ayatihi shraddhayopeto yogaachchalitamaanasaha |
apraapya yogasamsiddhim kaam gatim krishna gachchati || 37 ||
The unsuccessful seeker, endowed with faith, whose mind deviates from yoga, and has not attained perfection in yoga, what is his situation, O Krishna?
ayatihi : unsuccessful seeker
shraddhaa : faith
upetaha : endowed with
yogaat : yoga
chalitamaanasaha : deviates mind
apraapya : not obtained
yogasamsiddhim : perfection in yoga
kaam : what
gatim : situation
krishna : O Krishna
gachchati : attain
Arjuna’s first question around the difficulty of controlling the mind was resolved by Shri Krishna. Now Arjuna asked another question: what happens when a seeker is striving to meditate faithfully and diligently, but is unable to reach the state of the perfected meditator in his lifetime?
Attaining perfection in meditation is a long and arduous journey. Most seekers start on the spiritual path only after they have established themselves in their careers, which is a late start. Once they have begin, purification of the mind through karma yoga takes time. Hearing and reflection on the scriptures takes still more time. All in all, even if a seeker is sincere, it is going to take a long time to attain the goal of meditation.
Taking this into account, Arjuna formulates his question to Shri Krishna. He gives an example of a seeker who has managed to purify his mind to a great extent, but still has a small amount of desire left. This seeker may have comprehended that his true nature is the eternal essence, but is not able to remain established in that state. So the question is : what happens to such an “almost perfect” seeker?
The honest nature of this question shows to us the candid and open relationship between Arjuna and Shri Krishna. In effect, he is asking his teacher whether or not it is worth pursuing the spiritual path. It is a pragmatic question that many of us fear or fail to ask before pursuing undertakings in the material world, let alone in the spiritual path.
Arjuna further expands upon this question in the next shloka.