The third in the series by Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha on the Bhagavad Gita, this volume deals with Sanyasa yoga and Dhyana yoga (Chapters 5 and 6).

Starting from the synthesis of Sanyasa yoga and Karma yoga, it proceeds to discuss interesting themes — for example, human destiny is a providential decree; the secular universal message of samatva; the means of self-upliftment; and meditation is an integral part of life. As is well known, all Sastras focus on the control of the mind, since it is the source of thought, word and deed. It is said that if a person cannot manage himself, he cannot manage others, not to speak of the world. Controlling the mind requires the quelling of the six internal enemies by taking to the path of Karma yoga, which in turn leads to meditative contemplation on the self.

Self-upliftment

In the context of self-upliftment and climbing the spiritual ladder, it is affirmed that whether an individual succeeds or fails depends exclusively on him and the responsibility is entirely his. Again, he is his own enemy or friend, depending on whether or not he has control over his mind. The sixth chapter reinforces this view in the companion verses 5 and 6. The behavioural excellence through sama darshana is obtained in the yogic state where such a one sees God everywhere and in everything. For such a person, there is no spiritual decadence and, what more, he has the solemn assurance from the Lord that He would not lose sight of him nor would he be lost.

The book, which has 12 articles, cites verses from the Gita appropriately. For instance, the one that speaks of detachment from the fruits of action, while having attachment to its performance. A telling example for this, given in the 10th verse of the fifth chapter, is that of a lotus leaf which always remains in water but not a droplet sticks to it. This alludes to the need for a person to dedicate his action to the Supreme Being. The Nyaya Sutra of Gautama gives the hierarchy as to how sufferings in life can be mitigated if not totally removed. .

In this book, Bhoomananda Tirtha has mentioned that the quintessence of spiritual sadhana is the sublimation of kama and krodha. We find this highlighted in the Bhagavad Gita which refers to them as the two impediments to the spiritual progress of the aspirant. That these are variations of the same emotion, like the two sides of a coin, could be derived from the words kamat krodhobhijayate, appearing elsewhere in the Gita. Like the earlier volumes, this too is thought-provoking and remarkably analytical.

ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS IN BHAGAVAD GITA — Vol. 3: Swami BhoomanandaTirtha; Pub. by Narayanasrama Tapovanam, Venginissery, P.O., Paralam, Thrissur. Rs. 150.

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