yoyam yogastvayaa proktaha saamyena madhusudhana |
etasyaaham na pashyaami chanchalatvaatsthitim sthiraaam ||
Of this yoga of equanimity that you have spoken of, O slayer of Madhu, I do not envision stability in that state, due to the fickle nature (of the mind).
yaha : of
ayam : this
yogaha : yoga
tvayaa : you have
proktaha : spoken of
saamyena : equanimity
madhusudhana : O slayer of Madhu
etasya : in that
aham : I
na : do not
pashyaami : envision
chanchalatvaat : due to fickle nature (of the mind)
sthitim : state
sthiraaam : stability
Arjuna was listening attentively to Shri Krishna’s discourse on meditation. As the discourse concluded, he asked Krishna, the slayer of the demon Madhu, a series of clarifying questions. The first question that Arjuna raised was : how can we remain established in the meditative state, when the mind is so fickle? He then further elaborates on this question in the following shlokas.
Arjuna, being the perfect student, summarized the entire discourse of the sixth chapter in one word: “saamyena” or equanimity. The end goal of meditation is not some magic power or levitation or anything like that. It is the ability to see the eternal essence pervading everything, and thereby develop an attitude of equanimity or sameness towards everything and everyone. This vision reaches its peak when we do not perceive any difference between us and the world, giving us everlasting peace and joy.
But, as Arjuna states, it is difficult for someone to maintain such a vision because the untrained mind will not allow it. It may be possible to develop that vision for a few seconds, maybe for a few minutes, but not more than that. Moreover, it is difficult to see one’s own self in someone we hate or dislike. If we try to see our self in such a person, the mind quickly changes that thought from “I am the self of that person” to “he did a bad thing to me last year”.
Arjuna further elaborates on the fickleness of the mind in the next shloka.