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Bhagavagd Gita - Session 3- Track 305


In that analysis, He first of all expounds what is called ‘Buddhiyoga’. This is the first step in the answer. Why Buddhiyoga we have to start with, ” because our highest faculty, in our consciousness is Buddhi. What are our faculties? Our faculties consist of senses, which Sri Krishna says are ‘indriyaṇi’, that is our lowest faculty in our entire complex. Behind indriya(s) is the manas, is the mind; there is a relationship between manas and indriya(s): manas is superior to indriya(s), because if the mind is absent, even when the senses are cognisant of certain things, he will not cognise them: a mosquito might biting me here, but if my mind is not attach to it, I will not notice it; I may look at the huge ocean, but if my mind is occupied with something else, I will not be able to visualise the ocean before me, I will be somewhere else. Even if indriya(s), even if the senses are looking at things, if mind is not enjoined with the senses, the senses will not be able to take cognisance of things. indriya(s) are connected with manas. Behind the manas is the ahaṁbhāva, is the ego–sense. Behind the ego–sense is the buddhi; and beyond the buddhi is the ‘one’ who really exercises the buddhi: “buddheḥ parāt puruṣaḥ”. Beyond the buddhi is puruṣa, the one who observes, who thinks, who discriminates. This is the whole line of our capacities. These capacities again are three fold: cognitive, conative, affective.

Among all these faculties, if there is one supreme faculty, which you can take, hold of, through which you can try to arrive at a complete answer to any question, is buddhi. That is why the Bhagavad Gita starts with Buddhiyoga. If you take hold of Buddhi…and then He says: what is Buddhi? Buddhi is a discriminative intelligence. The intelligence, which is capable of standing behind: all objects, all movement…this is a special quality of the Buddhi, Buddhi is that which can become aware of itself. indriya(s) cannot become aware of themselves; manas to some extent; ahaṁkāra to some extent; but buddhi is the one faculty by which it can become aware of itself, (when I am angry I may not realise that I am angry; afterwards, I become aware that ‘oh! I was angry’). The self–consciousness is best reflected in the operations of Buddhi. That is why Sri Krishna first of all, starts with Buddhi. You take hold of the Buddhi, and recognise that this Buddhi can discriminate between that which is ‘Mutable’, and that which is ‘Immutable’: this is the first result that you can get, if you ‘really’ practise Buddhiyoga.

The question is: what is the definition of Yoga? By Buddhiyoga, certainly you can achieve the discrimination between ‘Mutable’ and the ‘Immutable’. But what is Yoga? In the Bhagavad Gita you will find several meanings of the word ‘Yoga’. Even just now we saw: ‘samatvaṁ yoga ucyate’ (II, 48). Then there will be another afterwards sometimes, it will be said: ‘karmasu kauśalam yogaḥ’ (II, 50). The kauśala in karma is also Yoga, ‘yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam’: there is also the definition of Yoga. He speaks of Sankhya yoga, He speaks of Karmayoga, He speaks of Jnanayoga, He speaks of Bhaktiyoga, He speaks of Yoga as such. What is the meaning of Yoga?

The answer that is common to all the propositions, which are here, is: it is basically “one pointed concentration”. In this chapter, you will see Sri Krishna makes a distinction between vyavasāyātmikā buddhi (II, 44), the buddhi which is ‘vyavasāyātmikā’, that which is impelled by desires and activities of all kinds, and a buddhi which is ‘sthitaprajña’: the Buddhi which is stable, concentrated, ekāgra.