8: The Practice of Yoga
Centred in Self and satisfied
In Self alone with no desires,
Renouncing joys, sorrows alike,
That one is steady in Understanding.
What is the night of ignorance
To sage of wisdom poised in Self,
That is the joy of indulgence
To eyes that see not light of Self.
As rivers rush to ocean's deep,
So desires melt in sea of Self;
Thus longings reach their dear abode
In sage who lives as Cosmic Self.
This is the state of Brahman Great
On reaching which no one does grieve;
Even such thought at death's hour
Shall raise the soul to Brahman-Bliss.
VI. 5, 6, 10-17
By Self should one uplift the self;
No one should deprecate the Self;
The Self is truly friend of self,
The Self can also be a foe.
The self that turns against the Self
In betrayal and self-seeking;
Friend is the Self of conscious self
Which unites itself with the Self.
Alone and lonely let the self
Be seated firm in Yoga's pose,
United well with Cosmic Self
Protractedly for days and nights.
But excess should be avoided
In exercise as well as rest,
In eating, drinking, diversion,
In work and prayer or in sleep.
No Yoga comes to glutton's slave,
Nor Yoga comes who fasts too much,
No Yoga to the sleeping one
Nor for the one who wakes ever.
To one who is ev'r moderate
In eating, play, and duty's work,
In sleep and waking day's effort,
This Yoga comes which rends sorrow.
VI. 18, 19, 20, 26
When self shakes not from root of Self
That state they say is Yoga's aim,
Unflickering as flame of lamp
Placed in a calm and windless place.
The Yogi rejoices in Self by Self.
Plays and then jokes with Self alone,
Befriends the Self as dear comrade,
Merges in Self as nectar's sea.
Beholds the Self in all the things,
In earth and water, fire and air,
In men, women and children's pranks,
Who swims in Self's eternity.
When self moves out away from Self
Let self be brought by restraint's force,
To Self alone with vigilant care,
So that the Self may reign supreme.
Who does behold the Self-in all,
And all beings in Self alone
He sees indeed by Yoga's force
All things spread out everywhere.
Who sees the One in variety,
And all variety in the One,
To him the Self is never lost
And he too is not lost to Self.
Who adores ever the One alone
And is himself the vastest Self;
Let him behave in any way,-
He still abides in Deathless Self.
Who sees all is identical
With himself in his Cosmic Deeps
Has all the worlds on his own palm.-
Nay, he himself is all the worlds.
Whose senses, mind and intellect
Are held together in firmness' grip
Whose intellect is melted down
In Cosmic Understanding's Light,
Who with the Cosmic Being's Pow'r
Restrains all externality
With self controlled in Self's Puissance,
Discards the vale of sorrow's winds.
Some worship gods in sacrifice
Some pour Brahman in Brahman's fire;
Some offer senses in the fire
Of self-control well disciplined;
Others do offer all objects
In fire of senses which are trained
To see themselves in world's objects
As made of same stuff either way.
By what one falls, by that alone
Does one rise high with clearer sight,
Since objects are the roads along which
Body rises to the Soul.
All experience through sense or mind
When administered in a dose
Which ceases craving through craving
Is secret Yoga's missed by all.
Many are they who offer all
The senses, Prana and the mind
In fire of total self-control
Where cognitions melt in being.
There are the Yajnas material,
Or Yajnas of austerity,
And Yoga's Yoga undiscerned,
Or study's Yoga, and Wisdom's.
Prana is sunk in Apana,
Or Apana to Prana drawn,
By this Pranayama's Yoga,
They hold the vital breath's movements.
Some well restrained senses' masters
Merge all the senses in senses;
All these are indeed wondrous ways
Of Yogas realm, magnificent.
To embodied 'tis difficult
To rise to Infinite's reaches,
By gradual, slow, by degrees' moves
Should one attempt at Yoga's core.
By Jnana, Yoga, devotion,
And useful works conducted well
'Tis possible to reach the Goal
By graduated steps and rungs.
To love of God as friend of all
In all the three periods of time
Is wondrous panacea called
For easy reach of God's Abode.
Where Krishna is, The Absolute,
Where Arjuna, individual
Charging forth in unison,
There all is well in earth and heav'n.
The Bhagavad Gita, XVIII - 78
Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga;
wherever is Arjuna, the wielder of the bow;
there are prosperity, victory, happiness
and firm policy;
such is my conviction.