Dhyānayoga

(‘union [with God through] meditation’)

Dhyānayoga is the technique of meditation. The ṛṣis who could not arrive at a satisfactory or convincing answer to their queries regarding the ultimate cause of the world, are said to have taken recourse to Dhyānayoga to realise it (vide Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 1.3). In the Bhagavadgītā, the sixth chapter has been christened Dhyānayoga.

The word ‘dhyānayoga’ may mean the union (yoga = union) of the jīvātman (the individual soul) with Paramātman (God) through dhyāna or meditation. Or, it can be interpreted as dhyāna or meditation resulting ultimately in yoga or samādhi (perfect concentration) on God.

The Dhyānayoga of the Bhagavadgītā has the following steps:

The yogi should select a clean and lonely place for his practice of meditation. He should then prepare his seat by spreading the kuśa grass, covering it with a deer skin and then with a cloth. He should sit on it, keeping the chest, the neck and the head erect. He must start the process of concentration by directing his sight towards the tip of his nose. He can then meditate on God, by withdrawing the mind from all other things.

The yogi should incorporate into his life the following disciplines: fearlessness, continence, faith in God, moderation in eating and sleeping, and desirelessness.

Such a yoga, when practised steadily, will result in great happiness. The yogi will then be able to see all beings in himself and himself in all.

Though this yoga is difficult to practise, due to the fickleness of the mind, it can be achieved by abhyāsa (repeated efforts) and vairāgya (spirit of renunciation).

If by chance, the yogi dies before attaining its fulfilment, he will be reborn in a family with a congenial atmosphere for continuing the practice.