The Bhagavad Gita Quotes

Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda

Control of the Mind

The blessed Lord said:

(35) O Mahabaho ("mighty-armed" Atjuna), undoubtedly the mind is fickle and unruly; but by yoga practice and by dispassion, O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), the mind may nevertheless be controlled.

(36) This is My word: Yoga is difficult of attainment by the ungoverned man; but he who is self-controlled will, by striving through proper methods, be able to achieve it.
— The Bhagavad Gita VI:35-36

...the yogi should revive by daily deep yoga practice the memory of soul tranquility, and should simultaneously keep the mind away from external and internal temptations. He cannot permanently feel the joy of his soul in meditation if he does not sever his desireful ties with the sensory environment.

The yogi must learn to win the tug-of-war between soul perception and sense perception. In the initial state of yoga practice the devotee is aware of the gripping influence of sense pleasures even though they are short-lasting, but he is little aware of the permanent, unending bliss secreted in his soul. The discriminating yogi will therefore find it natural that the habits of sense pleasures gathered from incarnations will be of stronger influence than his fleeting glimpses of soul bliss perceived during meditation. But he will also realize that even though habits of sense pleasures are very strong, they are not stronger than is the eternal perception of divine bliss present in the soul—the inextinguishable inheritance from Spirit.

The yogi should not stimulate his material habits by remaining, through choice, in unspiritual environments and by merely dreaming of the heavenly joys of sainthood. By staying away from worldly-pleasure-reminding environments and by relinquishing sense attractions, the yogi is better able to concentrate on the divine bliss of the soul. ...

The "practice of yoga" (abhyasa) is defined as repeated inner and outer efforts to remain in the eternal tranquility of the soul. "Dispassion" (vairagya) is the act of disengaging the mind from all forms of sensory pleasures as found in this world or to be found in heaven (the astral realms). (bg p.640)