असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मति: |
वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायत: || 36||
asaṅyatātmanā yogo duṣhprāpa iti me matiḥ
vaśhyātmanā tu yatatā śhakyo ’vāptum upāyataḥ
asanyata-ātmanā—one whose mind is unbridled; yogaḥ—Yog; duṣhprāpaḥ—difficult to attain; iti—thus; me—my; matiḥ—opinion; vaśhya-ātmanā—by one whose mind is controlled; tu—but; yatatā—one who strives; śhakyaḥ—possible; avāptum—to achieve; upāyataḥ—by right means
Yoga is hard to attain by a man who cannot control his mind, but it can be attained by him who has controlled his mind and who strives earnestly by proper means. This is My opinion.
The Lord makes it clear that without self-control union with Atma is impossible. Only the sage of controlled mind can attain the Supreme Being. Whoever desires the highest should control the mind by every means available to him according to his mental predisposition. The mind should let go the fatal embrace in which man is held by the objective world. The bonds should be loosened. Whether it is by discrimination or devotion, by study of the sastras, by the teaching of the Guru, by personal experience, by observation of other people’s lives, in some way or other, the mind should detach itself from the kind of bondage to the external world. Only then, will it be able to turn inwards to look into its own source, the Atma, and yoga becomes possible.
The Lord has already declared that by practice and dispassion the mind could be controlled. Here again, by using the word ‘striving’ (yatata), he is emphasising the need for practice. The weak, the dull, the idle, the negligent can never hope to achieve anything even in worldly matters, much less in spiritual life. Sincere and steady practice is absolutely necessary. The Lord here gives another important idea – ‘skilful proceeding’ (Upayatah). One should be clever and skillful in dealing with the mind. The mere dry disciple may not yield good results. Firmness may not always succeed, and so skill becomes necessary in dealing with a powerful enemy. One should be a good strategist in spiritual life also. The great commanders advance or withdraw their forces for strategical reasons, and gain ultimate victory. So one should deal with the mind as a deadly foe who should be conquered by firm action or by force or skill. The seeker should have only one aim and that is to understand the peculiar propensity of his own mind and get it to a state of restfulness in whatever way he considers best.
Let people have faith in the words of the Lord. Let there be no doubt about the success in the attempt, as the Lord is with the aspirant in this holy attempt. By His Grace, discrimination and dispassion will certainly be attained by the Sadhaka and self-realisation will be rendered possible for every seeker even in this life.
Question: Who can attain yoga?
Answer: The man of self-control who strives skilfully attains yoga. For others, it is not possible.