Meditation 1

We have learned how the life of karma-yoga in managing likes and dislikes is very important as the qualification to gain self-knowledge. When likes and dislikes is well managed, one is having a good control over one's sense organs, and when sense organs are disciplined, then the mind is more inward and focus in dwelling on the true nature of the self. Sometime we might ask, if sat-cit-ānanda is my true nature, why should I deliberately dwell on it? If I know who I really am, should I just be? One point we need to know that wrong notion of taking myself to be limited being, started since time beginning-less. It is not easy to get rid of, since it becomes habitual. Therefore we need to do nididhyāsanam - contemplation on the nature of the self to remove this habitual error. Availability of a clear and focus mind is needed for us to remind ourselves over and over again until the knowledge is well assimilated. Nididhyāsanam is of two types, one which dwells on vedānta teaching at all time (maintains the awareness of this vision most all the time) which we can call it as contemplation, and another one where fixing a particular time and place, repeating vedānta teaching without engaging in other activities which is called meditation here.

Next, Lord Krsna brings the teaching towards dhyānam - meditation as the proximate means for abiding in one's own true nature. Next three verses end the topic of renunciation in this fifth chapter, and also sow the seeds for sixth chapter with the topic of meditation itself.

sparśān kṛtvā bahirbāhyān cakṣuścaivāntare bhruvoḥ |

prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau ||5.27||

yatendriyamanobuddhirmunirmokṣaparāyaṇaḥ |

vigatecchabhayakrodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ ||5.28||

Keeping the external objects external, and the eyes between the two eyebrows (and closed), keeping the exhalation and inhalation that move in the nostrils equal (rhythmic),

the contemplative person, who has mastered his (or her) organs of action, senses, mind, and intellect, for whom moksa is the ultimate end, who is free from desire, fear, and anger,

that person is always liberated indeed.

A specific preparation for meditation and the results are talked about.

After putting ourselves in a sitting position for meditation, first thing we need is to have our eyes closed to cut off direct contact with object of perception. Any single object of perception can link to hundreds of thoughts when one's mind is not trained. To prevent eyes from restlessness, cakṣuścaivāntare bhruvoḥ - keep the sight gaze in between the eyebrows, imply having eyes closed and let the sight relax at a point. If we take the meaning literally, our sight still has contact with sense object, which lead to restlessness of the mind. But even with the eyes closed, there are still a lot of thoughts come to the mind, therefore engaging the mind in a short yet repetitive activity will relatively quieten it. Thus directing the breath in a rhythmic pattern is suggested, prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau - keeping the exhalation and inhalation that move into the nostrils equal (rhythmic), so our mind also will calm down, then slowly and naturally our breath will become light while mind is calm, since our breath and mind are working interrelated to each other.

sparśān kṛtvā bahirbāhyān - keep external objects external. When do we keep the external object internal? Only when we entertain any thought which is consist of objects only, or even emotion alone is related with any given objects. Therefore Lord Krsna said to keep them outside, means not to entertain them, by focusing the mind only on a particular given objects, like our own breath.

As the result of practising meditation in a length of time, one is the master of his/her body-mind-sense-complex - yatendriyamanobuddhiḥ, where keeping moksa as the ultimate goal for meditation - mokṣaparāyaṇaḥ. We need to keep in mind that meditation itself cannot lead us to moksa, only self-knowledge does. But it is certainly preparing the mind (for those who are not doing vedantic meditation), and dwelling in the nature of the self (for those who are doing vedantic meditation). More about vedantic meditation please refer to class on 2 and 9 June 2019 Drgdrsyavivekah, meditation part 1 and 2.

It is a repetition practice to remove the error of our habitual thinking about the reality - ātma, which is my self. By abiding in the knowledge of limitless self, I am free from desire, fear, and anger - vigatecchabhayakrodhaḥ, I am always liberated indeed - sadā mukta eva.

Object of meditation is talked about in the next verse.

bhoktāraṃ yajñatapasāṃ sarvalokamaheśvaram |

suhṛdaṃ sarvabhūtānāṃ jñātvā māṃ śāntimṛcchati ||5.29||

Knowing me as the sustainer of rituals and disciplines, the lord of all the worlds, friend of all beings, he gains peace.

Gītā śastra even though is a moksa śastra (text for which liberation is the goal), but because of it's vast contain, it also serve as a guidance for us to live a dharmic life. Therefore Lord Krsna said, through meditation one knows me as the sustainer of ritual and disciplines (in the form of deities) - bhoktāraṃ yajñatapasāṃ, the lord of all worlds - sarvalokamaheśvaram, and the very consciousness dwells in all being or friend of all being - suhṛdaṃ sarvabhūtānāṃ. These indicate that based on one's knowledge about Brahman, one can meditate on him in any given form. But here we are as jijñāsu (who desire to liberate through self-knowledge), meditation on the knowledge of the self is prescribed.

Here end the fifth chapter with the main theme on renunciation.

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