Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6, Verse 24-25

सङ्कल्पप्रभवान्कामांस्त्यक्त्वा सर्वानशेषत: |
मनसैवेन्द्रियग्रामं विनियम्य समन्तत: || 24||
शनै: शनैरुपरमेद्बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया |
आत्मसंस्थं मन: कृत्वा न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत् || 25||

saṅkalpa-prabhavān kāmāns tyaktvā sarvān aśheṣhataḥ
manasaivendriya-grāmaṁ viniyamya samantataḥ
śhanaiḥ śhanair uparamed buddhyā dhṛiti-gṛihītayā
ātma-sansthaṁ manaḥ kṛitvā na kiñchid api chintayet

saṅkalpaa resolve; prabhavānborn of; kāmāndesires; tyaktvāhaving abandoned; sarvānall; aśheṣhataḥcompletely; manasāthrough the mind; evacertainly; indriya-grāmamthe group of senses; viniyamyarestraining; samantataḥfrom all sides; śhanaiḥgradually; śhanaiḥgradually; uparametattain peace; buddhyāby intellect; dhṛiti-gṛihītayāachieved through determination of resolve that is in accordance with scriptures; ātma-sansthamfixed in God; manaḥmind; kṛitvāhaving made; nanot; kiñchitanything; apieven; chintayetshould think of

Translation

BG 6.24–6.25: Completely renouncing all desires arising from thoughts of the world, one should restrain the senses from all sides with the mind. Slowly and steadily, with conviction in the intellect, the mind will become fixed in God alone, and will think of nothing else.

Commentary

Meditation requires the dual process of removing the mind from the world and fixing it on God. Here, Shree Krishna begins by describing the first part of the process—taking the mind away from the world.

Thoughts of worldly things, people, events, etc. come to the mind when it is attached to the world. Initially, the thoughts are in the form of sphurṇā (flashes of feelings and ideas). When we insist on the implementation of sphurṇā, it becomes saṅkalp. Thus, thoughts lead to saṅkalp (pursuit of these objects) and vikalp (revulsion from them), depending upon whether the attachment is positive or negative. The seed of pursuit and revulsion grows into the plant of desire, “This should happen. This should not happen.” Both saṅkalp and vikalp immediately create impressions on the mind, like the film of a camera exposed to the light. Thus, they directly impede meditation upon God. They also have a natural tendency to flare up, and a desire that is a seed today can become an inferno tomorrow. Thus, one who desires success in meditation should renounce the affinity for material objects.

Having described the first part of the process of meditation—removing the mind from the world—Shree Krishna then talks of the second part. The mind should be made to reside upon God. He says this will not happen automatically, but with determined effort, success will come slowly.

Determination of resolve that is in accordance with the scriptures is called dhṛiti. This determination comes with conviction of the intellect. Many people acquire academic knowledge of the scriptures about the nature of the self and the futility of worldly pursuits. But their daily life is at variance with their knowledge, and they are seen to indulge in sin, sex, and intoxication. This happens because their intellect is not convinced about that knowledge. The power of discrimination comes with the conviction of the intellect about the impermanence of the world and the eternality of one’s relationship with God. Thus utilizing the intellect, one must gradually cease sensual indulgence. This is called pratyāhār, or control of the mind and senses from running toward the objects of the senses. Success in pratyāhār will not come immediately. It will be achieved through gradual and repeated exercise. Shree Krishna explains next what that exercise involves.