Lord Krishna said, Anyone who performs their prescribed duties without attachment to the results is the true yogi and ascetic. You cannot achieve complete renunciation by giving up your prescribed duties or by becoming physically inactive.
Yoga is the same as complete renunciation because without renouncing the desire for material and sensual enjoyment one cannot be considered a true yogi.
Action is the prescribed method for those who are beginners on the eightfold path of yoga. Renunciation of all material activities is the method for those who have already attained to yoga.
The yoga practitioner who remains unattached to the objects of the senses and renounces all thoughts of material enjoyment has attained yoga.
You should use your mind to free yourself from the material world and not allow the mind to corrupt the soul. The mind can be your friend or your enemy.
If you control the mind, it will be your greatest friend. But if you are unable to control the mind, it will work against you like your greatest enemy.
Anyone who controls the mind attains serenity. They remain peaceful and undisturbed by joy and sorrow, heat and cold, honour and dishonour.
A true yogi is satisfied by their spiritual knowledge and realisation., They have controlled their senses and they look upon pebbles, stone or gold equally.
Even superior to this is the eminent yogi who has a vision of equality towards friends and enemies, saints and sinners.
A yogi should live alone in a secluded place and always control the mind and body. Remaining free from desires and expectations, they should focus their mind in spiritual consciousness.
The yogi should go to a private place and establish a seat made of straw covered with a cloth. The seat should not be too high or too low and it should be in a pure and clean place.
Sitting on that seat, the yogi should control the mind and senses and practice meditation in order to purify the heart. Keeping the body, neck and head straight and upright, the yogi should fix the gaze at the tip of the nose.
With a serene mind, fearless and celibate, the yogi should meditate on me. By controlling the body, mind and activities, the yogi who has abandoned desire for material enjoyment, achieves the peace of liberation from material existence.
Those who overeat or do not eat enough, oversleep or do not sleep enough, cannot practice yoga. If you regulate your habits of eating, sleeping, work and leisure, you can dispel all suffering by practicing this yoga system.
When the yogi withdraws the mind from mundane thoughts and centres it on the self, free from mundane desires, they have attained yoga – or linking with the Absolute.
Like a lamp in a windless place that does not waver, the mind of a yogi absorbed in the self does not waver in its concentration.
The mind controlled by yoga practice is tranquil, pacified by detachment from mundane association. The yogi remains satisfied in the self alone, and in spiritual enlightenment tastes eternal bliss.
Once established in such a position the yogi never deviates from the truth. On gaining this, they consider there is no greater gain. They are never disturbed, even in the greatest tribulation. The yogi achieves actual freedom from all suffering.
You should be persistent in practicing yoga. You must reject any thoughts that give rise to desire and use your mind to withdraw the senses from all material objects.
By steadying the intelligence, gradually calm the mind and focus it on the self only. When the wavering and unsteady mind strays, you should bring it back to the control of the self.
The yogi who is free of agitating passions, has a peaceful mind, is free from attachment, fear and anger and is always situated in the spiritual nature achieves the joy of realising the divine nature of the soul.
Absorbed in self-realisation and free from all material contamination, the yogi attains the bliss of contacting the Supersoul. The yogi sees consciousness within all beings.
They perceive the Supersoul within every living being and every living being within the supreme. For those who perceive me in everything and everything in me, I am never hidden from them nor are they hidden from me.
The yogi who realises I am not different from the Supersoul worships me and abides in me eternally. The best of all yogis sees the true equality of all living beings.
Arjuna said, Krishna, the mind is so fickle and unsteady that the yoga practice you have described seems impractical. The mind is restless, turbulent, stubborn and very powerful, and restraining it is like trying to hold the wind.
Lord Krishna said, It is certainly difficult to control the mind but it can be achieved with perseverance and restraint from sensual enjoyment. Yoga is difficult to achieve with an unrestrained mind, but anyone who strives to control the mind by the appropriate practices can be sure of success.
Arjuna said, Krishna, what happens to those people who engage in yoga but do not persevere because of mundane inclinations and fail to achieve perfection? Because they stray from the path of self-realisation, are they utterly lost, like a scattered cloud?
Lord Krishna said, The spiritual progress made by a yogi is never lost. Those who perform virtuous acts are never defeated by misfortune.
After residing for many years on the celestial planets reserved for the virtuous living beings, the unsuccessful yogi is born into a pious and prosperous family, or a family endowed with spiritual wisdom. Achieving such a birth is rare in this world.
Within one of these situations, they revive the wisdom they gained in their previous life and again strive for success. Because of the spiritual consciousness they achieved in their previous life, they inevitably become attracted to the principles of yoga. In their search, they surpass the fruitive rituals of the scriptures.
With serious effort, they try to make further progress and this purifies them of all material contamination. Achieving the result of many lifetimes of yoga practice, they achieve the supreme objective.
A yogi is superior to those engaged in severe austerities and vows, superior to the person of knowledge who worships the divine, and superior to those engaged in action. Therefore, Arjuna, regardless of your material circumstances, strive to be a yogi.
I consider the best and most exalted of all yogis to be those who have complete faith in devotion to me and who worship me by hearing and singing about My glories.