Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning my reading focused on the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Wherein Srila Prabhupada describes…

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga.

…Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga.

…Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

In these two important verses (Bg 6.47 & 7.1) there is much good information about yoga, the different types of yoga, yoga practices, and the ultimate goal of yoga. Very informative!

More from purports followed by full text and purports

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, the living entity has been described as nonmaterial spirit soul which is capable of elevating himself to self-realization by different types of yogas. At the end of the Sixth Chapter, it has been clearly stated that the steady concentration of the mind upon Kṛṣṇa, or in other words Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the highest form of all yoga. By concentrating one’s mind upon Kṛṣṇa, one is able to know the Absolute Truth completely, but not otherwise. Impersonal brahmajyoti or localized Paramātmā realization is not perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth because it is partial. Full and scientific knowledge is Kṛṣṇa, and everything is revealed to the person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness one knows that Kṛṣṇa is ultimate knowledge beyond any doubts. Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 7.1)

Full text and purports of Bg 6.47 & 7.1

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 47, and Chapter 7, Text 1

TEXT 47

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

yoginām—of all yogīs; api—also; sarveṣām—all types of; mat-gatena—abiding in Me; antaḥ-ātmanā—always thinking of Me within; śraddhāvān—in full faith; bhajate—renders transcendental loving service; yaḥ—one who; mām—Me (the Supreme Lord); saḥ—he; me—Mine; yuktatamaḥ—the greatest yogī; mataḥ—is considered.

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

PURPORT

The word bhajete is significant here. Bhajete has its root in the verb bhaj, which is used when there is need of service. The English word “worship” cannot be used in the same sense as bhaja. Worship means to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a demigod and may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned. Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. Failing to do this, he falls down. The Bhāgavatam confirms this as follows:

ya eṣāṁ puruṣaṁ sākṣād ātma-prabhavam īśvaram
na bhajanty avajānanti sthānād bhraṣṭā patanty adhaḥ.

“Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the Primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position.”

In this verse also the word bhajanti is used. Therefore, bhajanti is applicable to the Supreme Lord only, whereas the word “worship” can be applied to demigods or to any other common living entity. The word avajānanti, used in this verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is also found in the Bhagavad-gītā: avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ: “Only the fools and rascals deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa.” Such fools take it upon themselves to write commentaries on the Bhagavad-gītā without an attitude of service to the Lord. Consequently they cannot properly distinguish between the word bhajanti and the word “worship.”

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau.
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”

Bhaktir asya bhajanaṁ tadihāmutropādhi nairāsyenāmuṣmin manaḥ kalpanam; etad eva naiṣkarmyam. “Bhakti means devotional service to the Lord which is free from desire for material profit, either in this life or in the next. Devoid of such inclinations, one should fully absorb the mind in the Supreme. That is the purpose of naiṣkarmya.”

These are some of the means for performance of bhakti or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of the yoga system.

Chapter 7, Text 1

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu

śrī bhagavān uvāca—the Supreme Lord said; mayi—unto Me; āsakta-manāḥ—mind attached; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; yogam—self-realization; yuñjan—so practicing; mat-āśrayaḥ—in consciousness of Me (Kṛṣṇa consciousness); asaṁśayam—without doubt; samagram—completely; mām—unto Me; yathā—as much as; jñāsyasi—you can know; tat—that; śṛṇu—try to hear.

TRANSLATION

Now hear, O son of Pṛthā [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.

PURPORT

In this Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, the nature of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is fully described. Kṛṣṇa is full in all opulences, and how He manifests such opulences is described herein. Also, four kinds of fortunate people who become attached to Kṛṣṇa, and four kinds of unfortunate people who never take to Kṛṣṇa are described in this chapter.

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, the living entity has been described as nonmaterial spirit soul which is capable of elevating himself to self-realization by different types of yogas. At the end of the Sixth Chapter, it has been clearly stated that the steady concentration of the mind upon Kṛṣṇa, or in other words Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the highest form of all yoga. By concentrating one’s mind upon Kṛṣṇa, one is able to know the Absolute Truth completely, but not otherwise. Impersonal brahmajyoti or localized Paramātmā realization is not perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth because it is partial. Full and scientific knowledge is Kṛṣṇa, and everything is revealed to the person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness one knows that Kṛṣṇa is ultimate knowledge beyond any doubts. Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

One should therefore begin yoga practice as directed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Concentration of the mind upon Kṛṣṇa the Supreme is made possible by prescribed devotional service in nine different forms, of which śravaṇam is the first and most important. The Lord therefore says to Arjuna, “tat śṛṇu,” or “Hear from Me.” No one can be a greater authority than Kṛṣṇa, and therefore by hearing from Him one receives the greatest opportunity for progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has therefore to learn from Kṛṣṇa directly or from a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa—and not from a nondevotee upstart, puffed up with academic education.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam this process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, is described in the Second Chapter of the First Canto as follows:

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāṁ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdyantaḥstho hy abhadrāṇi vidbunoti suhṛt satām.

naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī.

tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhadayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati.

evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ
bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ mukta-saṅgasya jāyate.

bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi dṛṣṭa evātmanīśvare

“To hear about Kṛṣṇa from Vedic literatures, or to hear from Him directly through the Bhagavad-gītā, is itself righteous activity. And for one who hears about Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is dwelling in everyone’s heart, acts as a best-wishing friend and purifies the devotee who constantly engages in hearing of Him. In this way, a devotee naturally develops his dormant transcendental knowledge. As he hears more about Kṛṣṇa from the Bhāgavatam and from the devotees, he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. By development of devotional service one becomes freed from the modes of passion and ignorance, and thus material lusts and avarice are diminished. When these impurities are wiped away, the candidate remains steady in his position of pure goodness, becomes enlivened by devotional service and understands the science of God perfectly. Thus bhakti-yoga severs the hard knot of material affection and enables one to come at once to the stage of ‘asaṁśayaṁ samagram,’ understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead.” (Bhāg. 1.2.17-21)

Therefore only by hearing from Kṛṣṇa or from His devotee in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can one understand the science of Kṛṣṇa.

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