Chapter 6 Dhyana Yoga Verse 21
Shloka
Asamyataatmanaa yogo dushpraapa iti me matih;
Vashyaatmanaa tu yatataa shakyo’vaaptumupaayatah.
Translation
I think that Yoga is hard to be attained by one of uncontrolled self,
but the self that is controlled and striving one attains to it by the proper means.
Interpretation
In this sloka Lord Krishna answers the questions of Arjuna who says that attaining salvation through meditation is a tough task as it is difficult to control the mind. Here Lord Krishna says that a person who is not having his self controlled by himself, it is very difficult for him to attain Yoga or unification. He goes on to say that a person whose self is controlled and striving will be different from an uncontrolled self and that self will be able to attain Yoga by proper means. Here proper means will be something that Lord Krishna has not yet disclosed.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
If you look at this sloka superficially, it looks like a simple and easy one and the one that you have already read before. But if you carefully observe then you will notice that it is a very different sloka and Lord Krishna talks about points that he has not discussed in the previous slokas. I all the previous slokas we have heard from the Lord that controlling senses and channelizing them in a right way is the key for attaining moksha. But here in this sloka Lord Krishna talks about controlling the self also. He says uncontrolled self can never attain yoga whereas a controlled self which is striving will attain it by proper means.
How can self be controlled and what are those proper means? When mind is a good friend of senses, it is used to laziness, lethargy, manipulation, cunningness etc because all these are the tricks used by mind to increase the happiness to the senses and the person enjoys happiness which is a false happiness. But what happens as the mind goes to the self? Self or soul is more purified form of an entity than senses. When mind goes there, it finds a different environment altogether and then mind will try to influence the self so that it also changes its nature. This process is known as spiritual degradation. In spiritual degradation the self of the person will lose some of its spirituality because of the mind, which wants to turn self like senses. If a person falls prey to it, then he will have an uncontrolled self and that can never attain salvation.
In such a situation, self has to show a lot of maturity. It needs to resist all the attempts made by the conscious mind to corrupt the self. Once mind fails in that process, it will slowly start understanding the beauty of soul and once it starts understanding that the happiness that it gets by following the self is more valuable and everlasting then the temporary happiness that senses give, it will slowly start coming under the control of self. Thus self by its becomes controlled. And this controlled self when it follows the proper means will attain salvation. We await Lord Krishna’s discourse on those proper means which will bring a person to salvation