Some see the self in the self by the self alone in meditation, others by Sankhya Yoga, and others by Karma Yoga.
One can see the Self in themself through correct knowledge (Sankhya Yoga) and active meditation (Karma Yoga).
- Karma Yoga – union through action, active meditation. Karma Yoga is the path of Action.
- Sankhya Yoga – union through correct knowledge of Truth. Sankhya Yoga is the path of Knowledge.
Another alternate translation:
The Self is self-known by oneself in meditation that is active and based on correct knowledge.
Knowledge is useless without action.
Action is prone to error without correct knowledge.
The path of Knowledge teaches us that we are not doers of action, that action with intent is the cause of bondage, and action surrendered to Absolute God is the means of liberation.
In my own path, both knowledge and action are included. Knowledge is achieved through the teachings of scripture and guru, and are validated through personal experience gained in meditation.
Personal experience can be prone to error if it is not based on correct knowledge or direct experience. Direct experience requires meditation of a special kind. In this meditation the will is surrendered to Absolute God, and all actions are God-actions, not our own.
“Thy will be done O Lord, not mine” — Lord Jesus
This verse is a picture of the direct self-knowing of the True Self through meditation in surrender to Absolute God. When God is running the show, there are no mistakes.
- Meditation – A steady flow of consciousness to a single object or place.
- Sankhya Yoga – Correct knowledge (sāṃkhya) of Yoga (union).
- Karma Yoga – The act, or practice (karma), of uniting (yoga).
You can see your Self within yourself by yourself alone in meditation, while some try to get there through the path of Knowledge (Sankhya Yoga), and others through the path of Action (Karma Yoga).
This appears to be three different disciplines (meditation, Sankhya and Karma), but Lord Krishna is saying that it is in meditation that this experience will arise, not by just learning or doing, but through personal experience in meditation. It is only through meditation that your Real Self can literally be seen. This experience is not a mental phenomenon. It is very real.
Another alternate translation:
Some behold the Self in themselves, by themselves alone in meditation. This is different than the path of knowledge and the path of action taken separately.
Lord Krishna is telling Arjuna that the path that He has given him will lead him to Self Realization naturally, whereas other paths will either take him down the path of Knowledge or the path of Action. But what Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna (and us) includes both knowledge and action — putting knowledge into action by meditating naturally according to His teachings.
Some who do not know this, but listen to others who do, become devoted to what they hear. They too can transcend death.
There are also those who do not know Yoga, but hear about it from a yogi saint (siddha). Inspired, they become devoted, and because they have faith in what they have heard, they are able to achieve liberation, and transcend the cycles of birth and death.
Not everyone learns the same way. Most people learn visually, some through hearing, etc. Those who are not inclined to study will get their knowledge by listening to the teacher.
If you don’t want to take up the disciplines of Knowledge or Action, then listen to a saint, a Self-realized, God-realized teacher, to get your information and the knowledge of what to do with it.
Some interpret this verse to mean that you can hear these teachings from another person who has also heard them, and still become liberated. But how can you know through the grape-vine if that other person is speaking Truth? Hardly anyone knows this stuff. So we westerners have to be careful with things like this. Do you know any saints?
- Saint – mahasiddha, ‘one who has achieved the final goal’.
We are a chicken-hearted lot, and easily tempted to continue on in our lackadaisical way, or to wait for someone to come along who will tell us what we need to know. Or even better, someone to zap us into that state of … drum roll: SELF-realization. Never mind God.
What are the odds of this approach succeeding? Not very good. And you will not only be taking a huge risk, but you miss out on the joy of grace and good fortune.
So why go this route of complacency and Self over God and Guru? They’re all the same anyway. By not realizing this and acting accordingly, you cannot realize your true Self, and “Self Realization” will be lost to you.
“Know for certain that the Self and the Guru are truly one. For this very reason, one who is wise will seek his Guru.” — Guru Gita
“Self Realization is God Realization, and God Realization is Self Realization” — Anandamayi Ma
Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation
Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.
Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.
Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Natural Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times. Through this surrender, you will achieve the deepest meditation and have amazing experiences.
Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona