Tuesday, June 5, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 11th sloka

Hare Krishna,

In the earlier sloka we have seen that Lord Krishna spoke about jnaani. Jnaani is a person who sees the self residing in the body, who sees the self leaving the body, through the knowledge that self alone exists. In this sloka he talks about an yogi.

15.11 – yatantah yoginah ca evam pasyanthi atmah ni avasthitam
Yatanto akrta atmanah na evam pasyanti achetasaha

Meaning of words:
Yatantah – who are diligent
yoginah – yogis with concentrated minds
Evam – the self under discussion
Pasyanthi – see
Atmah – the self
Avasthitam --- residing/existing
Yatantah --- after struggling also
Arkrta- atmanah – who lack self control
Na evam pasyanthi – do not see the self
Achetasah --- the non-discriminating ones

Meaning of sloka
Yogis with concentrated minds, with lot of struggle see the self and yogi’s who struggle, but do not have focused mind cannot see the self in oneself.

After Lord Krishna spoke about jnaani’s , now he speaks about yogis. A yogi is a person who has a concentrated mind and can contemplate on the self. Such yogis, who have strong mind, who can concentrate upon the self can see the self residing in all bodies, see self as leaving the bodies, and as the self getting associated with the vasanas and taking rebirth. Even though some people practice yoga, they lack the self control and hence cannot have focused mind, hence cannot contemplate on the self. Such people even after lot of struggle cannot see the self. These people lack viveka or discrimination between the real and unreal.
Thus Lord Krishna says that both yogi’s and jnaani’s can see the self, whereas a moodah cannot see it. Jnaani realizes or sees the self different from the body through knowledge. Yogi ,through practice of yoga, achieves a concentrated mind and contemplates on the self, and thus becomes a realized self.
So he shows the path to see the self as different from the body. So unless a person is a yogi or a jnaani, he cannot be realized.

Hare Krishna


1 comment:

vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

:)A little different way of seeing the 10th and 11th sloka. In the 10th
sloka, the Lord spoke about jnaanis being able to see the Self as the
witness and see the activities of the jeeva whereas ajnaanis are unable
to differentiate themselves from the activities of the jeeva. We can
see something only when we are not what is seen. For eg: we see the pot
because we are not the pot. If we are the pot, we will not be able to
see. It is thus that we cannot see ourselves. As long as we are
associated with the jeeva, we will not be able to see the activities of the
jeeva which includes taking body, leaving out of the body and enjoying
things. But the jnaani is able to see the jeeva's activities - this means
that the jnaani has separated himself (the Self or "I") from the jeeva
(Reflected Consciousness or Ego). Whereas the ajnaani is not able to see
the jeeva's activities because he is still associated with the jeeva
(Sankara terms this superimposition or adhyaasa of the Self on the

Now there can be doubt here: If I can see the activities of the jeeva
(meaning splitting the Self from the jeeva) only after realization, what
is the proof that such a state exists. Most of us are not realized and
hence haven't yet experienced the state of witness-hood and state of
Self distinct from the jeeva. The human mind is so much into seeing and
experiencing that we cannot believe that which we dont see or
experience. Ask the young minds of today and the very first thing they will speak
about God is "Where is God? I haven't seen him and can't see him --
then how will I believe such a God exists?". Thus it is very essential for
the Lord to give a way of experiencing things in order to make people
follow the path. Therefore experience of such a state of witness-hood
(before realization) is essential (of course the Lord also plays politics
and requires followers:) -- just joking). It is this doubt that the
Lord answers in the 11th sloka by saying that yatanthah yoginah --
striving seekers --- can see the Self as teh witness of the activities of the
jeeva. This means that we dont need to be realized to experience such a
state - we can get glimpses of such a state if we put little effort
into it.

This sloka thus is not about yogis - the word yoginah only means people
whose mind is focussed. The adjective of yatanthah or striving itself
shows that they are not yogis in the right sense (yogi is one who sees
everything as Brahman) but are seekers only. This meaning of the 10th
and 11th sloka is appropriate as Krishna doesn't differentiate between
yogis and jnaanis as clearly shown in the 6th chapter where his
definition of a yogi is what Vedanta calls as a jnaani. This explanation also
removes doubts as to why should a yogi struggle or strive to experience
the activities of the jeeva (as if the yogi is realized, he will always
be immersed in that state only).

Sankara's bhashya on this sloka also gives a similar explanation only.
Thus the Lord in the 10th sloka speaks about jnaanis experiencing it
always (jnaanis are not different from yogis but both are same only) and
in the 11th sloka speaks about even seekers (who are advanced and put
effort into realizing such a state) experiencing such a state of
witness-hood. Thus the word of yogis in the 11th sloka speaks about
concentrated people and not realized people (not the real yogi who is a jnaani

Hope haven't confused everyone with this mail. Though Aparna's
explanation is right but this way of explaining yogi as seekers (in this sloka
alone) is appropriate and apt in the context of this chapter:).

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God