Chapter 6: Säìkhya-yoga
Bg 6.11, Bg 6.12, Bg 6.11-12
sucau dese pratisthapya
sthiram asanam atmanah
tatraikagram manah krtva
çucau—in sanctified; deçe—in the land; pratiñöhäpya—placing; sthiram—firm; äsanam—seat; ätmanaù—self-dependant; na—not; ati—too; ucchritam—high; na—nor; ati—too; nécam—low; caila-ajna—soft cloth and deerskin; kuçottaram-kuça grass; tatra—thereupon; ekägram—one attention; manaù—mind; kåtvä—doing so; yata-citta—controlling the mind; indriya—senses; kriyaù—activities; upaviçya—sitting on; äsane—on the seat; yuïjyät—execute; yogam—yoga practice; ätma—heart; viçuddhaye—for clarifying.
To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kuça-grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should neither be too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yogé should then sit on it very firmly and should practice yoga by controlling the mind and the senses, purifying the heart and fixing the mind on one point.
"Sacred place" refers to places of pilgrimage. In India the yogés, the transcendentalists or the devotees all leave home and reside in sacred places such as Prayäg, Mathurä, Våndävana, Håñékeça, and Hardwar and in solitude practice yoga where the sacred rivers like the Yamunä and the Ganges flow. But often this is not possible, especially for Westerners. The so-called yoga societies in big cities may be successful in earning material benefit, but they are not at all suitable for the actual practice of yoga. One who is not self-controlled and whose mind is not undisturbed cannot practice meditation. Therefore, in the Båhan-Näradéya Puräëa it is said that in the Kali-yuga (the present yuga or age) when people in general are short-lived, slow in spiritual realization and always disturbed by various anxieties, the best means of spiritual realization is chanting the holy name of the Lord.
harer näma harer näma harer nämaiva kevalam
kalau nästy eva nästy eva nästy eva gatir anyathä.
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."