Gita Series – 79: Bhagavad Gita Chapter -VI. Verses 37 – 39
Arjuna still nurtures some doubts and seeks further clarifications from Krishna. “Krishna, the one, who sincerely practiced yoga, but could not achieve the desired result because of his inability to control his mind, attains which state, at the time of his death? Having failed to realise the Brahman, he who is without any hold, deprived of both, God realization and heavenly enjoyments like a fragmented cloud? Krishna, except you, nobody can thoroughly clarify this doubt.”
Even a perfect person like Arjuna, nurtures doubts on God realization. Arjuna’s situation is totally different from others, as he was posing this question directly to the Lord Himself. Krishna’s sermons to Arjuna are totally on a different footing. Krishna was advising Arjuna not only in His capacity as the Lord, but also his spiritual preceptor.
Now, Arjuna asks a very pertinent question about the situation that is confounded by many of the spiritual aspirants. Generally speaking, many of the spiritual aspirants fail to achieve the desired results due to the lack of will power and adequate practice. The concept of yoga is largely misunderstood nowadays. Yoga means union, the union of soul with the Supreme Self, the final liberation. Yoga has many limbs and what is being discussed here is mind control. Yogic exercises are needed to keep one’s physical body in good shape, so that the body can withstand the power of the divine energy that enters one’s body either through crown chakra or through medulla oblongata, also known as back head chakra.
There are two types of spiritual aspirants. One is the karma yogi, who does his duties without looking for fruits of his actions. He feels that he does a particular act at the behest of the Lord. The other person is the one who wants to make a faster spiritual progress and chooses the difficult task of controlling his mind, and if he succeeds, he realizes the Lord through his mind. Arjuna refers to these two types of aspirants here. The question that Arjuna asks the Lord is about an aspirant who determines to attain liberation through mind control. This aspirant does not attach importance to the principles of karma yoga. Only if he makes significant advance in mind control, he gets to know the omnipresence nature of the Lord. When this aspirant has failed to control his mind, what happens to his soul after his death is the question here. This is because of the fact that he is not only imperfect in mind control, but also has not followed the path of karma yoga. Arjuna also asks this question based on Krishna’s earlier saying that an aspirant will not realise the Self, if he is not able to thoroughly control his mind.
Arjuna asks Krishna what would happen to the soul of this failed aspirant at the time of his death, in spite of his dedicated and sincere practice. It should be understood that the failed aspirant’s aim was to attain the Lord and that too he wanted to realize Him at the earliest. Krishna now begins to answer this question, which is also being nurtured by many of the spiritual aspirants.