Thursday, April 14, 2016

The meaning of "yoga" throughout the Bhagavad Gita.

I had been reading the Bhagavad Gita of late (book form), and came across a quote online from a Facebook page that was from Chapter 5, Verse 6.. which translated this verse as "Merely renouncing all activities yet not engaging in the devotional service of the Lord cannot make one happy. But a thoughtful person engaged in devotional service can achieve the Supreme without delay."

For some reason this translation didn't sit well with me at all, and I checked a few other sources.. and sure enough, Sivananda and some others (Bessant) translate this verse in a completely different way-- and in a way that makes more sense- and relate it to the Chapter discussion on the yoga of action (Karma yoga) vs the yoga of renunciation of action (Sankhya / Jnana).. and Krsna ends up advising that the yoga of action (Karma yoga) is easier, or rather renunciation of action is difficult without yoga (ie training/discipline).. and prior to this verse, it is stressed by Krsna that actually both are equal and one.

Later in the day, I found this excellent explanation on the use of 'yoga' throughout the Bhagavad Gita.. and thus had to share it-

Q: What does the word “yoga” given in each chapter-name mean?

"The word 'Yoga' has various meanings . Yoga means nirodha or mastery . also means upaya , a means of achieving something . Dhyana is also called yoga . A connection ,sangati , meaning a subject matter , visaya , is also called yoga. All the 18 chapters of Gita has the word ' yoga' in its title therefore, the appropriate meaning here is sangati , the connection or the subject matter. Thus, the word yoga does not refer to the practice of yoga but to the subject matter."

1 comment:

  1. ie. the use of the word 'Yoga' throughout the Bhagavad Gita changes and depends on the particular chapter where it is used-- devotional, action, knowledge, mind training, etc... all of these activities are forms of 'yoga' or means to attain union.