VI:33-36 Yoga – Sameness in the Midst of Change

There are really only two paths to Realization. Both paths are Yoga by any name, and one is not better than the other. We will all use them both at one time or another.

Arjuna spoke:
I do not see how this Yoga, which you call ‘sameness’, can have any lasting foundation because of instability. 

Arjuna is asking Lord Krishna how one can enter a state of sameness in a situation in which nothing is stable because of the actively changing nature of life.

The mind is unsteady, harassing, powerful and unyielding, Krishna. I think holding it down is, like the wind, extraordinarily difficult to do.

Even the mind is always changing and busy with something or other. It seems impossible to Arjuna that all this activity in the mind can be held in stasis long enough to reach the goal. But Lord Krishna has the solution…..

The Blessed Lord spoke:
Without doubt, the fluctuating mind is difficult to restrain, except by practice and indifference to worldly affairs.

Even though this is true about the mind, there is a solution: the practice of Yoga, and indifference to worldly affairs.

The outcome of the practice of Yoga, is yoga (union). Yoga takes place in the midst of action (change) but culminates in a state of sameness. The yogi experiences happiness in his practice, and gradually becomes indifferent to worldly affairs in favor of yoga.

In order to reach this state of union, one chooses the one thing that is eternally the same—Absolute God—and surrenders to That in meditation.

Equality, equanimity, evenness, homogeneousness,

impartiality, indifference.

Yoga is difficult to attain for one who has no self-control. But if one is self-controlled, it is possible through the proper means by striving. This is my view.

This verse exposes two paths: The path of the will and the path of surrender. This has been the case all along, but this verse was crying out to make it evident. Here are two more translations to demonstrate this, both taken from the Sanskrit:

Yoga is difficult to attain by one who has no self-control. But for one who is self-controlled, it is possible to attain by striving. This is my view.

For one who has no self-control, union (yoga) is difficult to attain, except for one who is submissive (surrendered). This is the proper means. This is my view.

There are two different words being used in this verse that are translated as ‘self-control’. One means ‘attentive, self-contained, subdued’. The other word can mean either ‘subject to the will, desire, or control’, or ‘willing, submissive, subject to or dependent upon’.

Will – Desire based action. Subdued by controlling the attention by means of using one’s willpower.

Surrender – Surrendered action. Willingness to subject oneself and be dependent upon God through surrender.

Translators of Sanskrit mystical texts must settle on something, and are inclined to settle where their training takes them. Some are scholars with little or no personal experience of yoga sadhana to draw from. Those who do practice Yoga will draw from the teachings of their own path, most of which will be technique-oriented (using the will). Both of these make up the published translations of this text with one exception: those practicing non-technique-oriented yoga sadhana, which are few, and which represent my own translations.

The issue of self-control is valid for both the path of the will and the path of surrender. If one has not developed any self-control in life, they are not likely to want to follow the path of surrender anyway, for there would be little to surrender, and the experience would be weak and uninspiring. The path of surrender is really only useful to those who have had enough of control and the responsibilities and repercussions that go with it. 

Whether the path of the will or surrender, self-control is necessary just to get yourself into the meditation room, espceially in the beginning. So we can’t ignore it. But we can look at it closer:


  • Using the will (to try to achieve a goal)
  • Self-discipline (going ahead no matter what)
  • Self-motivation (you don’t need to be told to do something, you just do it)
  • Correctly and honestly monitoring one’s practice of spiritual principles in life (Yama and Niyama)

In the beginning, it is difficult to keep the attention on one thing long enough to reach a state of yoga. This is true of either path. In the path of the will, you will use your will to try to remedy this. In the path of surrender, you will continue to surrender yourself to God in meditation and let Shakti work this out. Both paths require enough self-discipline to meditate regularly.

“The proper means” for the path of the will is to follow the directions of the guru. The proper means for the path of surrender is to follow the directions of the guru to leave everything to God/Shakti and accept what happens or doesn’t happen in your meditation.

The practice of Yoga as it is presented in the previous verses, and verses to come, will deliver you from any concerns. All you have to do to reach a state of sameness (yoga, samadhi) is to follow these teachings.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma


VI:29-32 The State of Yoga

When you become Self-realized, you are God-realized. When you become God-realized, you are Self-realized. No matter by which door you enter into this sameness, it is the same room. 

Now we take up the subject of sameness again. This began in chapter five, with “In the City of Nine Gates”. This time however, we will see sameness as a state—the state of yoga (union).

Seeing himself in all beings and all beings in him, he who is constantly engaged in yoga sees the same everywhere. 

Lord Krishna is saying that by continued yoga practice, you will come to realize that Everyone is in Everyone. This is inevitable in Surrender Meditation where your surrender to the Absolute is a surrender to Everyone.

Once again, we are reminded of ‘the embodied one‘, the Real You, which is absolute, eternal and unchanging, and ‘the being’, the physical human role you are playing. It is the ’embodied one’ that the yogi recognizes as the same Absolute in himself as in everyone else, and visa versa.

Rightly beholding Me in all, and all in Me, I am never forgotten by him, and he is never forgotten by Me.

It is not possible for any of us not to be in constant contact with God, for we are not different from That. But because we are being human, we tend to think of God as some human-like figure. Even so, God being what God is, God has no limitations and can be anything we want It to be. Now what does this tell you about yourself? (Think about that.)

When you Realize that Everyone is in Everyone, you are realizing God.

Established in this union, the yogi worships Me in all beings. In whatever way he acts, he lives in Me.

Because what you really are is present Everywhere in Everyone, when you are surrendered to God, you are worshipping Real Others—you are accepting them as the same as You. And no matter what is going on, nothing you do can affect the Embodied One (God, the Real You and Real Others).

Worship: Surrender

One who by comparison to himself correctly sees the same everywhere, in all cases, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is the highest of yogis.

“One who by comparison to themself correctly sees”
You are able to see God everywhere, in all cases, in all others and in all things, because God is also in You—it takes one to know one. 

At first, one is able to reach this state of union (yoga) only under conducive circumstances, but as time goes by, one’s practice predominates circumstances, and union is achieved regardless of how pleasant or unpleasant circumstances may be. 

When you know, directly experience, or even simply understand, the truth about yourself as a Divine Individual (the Real You), you will see that we are all exactly the same in what it is that we really are, no matter what the being does or does not do, and regardless of surrounding circumstances.

As beings, we are misidentified with something other than our Real Selves, so we make mistakes. We act in ways that are not consistent with ourselves as Divine Individuals. This interferes with our ability to comprehend our Real Selves, and affects everyone else as well. So it behoves us to remedy this error through continued practice, until we become “the highest of yogis”.

By knowing your Self, you will know God.
By knowing God, you will know your Self.
When you know God or your Self, you will know You, God and Everyone as the same. 

How to Know Your Self

The way to know your true Self, the Real You, is to stop identifying with your body, your feelings, your personality, your mind, and all the things you do and have and want. But this is a tall order, so what can you do?

There can never be too much said about the Yamas and Niyamas. These ten spiritual principles are the key to you knowing You. They will guide you to Self realization. They describe You, tell you what it would look like for you to be demonstrative of them, how to act in order to bring this about, and what the payoff for success will be.

Each Yama and each Niyama is a one-word teaching full of wisdom. The illustration below will provide a quick look, and give you some clues as to the nature of their teachings, their results, and their payoffs. They are worthy of your attention and your efforts to Realize them…for all our sakes.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

Ten Keys to Success
At Anything

Siddhis – powers gained through mastery

Yamas and Siddhis

Niyamas and Siddhis

Take the Course
“Ten Keys to Success”

VI:20-28 The Yoga of a Yogi

Through the teachings of the Gita, we have come to understand that Yoga is not completely represented by what we see in Yoga studios. It is a part of the whole, but elementary to the purpose of Real Yoga.

Where the attention comes to rest, held there by yoga practice, the yogi recognizes himself as his own means of yoga and is happy. 

To slip into a meditative state, the attention, and therefore the prana (Life Energy), must ‘come to rest’ on one thing.

Where the attention goes, the energy flows.

In surrender sadhana, this is managed by Shakti, and happens spontaneously. By surrendering himself to God/Truth, the yogi soon discovers himself to be his own instrument of yoga and recognizes his good fortune. Fueled by this realization, his inspired practice is successful.

Action is the means of Yoga. Correct knowledge is the fuel that brings success a thousand times faster than action performed without it.  

Now that he knows the location of this infinite joy, he grasps this intelligence that is beyond the senses, becomes established in yoga practice, and does not deviate from it.

It is the yogi himself who is beyond the senses, and now he understands. Nothing that is ‘out there’ within the grasp of the senses can bring him true happiness. And only what is beyond the senses can bring about union (yoga), for the senses will lead one away from it by commandeering the attention, and with it, the Life Energy. But the yogi is not susceptible to this intrusion because he can’t leave yoga alone—he is addicted to it and the joy it brings. This is what is meant by ‘established’ and why ‘he does not deviate from it’.

And having attained this, no greater gain can he imagine. Established in it, he is not moved from it, even by profound sorrow.

This yogi is unlikely to ever leave Yoga behind. Not only has he become established in it, but it has become his refuge in hard times—hard times in the processes of yoga as it changes him and his perspectives, and the kinds of hard times that are inevitable in life in general.

The separation of union with unhappiness is a sign of Yoga practiced with determination, absence of doubt, and undismayed mind. 

The union of Yoga separates one from union with unhappiness—dis-ease, difficulty, misery, suffering and sorrow. No matter the difficulty, no matter the suffering or misfortune in life, as soon as it begins it is dissolved, and one goes forward with yoga and finds happiness in it.

This is the sign of successful yoga and the yogi knows it, and goes forward with it, no matter what (this is the true meaning of discipline). Doubts are a thing of the past, or dissolve quickly. Determination is easy. No matter what his mind tells him, he knows yoga and will never leave it. 

All desires of the mind, the basis of all intentions, are completely abandoned without exception, and the senses restrained. 

Because of his devoted yoga practice, mentally based desires and the intentions that go with them, are thrown out. There are no exceptions. It is this that causes the senses to become subdued spontaneously, and the mind quieted.

This yogi will not allow the senses to spoil his good fortune with their antics as they continue to bombard him with opportunities to become drowned by desires. Even though they may arise in his consciousness, they are helpless against his determination. 

Having firmly grasped that which is beyond the senses, the activities of the mind gradually cease and he thinks of nothing else.

It is the abandonment of mentally based desires and intentions that allows the mind to rest. The yogi has only one thought: union with God/Truth, yoga.

Whenever the flickering mind wanders, it is withdrawn and brought back to That. 

If in his practice his mind should wander from the single object of yoga, it is spontaneously brought back to That, by That.

The yogi whose passion is thus virtuously assuaged, is calm of mind, and approaches Brahman and the highest happiness. 

By the virtuous action of yoga, the yogi is relieved of the turbulent nature of rajas (the guna of passion), and is completely tranquil and calm of mind. In this state, he is in the position of union with God, Brahman, and supreme joy.

Thus constantly practicing yoga, the yogi’s stains are gone, and he easily encounters Brahman and endless happiness. 

The yogi’s faults are destroyed through his constant practice of yoga. He easily encounters Brahman—God/Truth—and boundless happiness. There is nothing he has to do but continue with his yoga, and accept the endless joy of its practice.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma