dhyaanenaatmani pashyanti kechidaatmaanamaatmanaa |
anye saankhyena yogena karmayogena chaapare || 24 ||

 
Some behold the self in the self by the self through meditation, others through Saankhya and yoga, and others do so through karma yoga.
 
dhyaanena : through meditation
aatmani : by the self
pashyanti : behold
kechit : some
aatmaanam : the self
aatmanaa : in the self
anye : others
saankhyena : through Saankhya
yogena : yoga
karmayogena : through karma yoga
cha : and
apare : others
 
So far, it seems like we have studied two unrelated topics in our study of the Gita. One one hand, we studied techniques such as saankhya yoga, karma yoga, dhyaana yoga or meditation and bhakti yoga as techniques to access Ishvara. One the other hand, we came across the two-fold downfall of the Purusha, through ignorance of our true nature and subsequent attachment to the gunaas or qualities. In this shloka and the next, Shri Krishna methodically connects these seemingly unrelated topics.
 
Before we are ready to remove the ignorance of our true nature, we need to deal with our attachment to the three gunaas of Prakriti. In simple terms, we need to deal with our selfish desires. The technique of dealing with our selfish desires depends upon the capability of the seeker. Shri Krishna says that the most advanced seeker has mastered the technique of dhyaana yoga or meditation. They can directly contact the eternal essence “in the self through the self”, which means that they can access the eternal essence through their intellect. This topic was covered in the sixth chapter.
 
For those who do not have mastery over meditation, saankhya yoga or the yoga of discrimination is recommended. This was the topic of the second chapter. Here, the seeker has great command over their intellect. They can constantly separate the eternal essence from the three gunas, the Purusha from Prakriti, through viveka or discrimination. “The three gunaas, sattva, rajas and tamas are objects of my perception, I am their witness, eternal and distinct from them.” This is how they think all the time. Some commentators interpret the phrase “saankhya and yoga” to include “ashtanga yoga”, which is the technique of accessing Ishvara through yogic exercises and breathing.
 
For those who cannot practise saankhya yoga or ashtanga yoga, karma yoga, the yoga of selfless action, is recommended. This was the topic of the third chapter. Most of us fit into this category. When actions are performed with the idea of dedication to Ishvara, the mind is gradually purged of selfishness. Such a pure mind becomes ready to receive and internalize the knowledge of one’s true nature described in the present chapter.
 
Now, what happens if we cannot follow any of these techniques? Shri Krishna explains the simplest technique in the next shloka.

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