asaiyataatmanaa yogo dushpraapa iti me matihi |
vashayaatmanaa tu yatataa shakyovaaptumupaayataha || 36 ||

 
Yoga is inaccessible for one with an uncontrolled mind, this is my opinion. But, for one with a controlled mind who strives intelligently, it is possible to attain.
 
asaiyataatmanaa : one with uncontrolled mind
yogaha : yoga
dushpraapa : inaccessible
iti : this
me : my
matihi : opinion
vashayaatmanaa : one with controlled mind
tu : but
yatataa: strive
shakyaha : possible
avaaptum : to attain
upaayataha : intelligently
 
Previously, Shri Krishna spoke about the importance of disciplined practice and dispassion in controlling the mind. In order to emphasize this point, he says that a person who is not in control of his mind cannot ever attain the state of the meditator. Moreover, he advises Arjuna to put forth tons of effort, but do so dexterously and intelligently. Note that he does not issue any edict, he says that this is his opinion, take it or leave it.
 
Let us first look at the notion of meditation with an uncontrolled mind. Pursuing meditation without first controlling the mind could prove harmful, just like trying to tame a wild elephant by directly mounting it is physically harmful. The wildness of the mind is caused by hordes of desires living in the mind. We may know our conscious desires, but we have no idea of all kinds of desires that are lurking within our subconscious mind, and how powerful they are.
 
Many meditators think that they have conquered their minds within a few days, and lull themselves into a false sense of accomplishment. Some others get rid of all their material possessions and retire to an ashram. In both cases , they are brought back to reality when one of those desires rears its ugly head and completely overpowers the meditator.
 
Now, that is exactly why Shri Krishna recommends that our spiritual practice should be practiced intelligently. He uses the word “upaayataha” which is derived from the word “upaaya” meaning solution. It means that spiritual practice requires us to become “solution-oriented” or analytical in our approach. It requires us to focus and pay attention and be aware of each and every desire that lurks in our mind, just like a scientist conducts research in a lab. Simply abandoning all material objects may seem like dispassion, but it will not rid us of latent desires.
 
With this statement, Shri Krishna answered Arjuna’s question around the difficulty of controlling the mind. Arjuna asks Shri Krishna another question in the next shloka.
 

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