Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help
Author: BS Murthy

Chapter 7
Practice of Restraint Chapter 6

This chapter of 47 slokas, known as aatma samyama yogaSelf Restraint, deals with all aspects of self-control needed for renunciation in action. Here Arjuna’s queries as to what would be the fate of man, were he to fail midway, in his efforts at self- control (s37). Even if it were the case, assures the Lord, still one wouldn't come to grief here or hereafter (s40). What is more, after being born many times over, eventually he attains moksha (s45). Further in s46, the Lord asserts that such a man is superior to the ritualistic character, and concludes in s47 that he remains His most blessed devotee. 

Seen in this background, s 41 and s42 are clearly interpolations not only for affecting the continuity of the text but also for what they contain. S41 would have it that those who perform the asvamedha (ritualistic horse sacrifice) would reach heaven to be born again rich. Likewise s 42 would have us that, or such would be born in learned homes. It would seem that s46-s47 are digressions, but in effect they carry forward the Lord’s discourse from s32, at which point Arjuna interrupted Him with his queries.

S10-s17 deal with aspects of ascetic practice and do seem to be interpolations, even going by what is stated in the very opening verse, besides breaking the continuity in the proposition.

1  
Thus spoke the Lord:
Forego none if forsake chores 
Eye not gain ’n thou be freed.

2  
If thou let go its godly
Makes that hard thy self-interest. 


Uphill though the way forsake
As ’n when thou make it there
Stay thus put with no more strain.

4  
Reining senses sans motive  
Wise on selfless deeds focus.

5  
Noble or naughty it’s thy make
Self thus thine but shapes thyself.


Mind if reined, it’s thy friend 
Foe it turns, let when loose.

7  
Overcome if vicissitudes  
Vibe thee well with Me Supreme.

8  
Valuable or be otherwise
Treat all alike self-realized 
Thus they remain ever even.

9  
Wise is one, folks who treats  
None the fear ’n sans favour.

18  
With no longing freed of want 
It’s then thou reach yogic state.

19  
Rooted in self yogi true 
Lamp he likens in still air.  

20  
Restrain mind in self-focus   
Beatitude of life that makes.

21  
Transcends senses if thy mind
It’s then thou reach state of bliss.

22  
Rooted so on peak of bliss  
Wise not bother lows of life.  

23  
So to live in yogic state
Untie wise from life's bothers.

24    
Wise keep tabs on self-impulse
Affects to without are they immune.

25         
Wed wise focus with calm mind 
Makes that life of theirs tranquil.

26 
Pulled by wants as trips the mind   
Gain ground wise by self-leverage.

27  
Passions languid, mind tranquil 
Keep man ever on blissful course.

28 
Mind that's pure with self-control 
Leads that man to State Brahman.

29 
Espy wise in right outlook  
Others in self ’n vice versa.

30  
Discern Me in what they see
Ever they find Me nearby them.

31  
Me who sees in all beings 
He’s the one that dwells in Me.

32  
He’s the yogi self-feels who 
Joys of others ’n grief as well.

33  
Thus spoke Arjuna:
Frail being man, fail I see
Yoga Thou espouse, lasting in practice.

34  
Can one ever tame his mind 
Like the wind that yields to none?

35  
Thus spoke the Lord:
Calm ’n custom bring in ropes
Tough ask though to subdue mind. 

36     
Fail keep going unruly  
Persevere self-willed all the way.

37 
Thus spoke Arjuna:
What if one 
Throws up all 
Lacks who zeal
Hath though faith?

38  
Resolve if dissolves in mid-course
Won’t that be like scattered clouds?

39  
Kindly dispel all my doubts  
Think I none of else for that.

40  
Thus spoke the Lord:
Strives if one to enrich self 
Ends not in grief here or there.

43  
Harnessed habit, of births past 
Helps man strive to self-realize.

44 
With the reason thus imbibed 
Realized outwit scholars there.

45  
Awareness of births of yore 
Helps the striving gain moksha.

46  
Ahead in protocol comes yogi  
Learned, ascetics, as all sticklers for rituals.

47  
He’s the yogi of yogis
Self-inner who fills with Me.

Ends thus:
Practice of Restraint,
The Sixth Chapter  
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

 

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