When a lamp is kept where there is not a whiff of air, its wick burns steadily and the flame goes straight up-it does not tremble. So it is used as a simile for the subdued mind of a yogi who has completely given himself up to God.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“An analogy is usually drawn between the lamp
whose flame does not flicker because there is no wind
and the fully restrained mind of a yogi engaged in contemplation of God.”
True that the mind has been conquered and restrained, but it is still there.
What spiritual splendour is realized when the restrained mind too is dissolved?
Lord Krishn adds:
“In the state in which even the yog-restrained mind is dissolved
by a direct perception of God,
he (the worshiper) rests contented in his Self.’’
This state is achieved only by a constant and long practice of yog. In the absence of such exercise, there can be no restraint of the mind. So when the intellect, the refined mind that has been curbed by yog, also ceases to be because it is absorbed in God, the worshiper perceives him through his Self and abides with contented happiness in his own Self. He apprehends God, but he dwells contented in his Soul.
In the moment of attainment he sees God, face to face as it were, but the very next moment he finds his own Self overflowing with the eternal glories of that God. God is immortal, constant, unmanifest, and vital; and now the worshiper’s soul too is imbued with these divine attributes. True, but now it is also beyond thought.
So long as desire and its urges exist, we cannot possess the Self. But when the mind is restrained and then dissolved by direct perception, the very next moment after the visionary experience the embodied Soul is endowed with all the transcendental qualities of God. And it is for this reason that the worshiper now lives happily and contented in his own Self.
This Self is what he really is. This is the point of crowning glory for him.
Lord Krishn sings:
“After knowing God, he (the yogi ) dwells for ever
and unwavering in the state in which he is blessed with the eternal,
sense-transcending joy that can be felt only by a refined
and subtle intellect; and…”
“In this state, in which he believes that there can be no greater good
than the ultimate peace he has found in God,
he is unshaken by even the dire of all griefs.”
Such is the state after attainment in which the worshiper lives for ever and from which he never strays. Moreover, after he is once blessed with God’s transcendental peace, settled firmly in the state of his realization, the yogi is freed from all grief, and now even the most painful sorrow cannot affect him. It is so because the mind, that feels, is now itself dissolved.
Lord Krishn adds:
“It is a duty to practise this yog,
untouched by miseries of the world,
with vigour and determination, and without a sense of ennui.”
That which is equally free from worldly attraction and repulsion is named yog. Yog is experiencing the final beatitude. Attainment of the ultimate essence, that is God, is yog. Engaging in this yog without a sense of monotony or boredom (ennui) and with resolution, is a sacred obligation. He who is patiently engaged in selfless action is the one who succeeds in achieving yog.
“Abandoning all desire, lust, and attachment,
and pulling in by an exercise of the mind the numerous senses from all sides..,”
“…His intellect should also rein in the mind firmly
and make it contemplate nothing except God and,
thus step by step, he should proceed towards the attainment of final liberation.”
It is man’s duty to sacrifice all the desires that arise from will along with attachment and worldly pleasure and restrain well with his mind, the senses from straying here and there.
The final dissolution in God comes only gradually with the practice of yog. When the mind is fully under control, the Self is united with the Supreme Spirit.
However, at the beginning, when the worshiper has just set out on the path, he has to concentrate his mind patiently on, and think of nothing else except, God.
The way of this spiritual enterprise is that attainment comes only with constant application. But at the outset, the mind is restless and refuses to stay at one point. This is what Yogeshwar Krishn speaks of now.
“Doing away with the causes that make the inconstant
and fickle wander among worldly objects,
he should devote his mind to God alone.”
Strictly keeping out all allurements that tempt the changeable and restless mind to associate with worldly objects, the worshiper should try repeatedly to confine it to the Self. It is often contended that the mind should be let free to go wherever it tends to go. After all, where else can it go except to nature, which is also a creation of God? So if it roams amidst nature, it is not transgressing the bounds of God. But according to Lord Krishn this is a misconception. There is no room for such beliefs in the Bhagavad Gita. It is Lord Krishn’s injunction that the very organs through which the mind strays here and there should be curbed in order to devote it solely to God. Restraint of mind is possible.
But what is the consequence of this restraint?
Lord Krishn sings:
“The most sublime happiness is the lot of the yogi
whose mind is at peace, who is free from evil,
whose passion and moral blindness have been dispelled,
and who has become one with God.”
Nothing is superior to the happiness that comes to this yogi, for this is the happiness that results from identity with God; and this ultimate bliss comes only to that man who is perfectly at peace in his heart and mind, free from sin, and whose property of passion and moral blindness has been subdued.
“Thus constantly dedicating his Self to God,
the immaculate yogi experiences the eternal bliss of realization.”
The emphasis here is on sinlessness and continuous devotion. The yogi needs to possess these qualities before he can experience the blessedness of touching God and merging into him. So worship is a necessity.
“The worshiper, whose Self has achieved the state of yog
and who sees all with an equal eye,
beholds his own Self in all beings and all beings in his Self.”
Yog brings about the state in which the even-minded worshiper sees the extension of his Soul in all beings and the existence of all beings in his own Soul. The advantage of the perception of this unity of all beings is the burden of the next verse.
“From the man, who sees me as the Soul in all beings
and all beings in me (Vasudev) ,
I am not hidden and he is not hidden from me.”
God is manifest to the man who sees Him in all beings (that all beings are imbued with his Spirit) and all beings as abiding in Him. God also knows his worshiper in the same way. This is the direct encounter between the yogi and his prompter. This is the feeling of kinship between God and man, and salvation in this case arises from the feeling of oneness that brings the worshiper intimately close to his adored God.
Lord Krishn sings:
“The even-minded yogi
(who has known the unity of the individual Soul and the Supreme Spirit )
who adores me, the Soul in all beings, abides in me
no matter whatever he does.”
The yogi who realizes the unity of the individual Soul and the Supreme Spirit has risen above plurality and known the unity that binds the whole universe. With this unified vision he contemplates God and none else, for there is no one except God left for him. Whatever mantle of ignorance covered him is now dissolved. So whatever he does, he does with the thought of God.
“The worshiper, O Arjun, who perceives all things
as identical and regards happiness and sorrow as identical,
is thought to be the most accomplished yogi.”
The man who realizes that this Self is also the Self of all other creatures, who makes no difference between himself and others, and for whom joy and grief are the same, is the one for whom there are no longer any distinctions nor discriminations. So, he is rightly regarded as a yogi who has attained to the highest excellence in his discipline.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~