Progressive stages of yoga

The Bhagavad Gita is a text that dispels sorrow and anxiety in all those caught in samsara. It is a direct address of the benevolent Lord to each and every jivatma to facilitate a better understanding of the most profound thoughts in the simplest manner possible, pointed out Velukkudi Sri Krishnan in a discourse.

Krishna elaborates the characteristics and qualifications of a yogi who passes through the stages of karma and jnana to reach a mature level of enlightenment when bhakti to the Supreme Lord is predominant. The yogi first sees equality everywhere, when he discerns that all selves are of the essential divine nature, whatever may be their external form and function.

In the next stage, he is able to see the similarity of the self in every jivatma with that of the Brahman in respect of the eight auspicious qualities that a liberated atma shares with the Supreme Brahman. By seeing the Lord in every self and at the same time every self also as present in the Lord, the connecting link with the Lord is always maintained. The yogi never loses sight of the Lord nor does the Lord lose sight of him.

In the third stage, the yogi maintains this awareness of the transcendent purity of all other selves and of the Supreme Lord at all times. That is, even when he is not involved in yoga practice, the knowledge of the nuances of similarity and difference between the jivatma and the Paramatma is always alive in his consciousness.

In the most mature stage, the yogi transcends the difficult hurdle to God-realisation, the sense of I and mine. He is able to see the experience of joy and sorrow of life as equal even when he faces a personal bereavement or an occasion to rejoice in his life.


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