In “Srimad Bhagvatam”, it is stated that the process of surrending unto God is called Bhakti. Therefore, Bhakti-Yoga is the path of loving devotion to God. The mind of such a true devotedly Bhakti Yoga aspirant does not find any merit and demerit in pleasure and pain respectively, and is even capable of avoiding pain which is yet to come, because of his past or present karmic activities (actions). As regards Dhayana Yoga, the Lord in Adhaya 6th, Shloka 1 (6:1 B.G) explained as quoted hereunder,
Anasrital karma phalam- karyam karma karotiyah
Sa sannyasi ca yogi ca- na niragnir na cakriyah”
Means: He is a true renunciant and also a true yogi who performs dutiful and spiritual actions (karyam and karma) without desiring their fruits- not he who performs no fire ceremony (sacrifice) nor he who abandons action.
The Lord explains in this Shloka that a devotee is neither a “sannyasi” nor a yogi, if he is inactive, performing neither dutiful actions (Karyam) nor meditative actions (karma). He is not a “sannyasi” who is niragni i.e., without the fire of renunciation in whose sacrificial flames, the true devotee burns all personal desires- lust, likes, dislikes, sorrows and pleasures. However, in Bhagavad Gita (Adhaya 6th), the Lord explains that the process of 8-fold yoga- (viz. 1. Yam 2. Niyam 3. Asana 4. Pranayama, 5. Prithyhara, 6. Dharna, 7. Dhayana and 8th Samadhi) systems is a means to control the wavering mind and the senses. But in the present day hectic world, this system is very difficult for a common aspirant to perform. Though this 8-fold yoga system as recommended in the Bhagavad Gita is no doubt, difficult to perform by the common aspirant, yet the continuous “Abeyasa” (practice) by a devotedly ardent aspirant can gradually overcome the connected difficulties of this system, and ultimately finds that he is reaching near the perfection.
In Dhayana yoga, the criterion of perfection of life is to reach the highest stage of life not with a view to enjoying the fruits of work. Thus, a devotee who acts for the satisfaction of the supreme and not for personal satisfaction is a perfect Yogi. The above Shloka, therefore, teaches us that the devotee or a living entity is called a Dhayana Yogi who is united to God and who merge the soul’s spark in the cosmic light by the inner observance of blissful meditation, and who acts his daily part in the Divine play to please God. The same person is spiritually elevated by relinquishing his personal desires but conscientiously performs dutiful actions. Thus, a true aspirant or a Dhayana Yogi depends on meditation. It is through Dhayana yoga that a devotee attains permanent shelter in spirit through yoga systems.
In conclusion, it is worthwhile to mention here that since every soul is potentially divine, we sometimes, have some sort of feeling and then go deeper in ourselves in a state of stillness and ponder- what brings us in?
The answer is our past deeds; and what takes us out? The answer is our own deeds here, and so on and on, we go like the caterpillar that takes the thread from its own mouth and builds its cocoon and at last, finds itself caught inside the cocoon. Similarly, we have bound ourselves by our own actions and thrown the net-work of our actions around ourselves. We have set the LAW OF CAUSATION in motion and we find it hard to get ourselves out of it.
We have set the wheel in motion, and are crushed under it. In this context, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra (Aphorism-21-22) reminds us that “success in yoga comes quickly to those who are intensely energetic and this success varies according to the means adopted to obtain it: – mild, medium and intense. Shiva-sutra says,” yada khoba praleyate tada ceeyat param padam.” that means – when mental turmoil disappears, it is only then that the highest state is attained.