Bhagavad-gita 6.4-12
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, September 4, 1966

Prabhupada: Sri-caitanya-mano ’bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale, svayam rupah kada mahyam…

yada hi nendriyarthesu na karmasv anusajjate sarva-sankalpa-sannyasi yogarudhas tadocyate

uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet atmaiva hy atmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanah

Now these two slokas, verses, we were discussing last day, that we have to raise ourself to the spiritual standard by ourself. I have to raise myself to the spiritual standard by myself. So I am my friend and I am my enemy. This is the opportunity. There is a very nice verse in Canakya Pandita.

na kascit kasyacin mitram na kascit kasyacid ripuh vyavaharena jayante mitrani ripavas tatha

“Nobody is nobody’s friend, nobody is nobody’s enemy. But it is only the behavior by which one can understand who is his friend and who is his enemy.” Nobody is born enemy, nobody is born friend. But by our mutual behavior, somebody is my friend and somebody is my enemy. Similarly, as we have this dealing in the ordinary daily affairs, similarly, I have my dealing with my self. My self. If I deal with me, myself, as friend, then I am my friend. And if I deal with myself inimically… Then what is that friendship and inimical? The friendship is that I am soul.Somehow or other, I have been in contact with this material nature. So I have to get myself out of the entanglement of this material nature. If I act in that way, then I am my friend. But even after getting this opportunity, if I do not act in that way, then I am my enemy. So atmaiva hy atmano bandhur atmaiva atmano ripuh. So I am myself friend, my friend, and I am my enemy.

bandhur atmatmanas tasya yenatmaivatmana jitah anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satruvat

Now, how I can become my friend? That is explained here, that bandhur atma atmanas tasya. Atma means mind, atma means body, and atma means soul. That, these three things I have already explained the other day that when we speak of atma, or self… Just like so long I have got my bodily conception, when I say “my self,” I think of my body. When I transcend the bodily conception of life, then I think “I am mind.” But actually, when I am in the real spiritual platform, then my self means “I am pure spirit.” So according to the stage of development my conception of self are different. So so far nirukta or dictionary is concerned, body, mind, and the spirit soul, everything is called self. Now, here it is called bandhur atma atmanas tasya. Now, here one atma is named mind. Mind is the friend of oneself, and mind is the enemy of oneself. So we have to train the mind. If I train my mind for becoming my friend, then my life is successful. If I train my mind to become my enemy, then my life is unsuccessful. Anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satruvat. But one who has no knowledge of the spiritual self, then his mind acts like his enemy. One who has got the conception of this body as “my self,” his mind is his enemy. And one who has got the conception of the spirit self, his mind is his friend.

So mind has nothing to do. Mind, simply training of the mind required. And how the mind is trained up? It is by good association. Good association, our mind is trained up. Sangat sanjayate kamah. Kama means desire. Desire is the function of the mind. And sangat sanjayate kamah. And according to the association, my mind desires like that. So we have to make good association if we want to make our mind as my friend, if I want to make my mind as my friend, then I have to associate with sadhu. Tasmat satsu sajyeta buddhiman. Buddhiman means intelligent person. He must associate with satsu. Satsu means those who are trying for self-realization. They are called sat. Sat and asat. Asat means who are trying for the temporary things. Matter is temporary. My body is temporary. So if I simply engage myself for bodily pleasures, sense gratification, then I am engaging myself to temporary things. But if I engage myself for self-realization, the permanent thing, then I am engaging myself to the sat, or to the permanent. Tasmat satsu sajyeta buddhiman. “Anyone who is intelligent, he should associate with persons who are trying to elevate themselves for self-realization.” That is called sat-sanga, good association.

And what is the result of good association? Now, because, if we make good association, the santah chindanti. Santah means the persons who are sadhu, who are pious. They can cut off by their words our attachment with this material world. They can cut off. Just like Krsna is speaking to Arjuna. What is the idea of speaking so many things? Just to cut off his attachment from the so-called material affection. He is affected with something which is stumbling his progress in his own duty. So He is, Krsna is presenting His Bhagavad-gita just to cut off. Santa eva hi chindanti uktibhih. Uktibhih. Chindanti means cut. Now, for cutting something we require some sharpened instrument. But here, to cut off the mind from attachment, it requires sharpened ukti. Ukti means words. Sharpened topics. There should not be… Just like when a person cuts something, there is no mercy, similarly when a sadhu or a person saint, speaks to his student, he does not make, show any mercy. He speaks the truth so that his mind may be cut off from the unreal attachment.

Just like Krsna is saying. Krsna… Arjuna first addressed to Arjuna. He said, asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase [Bg. 2.11]. “Oh, you are talking like a very learned man, but you are fool number one.” You see. How strong word He has used. So so far, if we want detachment from this material world, then we should be prepared to accept such cutting words from the master. Santah pasya(?) chindanti uktibhih. Uktibhih. We should not make compromise: “Oh, don’t speak such strong words.” Required, it is required. So bandhur atma. Anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satruvat. Anatmanah. Those who have no self-realization, his mind… One who has not realized what he is. We are generally conception of this bodily conception of our life. But the intelligent person who has made association with saintly persons, he can understand that “I am not this body.” And the material conception of life is condemned in so many places. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih yat-tirtha-buddhih salile [SB 10.84.13]. In so many ways. One who has got the conception of his personal self with this body made of three elements, then one who thinks that the land in which he is born or the relatives who is connected with this body, “They are all, everything,” then that man is no better than ass and cow. It is said like that.

So we should have by good association, by study of good books like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, we should realize ourself. Otherwise, our mind will remain always an enemy, an enemy. And enemy, as the enemy is always prepared to do harm, so my mind will drag me to things which will make me entangled more and more in this material miserable life. Manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati [Bg. 15.7]. We are struggling very hard with this mind and six senses. So we have to make the mind our friend. Now, Krsna is gradually making progress to explain to Arjuna how the mind can be made friend.

jitatmanah prasantasya paramatma samahitah sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu tatha manapamanayoh

jnana-vijnana-trptatma kutastho vijitendriyah yukta ity ucyate yogi sama-lostrasma-kancanah

Now by training the mind, jitatmana, one who has conquered over the mind, jitatmanah prasantasya… Prasanta means he has become in equilibrium, prasanta. Prasanta. Because mind is dragging me always in nonpermanent things. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna manorathenasati dhavato bahih [SB 5.18.12]. Asati manorathena. By the chariot of the mind. So long we are seated on the chariot of the untrained mind, unbridled mind, the mind will drag me to things which are nonpermanent. But my whole business is that I am permanent, I am eternal. Somehow or other, I have got this attachment for nonpermanent things. So I have to get out of this entanglement. So if my mind is not trained up, then the mind’s business will be to drag me to nonpermanent things. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. But this mind, as I told you the other day, can be very easily trained up if we fix up in our minds, on the fort of the mind, a great soldier, Krsna. Just like if the fort is defended by a great general, then there is no question of entering of the enemy, similarly, if we put Krsna on the fort of the mind, then there is no chance of entering of the enemies. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. That day we have explained.

And if we do not do that harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. Mahad-gunah means the material acquisition, material education, material wealth, or so many material qualification. That will not help me to control my mind. That is not possible. Only thing is that if I put on the mind Krsna, or God, harav abhakta…, Krsna consciousness, then my mind will be very easily conquered.

So jitatmanah prasantasya. Prasanta means who has ceased to desire material enjoyment. Bhavantam evanucaran nirantaram prasanta-nihsesa-mano-rathantaram. A devotee to the Lord, bhavantam evanucaran nirantaram, that “When I shall be able to act twenty-four hours in Your service, or when I shall be able to think of You cent percent?” And prasanta-nihsesa-mano-rathantaram. Mano-rathantaram means mind is dragging me in so many imaginations; so many plan-making business we have got, so many plan-making business. That is called mano-rathantaram. Just like I go on some chariot, on some car, in several places. So mind is… The same thing is described. Maya….yantrarudhani mayaya. So we are traveling like that, that way. But as soon as I am able to fix my mind on the lotus feet of Krsna in Krsna consciousness, it become jitatmanah. Jitatmanah means conquered. And then my mind becomes clear of all the engagements of nonpermanent things. Prasantasya. Jitatmanah prasantasya paramatma samahitah. That is possible…

Paramatma means Supersoul. We have several times told you that Paramatma is with me. The same thing. Paramatma is sitting with me in the heart. I, the soul, the atomic spark, spirit spark, that is also in this heart, and side by side, in the similar smallest way, the Supreme Lord is also with me. Paramatma samahitah. This paramatma samahitah is the yoga. Now, Krsna will gradually come, Paramatma. The yoga system is, meditation means to control all the senses and concentrate the mind to focus on the Paramatma. That is the whole yoga system. So here it is hinted, paramatma samahitah, “completely absorbed in the Paramatma.” Prasanta. Prasanta means ceases, cease from all nonpermanent activities. And jitatmanah. Jitatmanah means conquered over the senses. So

jitatmanah prasantasya paramatma samahitah sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu tatha manapamanayoh

Sitosna-sukha… Duality. Duality. We have got in this material world duality. Just like this is now summer season; then again we will have winter season, snowfall. Sita usna. Sita means winter season, and usna means summer season. Sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu. Similarly, happiness and distress. Happiness and distress. Tatha manapamanayoh. Similarly, honor and dishonor. Because in this world, the world of duality, dual world, everything is to be understood by duality. We cannot understand what is honor if there is no dishonor. If I am not insulted, I cannot understand what is honor. So manapamanayoh. Similarly, I cannot understand what is misery if I have not tasted happiness. Or I cannot understand what is happiness if I have not understood misery. So similarly… I cannot understand what is cold if I have not tasted hot. This world is, world is of duality. So one has to transcend. So long this body is there, this duality feeling will continue.

So because I am trying to get out of this body, bodily conception— not exactly out of the body, but bodily conception—so I will have to practice to tolerate these dualities. As in the Second Chapter we have, Krsna has advised Arjuna, matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. This duality of distress and happiness, this is due to the skin. This is skin disease. Just like itching, itching of the skin. So because there is itching, I should not be mad after it. I should tolerate. There are so many. Nowadays mosquito bite is going on. So we should not be mad. We should not give up our duty because mosquito is biting or some bed bug is biting. So so many dualities that we have to tolerate.

So if my mind is always in Krsna consciousness, then these dualities can be practiced very easily. Sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. Jnana-vijnana-trptatma kutastho vijitendriyah. Why he will be able to understand, to tolerate? Because jnana-vijnana-trptatma. Jnana means knowledge. Theoretical knowledge is called jnana, and practical knowledge is called vijnana. Vijnana. Just like a science student has to study theoretical and appear theoretical examination as well as practical examination. If a science student has to pass his examination, then he has to prac… Simply theoretical knowledge that so much quantity of hydrogen and so much quantity of oxygen will make water will not help him. He has to practically show in the laboratory that so much quantity of oxygen gas and so much quantity of hydrogen gas mixed and water is produced. That is called vijnana. Vijnana.

So jnana-vijnana-trptatma. One should have not only theoretical knowledge, but practical knowledge. Practical knowledge. Simply understanding that “I am not this body, I am not body,” then I am doing all nonsense of this body. I am discussing… There are so many societies. They are very seriously discussing Vedanta philosophy and smoking, with wine glass, and very enjoying life. You see. So that sort of jnana, that sort of knowledge, is not necessary. You see? So jnana-vijnana. One should have knowledge perfectly, and it must be demonstrated. Demonstrated in practical field. Yes. But that means one who has actually felt himself that “I am not this body,” then naturally his bodily necessities will be reduced to the minimum. Will be reduced to the minimum. That is practical. If I am going to increase the demands of my body and I am simply theoretically thinking that “I am not this body,” oh, that is not required. Jnana-vijnana-trptatma.

A man, a person, will be satisfied when there is jnana, knowledge, and science side by side. Jnana-vijnana, practical knowledge. Kutastho vijitendriyah. Then he’s conquered over the senses.

jnana-vijnana-trptatma kutastho vijitendriyah yukta ity ucyate yogi sama-lostrasma-kancanah

So when he is situated in that practical status of spiritual realization, then he is to be understood that he is actually situated in the yoga. Not that I am going to a class and, weekly or twice weekly attending yoga class, and I remain the same thing for the so many years. No. There should be practical realization. What is that practical realization? Prasantatma. Prasantatma. The mind is calm and quiet, no more agitated by the attraction of this material encirclement. You see? So jnana-vijnana…kutastho vijitendriyah. The first qualification is called vijitendriyah, sense control. Advancement in the yoga system means yoga indriya-samyamah. Yoga means to… Because our whole life is disturbed due to the senses. Senses. This material life means sense gratification. That’s all. The sum and substance of materialistic life means sense gratification. Therefore advancement of material science means giving you products for your sense gratification. Unnecessarily, so many things are produced just to satisfy my senses. That is the material advancement.

So material life means sense gratification, and spiritual life means detached from sense gratification. So vijitendriyah. Yukta ity ucyate yogi sama-lostrasma-kancanah. And when he is in that position of equilibrium, then for him, sama-lostrasma-kancanah. Kancana means gold, and lostra means, what is called, rubbles of stone. They are the same thing. So sama-lostrasma-kancanah. And again,

suhrn-mitrary-udasina-madhyastha-dvesya-bandhusu sadhusv api ca papesu sama-buddhir visisyate

We have got our relationship in this world, we call that: “He is my friend.” Suhrt and mitra. There are two kinds of friends. Suhrt means better friend. Actually who is always desiring my welfare, he is called suhrt. And friend means we have got good will, ordinary friends. Suhrn mitra udasina. Udasina means neutral, neither friend nor enemy. We have got relationship within this world. Somebody is my very good well-wisher, somebody is my friend, and somebody is neither friend nor enemy. And somebody, madhyastha, mediator, and somebody actually doing some good. Somebody I think, “Oh, here is a nice gentleman, saintly person.” And somebody I think, “Oh, here is a sinful man.” According to my calculation, somebody my friend, somebody my enemy, somebody neutral, somebody, I mean to say, a saintly person, somebody my, a sinful person. Now, all these, when you are on the yoga-yukta, when you are in the platform of transcendence, then these distinctions, this friend, enemy, sadhu, saintly, and sinful, that will all be closed. No more. No more. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Panditah. When one becomes actually learned, he does not see any enemy or any friend because nobody is enemy, nobody is friend, nobody is my son, nobody is my mother, nobody is… We are all different living entities.

We are just playing on the platform under the dress of father, mother, wife children friend, enemy. Just like in a drama we set up some character to play, so… But out of the stage we are all friends. Nobody… In the stage I say, “Oh, you are enemy. I shall kill you.” And so many things I do. But when out of the stage, we are all friends. Similarly, in this world, in this material world, with this dress, with this dress of material body, we are playing on the stage of material world that enemy and friend and father, mother, son. I cannot beget any son. It is not possible. I simply beget this body. You see. The living entity, that is not my power. Simply by my sex intercourse with my wife, I cannot produce unless that living entity is placed in that emulsification of two secretion. These are stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So this is only stage play.

So actually, when one is situated in proper knowledge, one who is actually a yogi, for him, this distinction altogether disappears. Yogi yunjita satatam atmanam rahasi sthitah. Now, now here is the beginning of the yoga system, how one should perform yoga. Now, you will understand from the description of Bhagavad-gita that what is yoga system. In your city, New York City, the yoga is very popular. Everyone is performing yoga. There are so many groups of yoga schools, but just see what the yoga system is. You just, you can understand from Bhagavad-g\ ita. What is that? The first is yogi yunjita satatam atmanam rahasi sthitah. The yogi’s business is always to remain alone in a secluded place. Alone and secluded place. Yoga cannot be performed in assembly. Just like we are in assembly. Here you are performing yoga, I am performing yoga in the yoga class, and somebody is teaching, “Do like this. Do like that. Do like that.” That is not yoga system. At least, according to Bhagavad-gita. Here it is clearly said that yogi yunjita satatam atmanam rahasi sthitah. He should always be engaged in his, I mean to say, focusing his mind towards the Paramatma. And that is possible, rahasi. Rahasi means in a secluded place. In a secluded place. It is not… I cannot concentrate my mind in the hubble-bubble of this society or in a big city.

The yoga system, you will find that all the yogis formerly… Still in India there are many yogis. They come at Kumbhamela. We have seen some of them. They are some of them are 700 years old, and you’ll see him just like a boy of 25 years. They are doing something, yoga. So they, rarely they come when there is some special function. In India there are four places. Just like in the modern days there are conferences of different parties, similarly, in India there are still about thirty hundred thousands of saintly persons. Not one, two. And they, not all, but at least, major portion of them, they meet together after twelve years in some particular places. There are four places. One at Prayaga. You have heard the name of Allahabad city. That is called Prayaga. And one at Hardwar, and at Kanchi. In this way they have got four places. That means every four years they have meeting. So in that meeting many yogis come. And when… Not in my this renounced order, when I was living for some time at Allahabad… Not some time. I lived there for thirteen years, at Allahabad. So I was seeing this Mela. Although it was taking at at least 12 years, I have seen twice or thrice. So these yogis, they are so calm and quiet and looking… Of course, I do not know. Somebody said this man is 700 years old, this man is 300 years old, but they look like young boys.

So they, such yogis, as it is recommended here, yogi yunjita satatam atmanam. One who is actually ascendent on the yogic principles, his first function is that he remains alone. He has no society. He cannot remain in society. Yogi yunjita satatam rahasi sthitah, ekaki. Ekaki means alone. Or more clearly it is stated. Ekaki yata-cittatma nirasir aparigrahah. Nirasih, there is no expectation that “By functioning yoga, I shall achieve this power.” And aparigraha, and he does not take anything from anybody. Who is going to give him? He is ekaki, he is alone in a secluded place, in, sometimes in jungle, in forest, in mountain. And who is going to give him anything? He doesn’t expect because he is firmly convinced that “For whom I have become yogi…I am not alone. My Paramatma is always with me.” He’s a yogi of… Unless…, what kind of yogi he is? He is… Although he remains superficially alone, but he knows that “Wherever I go, my Paramatma friend, who is sitting with me on my heart, He is with me. So I have nothing to fear. So I have nothing to fear.” Yata-cittatma. Ekaki yata-cittatma nirasir aparigrahah. He does not accept anything for anyone.

Now, just see the yogi, yogic principle, for this age, how much it is difficult for us. If we want to perform real yoga system, then it is very difficult. Nobody… We are sitting here, so many ladies and gentlemen, is it possible for us to live alone in a secluded place in a mountain? You have got in your, outside your New York City there are so many mountains and jungles. Can you live there alone? Oh, no. At the present moment, the modern way of our civilization, mode of our life… Just like I am a sannyasi, I am renounced order of life, but still, I have come to a city, New York City, the largest city of the world. From Bombay city or Calcutta city I have come. So life has become so changed that in this age actually what is called yoga, it is not possible. It is not… First condition is that ekaki yata-cittatma, he should remain alone, he should perform yoga system alone, not in with friends and many other yogis. No. Yata-cittatma nirasir aparigrahah. And he should have no desire in his mind. And aparigraha. He does not want anything from anybody, anybody else. This is the first condition.

Then next condition:

sucau dese pratisthapya sthiram asanam atmanah naty-ucchritam natinicam cailajina-kusottaram

The yogi has to fix up his sitting place. What is that? Sucau dese. He should select a place which is very, very pure. Now, that means a place like Hardwar. Our young friend, Mr. Howard, he has been to Hardwar. He has seen how nicely that place is. River Ganges is flowing and very nice, calm, quiet. You’ll find three miles after, four miles after, one yogi is sitting nicely there and meditating. That is yoga system. You see? So sucau dese, in a place where…, the sanctified place. So these places are especially selected, just like Hardwar, Kanchi and Prayaga. They are, from time immemorial, in Vedic age, those places are sanctified. Just like this Bhagavad-gita was spoken in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Dharma-ksetre, the land of religiosity. Even war was performed. Because this war was not ordinary war. That was religious war. Religious war. This Kuruksetra battle, that was religious war. Don’t you find in the warfield where Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is present, do you think it is ordinary war? No. It is not ordinary war. And it was performed in a place which is called dharma-ksetra. So sometimes war is also performed in terms of religiosity. That is prescribed. That is required.

So here, sucau dese, perfectly sanctified place. Sucau dese pratisthapya. He must be situated in a very sanctified place. Sthiram asanam atmanah. And the asanam, and the sitting place should not be changed. The same asana. He should perform yoga, meditation, on the same place and the same sitting place. Atmanah. And how that place, the sitting place, should be selected? Na ati ucchritam. Not too much raised, nor too much low. Naty-ucchritam. And cailajina-kusottaram. Caila. Caila means cotton something, cotton sitting place. Then skin. Deerskin means… You know yogis, they sit on the skin of tiger and skin of deer? Why? Because they are in a secluded place. This has got some chemical effect. If you sit on tiger skin and deer skin, then the reptiles, the snakes, they won’t disturb you. It has got some, I mean to say, physical effect. There are so many medical effect in so many things. We do not know. But God has created everything for our use. We do not know. Every plant, every herb is a medicine. It is meant for some particular disease, for some particular protection. We do not know that. So cailajina. It is not a fashion. It is… Because they sit down in a secluded place in a jungle, so you are meditating, so some snake may come. There are so many snakes, so many reptiles. So therefore, cailajina-kusottaram. And straw. The three things: straw, and the skin, and some cotton asana. These things are required.

Then what is the next process? The next process is

tatraikagram manah krtva yata-cittendriya-kriyah upavisyasane yunjyad yogam atma-visuddhaye

Atma-visuddhaye. The whole process is, yoga system is, for purifying atma. Purifying atma… You always remember that atma means this body, atma means the mind, atma means the soul. So purifying these things. So yoga system is made not that cheaply I want some power. Sometimes the yogis they achieve very wonderful power. Asta-siddhi-yoga. Asta-siddhi, eight kinds of perfect, material perfection, they can attain. Not for that purpose yoga sys… Although they attain that power, real yogis, they do not exhibit it. They do not exhibit it. They have got the powers, so many wonderful powers, but he doesn’t… His only aim is atma-visuddhaye: “I am now contaminated by this material atmosphere; so I have to purify myself.” So that purification process we shall discuss next day. But I may say in this connection that so much difficult process for purifying the atma is very easily done, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], by chanting this Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Because the sound, this transcendental sound vibration, is nondifferent from Krsna. Krsna is absolute. His name is not different from Him. So when you chant His name with devotion, that means Krsna is with you. And Krsna, when Krsna is with you, how you can remain impure? You become pure. The purest. That is the whole system. Now, if there is any questions, you can ask. (end)