Bhagavad Gita CH6 Summary + Overview of CH7-12 (55)


Lesson 55 highlights main points and teachings shared throughout Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2-6. Also summarizes Vedantic Meditation (Dhyana-Yoga / Nididhyasana). And introduces the 2nd section (CH7-12) which is all about Ishvara, maya, creation-dissolution process, grace.

Source of summaries: Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2-6, 7-12

Summary of Chapter 6 – Dhyāna-Yoga:

  1. Most important topics of entire spiritual discipline: Meditation, leading to total identity with Self alone (jīvanmuktiḥ).
  2. Śāstra method for permanently solving the equation (mokṣa):
    1. Practice upāsana: Preparatory meditation. Prepares mind. Reduces Rajas/Tamas. Cultivates Sattva. Karma Yoga.
    2. Śravaṇam: listening, reasoning, trying to get it.
    3. Nididhyāsanam: Vedāntic meditation. Reason why Krishna introduces after 5 chapters. Feels Arjuna received enough shravanam.
  3. Three scenarios for Vedāntic students:
    1. Not done upāsanam before śravaṇam? Unqualified.
      • Knowledge will take place through ācāryaḥ, but will NOT be powerful / valuable / questioning authenticity / thoughts of something better.
      • Like oil in water. Knowledge stands separate from personality.
      • Gap between what “I” (1) know (2) AM. Not because of defective teaching, but mind unqualified.
      • SOLUTION: (1) Karma Yoga (2) Vedāntic meditation compulsory.
    2. Mind insufficiently prepared despite prior upāsanam?
      • Jñānam takes place through ācāryaḥ. But vijñānam (jñāna niṣṭā) assimilation will NOT take place.
      • SOLUTION: Regular Vedāntic meditation (nidhidhyāsanam). Frequently thinking about śravaṇam statements. In time, bound to produce assimilated Self-Knowledge (vijñānam).
    3. Sufficient upāsana done?
      • Śravaṇam = sufficient. Nididhyāsanam is NOT compulsory.
      • You’ll get it. And nobody will ever know. Only you will. In fact, if humble, pretend like you haven’t.
      • Will likely continue Vedānta because it’s interesting. Keeps mind alert.
  4. Upāsanam VS Nididhyāsanam DEFINITION:
    • Upāsanam: Saguṇa īśvara dhyānam. Meaning dwelling upon the Lord with attributes.
      • saguṇa brahma viṣaya manasam vyāparaḥ (Mental activity associated with Bhagavān).
      • EG: Karma Yoga. Adoration of divine through various expressions.
      • Common sense Dispassion/discrimination. (nothing lasts)
      • General inquiry about existence, purpose of life, Creator. Forgiveness.
      • Devotion/love of Truth.
    • Nidhidhyāsanam: nirguṇa īśvara dhyānam. Meditation on Īśvara without guṇas, which is Ātman.
      • Dwelling upon teaching received during śravaṇam. Length of time. To penetrate subconscious personality. Makes I & knowledge become ONE.
      • Therefore Vedāntic meditation does NOT produce Self-Knowledge, but assimilates it. Not the cause of jñānam, but cause of jñāna niṣṭā.
    • SUMMARY:
      • Upāsana gives jñānam qualification.
      • Śravaṇam gives jñānam.
      • Nididhyāsanam gives: jñāna niṣṭā (Self-Knowledge and Personality are ONE. Firm/steady/actualized).
  1. Confusion clarification: dhyānam (meditation) can refer to both upāsanam (99% of meditation in spiritual world) and nidhidhyāsanam. CH6 teaches only highest form: nididhyāsanam dhyānam.
  2. Chapter 6 divided into 5 portions:
    1. Bahiraṅga sādhanāni: disciplines throughout the day.
    2. Antaraṅga sādhanāni: disciplines before the practice of meditation.
    3. Dhyāna svarūpam: process.
    4. Dhyāna phalam: benefit of nididhyāsanam meditation.
    5. Dhyāna pratibandha parihārau: obstacles & remedies.
  3. bahiraṅga sādhanāni:
    1. General disciplines. Karma yoga. Important discipline for successful meditation. Meaning…
      • Accepts or cheerfully does all the actions in life, without Complaining/criticizing/judging: Source of disturbance! Creates split in personality. EG: Mind does not want to do, body has to.
        • Benefit?
          1. Organically reduces rājasic, selfish, profit-loss driven tendencies. Causes one to be mindful of every action, made possible and sustained by Īśvara.
          2. Karma Yogi appreciates/loves whatever doing. New energy/vitality. Sattvic mind. Think clearly. Creative. Innovate. Sensitive.
    1. Accepts all consequences (karma-phalam) of actions, with attitude of gratitude (prasāda bhāvana),
      • This makes Karma Yoga best modern ACTIVE stress management system. Enjoys mind free from violent reactions. Fewer things disturb.
      • Conclusion: Karma-yoga = highly recommended for serious dhyāna yogi.
  1. dhyāna svarūpam (V18-32): Process of Vedāntic meditation (nididhyāsanam)
    • What is it? Mind dwelling upon chosen object. Meaning mind is present in mediation. And entertains THOUGHTS during. Therefore never think meditation is silencing/stopping the mind.
    • Nididhyāsanam is DIRECTING the mind. Means thoughts are present. But thoughts deal with subject-matter learned during śravaṇam.
    • What subject-matter to entertain?
      • Body is not the real I. It is an incidental attribute superimposed over my true nature. Few years body, sense organs, mind, all skills… will disappear.
      • My higher nature is caitanyam (consciousness principle) which is AWARE of all of them.
        • Attributes: ātma nityaḥ (imperishable/permanent/unchanging), satyaḥ (absolute truth), ekaḥ (one), sarva-gataḥ (all-pervading), asaṅgaḥ (unattached/independent), akartā (non-doer), aboktā (non-enjoyer/sufferer)
      • Therefore:
        • Vedantic śravaṇam = mind recording knowledge in class.
        • Nididhyāsanam = mind plays back class recordings during meditation. If blank, listen properly.
  1. SUMMARY OF Dhyānya Svarūpam (Process of Meditation):
    • Dhāraṇa: focusing the mind, on the chosen subject-matter.
    • Dhyānam: is retaining the focused condition.
    • Samādhi: absorption in the chosen subject-matter, established in dhāraṇa.
    • SUMMARY: focusing, retaining, absorption.
      • Book Metaphor:
        1. Dhāraṇa: Begin reading. Unsettled. Trying to read.
        2. Dhyānam: Agitations fewer.
        3. Samādhi: Engrossed, forget surroundings.
          • Therefore samādhi is not MYSTICAL as usually portrayed. EG: Ordinary people have samādhi every day in TV Program, novel reading, eavesdropping conversations.
  2. 7 Definitions of samādhi: Also describes a jñāni. (V20-23)
    1. Stage where mind is absorbed in itself.
    2. Mind absorbed in ātma darśanam. Owning up one's own higher nature.
    3. ātyantika sukham: enjoys maximum ānanda. Seeing my own higher nature by looking at a sāttvic mirror (buddhi), reflecting ORIGINAL consciousness… without dilution owning to rajas/tamas.
    4. tattva niṣṭā: established in one's own real nature.
    5. ātyantika lābha: stage in which one has attained highest in life.
    6. ātyantika duḥkha nivṛtti: Stage which one has withdrawn from all sorrows.
    7. duḥkha samyoga viyogaḥ: person is no more identified the gains of anātma.
  3. dhyāna phalam: (V18-32) BENEFIT.
    • Transformation of personality. Way I look at world/events in life and myself.
      • World does not undergo any change, but my way of looking at it completely changes.
    • Freedom from rāgaḥ-dveṣaḥ. Attachment is no more a weakness.
      • CAUTION: May still have preferences, but it’s different from rāgaḥ-dveṣaḥ. EG: Prefer to have Green Tea VS. “I need to have Green Tea!”. Jñāna-niṣṭā might have preferences, but not slave of any object.
      • Toughest and final attachment to release is towards people. Means seeing all as Īśvara’s alone, and not your private property.
    • Main benefit: śānti (calmness), equanimity, equal composure during irregularities.
    • Dhyāna phalam = jīvanmuktiḥ (freedom from limitation)
  4. dhyāna pratibandha parihāra: (V33-36) (sleepiness, unable to hold focus, EXCITED):
    • Abhyāsa: practice.
    • Vairāgyam: Dispassion reduces rāgaḥ-dveṣaḥ slavery.
      • rāgaḥ-dveṣaḥ creates attachment and aversion, promotional mind.
      • According to śāstra: Externally there are no enemies. If anybody able to disturb you, because allowed him/her because of own likes/dislikes towards them.
      • TEST OF ATTACHMENT (lack of dispassion): If this person were to go away for 3 months, would you feel abandoned, unsafe, uncomfortable, uneasy? If yes, attached!
  1. V37-45: Arjuna’s pessimism was addressed:
    • Krishna responded whoever comes to spiritual line, enjoys 2 types of phalam:
      1. IF assimilate jñānam (intellect) > turns into vijñānam (actualization/mokṣa)
      2. If don’t assimilate (remains intellectual) > get puṇyam listening to scriptures > enjoy svarga phalam.
        • After svarga enjoyment> get conducive birth > continue spiritually from where stopped. Will start early in life > effortlessly attain jñānam and mokṣa
      3. Therefore, never be pessimistic, enjoy spiritual journey.


Gita is divided into 3 sections:

  • Gītā has 18 chapters. Classified in 3 sections.
    1. CH2-6: Prathama (1st) ṣatkam (anything consisting of 6). Tvam (you; the person)
    2. CH7-12: Madhyama (middle) ṣatkam. Tat (Īśvara)
    3. CH12-18: Carama (last). Asi (are. Meaning THAT which connects Tvam & Tat)


CH2-6 (Prathama ṣatkam) is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Jīva svarūpam: nature of individual.
    • Discussed CH2-5. Example:
      1. Individual not body. Not even mind / sense organs. Essential nature is the caitanyam, which is seemingly contained within the body-mind container.
      2. So body-mind are presented as containers. And within the body-mind container/cabinet, real puruṣa (individual) which is described most accurately: satcidānanda ātma (Discussed CH 2, V12-25).
      3. 42: pañca-kośa viveka discussed.
      4. CH 4: caitanya ātma pointed as akartā and aboktā.
      5. CH 5.13: navadvāre pure dehī naiva kurvan na kārayan: Consciousness is the essential nature of the individual, which does not do any action.
    • Conclusion: 1st section explains that jīva svarūpam = satcidānanda ātma.
  2. Karma Yoga: 1st stage of spiritual sādhanā. Entire CH3.
    • Definition: (1) proper action + (2) proper attitude
    • So far: (1) Jīva svarūpam (2) karma yoga
  3. Puruṣa Prayatanam: Importance of the individual effort, taking initiative, tapping freewill.
    • Important because false notions mistake law of karma as fatalism. Karma already decided. Everything already written on forehead.
    • Truth is, Law of karma says, present is result of past. Future is result of present action you choose to do. Therefore, need to take charge of your future TODAY. You alone are responsible for TOMORROW.
    • 4 Puruṣārtha of life: dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa… means goals chosen by human beings. Not goals determined by dictatorial God, sitting in some location.
    • Īśvara has no authority to decide anyone’s future. It is an impersonal TOTALITY, fulfilling the EFFECT done by individual’s own past CAUSE. Thus, you have to choose your goal, work and accomplish.
      • Supported by 6.5: uddhared ātmanāt mānaṁ: Lift yourselves by yourself. Meaning: God is willing to assist you, but you have to take initiative.
    • By choosing action, may not TOTALLY determine result, but heavily contributing. Example…
      • Watch your thoughts. It will become your words & actions. Watch your words & actions. They become your habits. Watch your habits. They become your character. Watch your character. It becomes your Destiny.
      • SUMMARY:
        • Destiny is decided by character > Decided by habit > Decided by words/actions > Decided by thoughts.
        • Therefore by directing your thoughts TODAY, you are determining your destiny TOMORROW.
  • Conclusion: CH2-6 is divided into 3 main topics: (1) Jīva svarūpam: Nature of Self (2) Karma Yoga (3) Self-effort


CH7-12 (Madhyama ṣatkam) is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Īśvara svarūpam
    1. CH2-5 highlights Jīva svarūpam: Nature of BMI.
    2. Jīva svarūpam is nothing but microcosm (vyaṣṭi).
    3. CH2-5, not much on Īśvara.
    4. Jīva svarūpam enjoys body (container) AND essential nature: satcidānanda ātma.
    5. Jīva: mixture of anātma / ātma.
    1. CH 7-12 highlights Īśvara svarūpam: Nature of Ultimate Causeless Cause.
    2. Īśvara svarūpam represents macrocosm (samaṣṭi).
    3. CH7-12: Krishna talks about definition / nature / function / glory of Īśvara.
    4. Īśvara enjoys container (superficial aspect: matter) AND essential inner nature satcidānanda ātma.
    5. Īśvara: mixture of anātma / ātma. Giving it a more accurate description: saguṇa nirguṇa svarūpam
  1. sādhana / upāsana:
    • In CH2-6, Karma-Yoga-sādhana is highlighted. Meditation on Īśvara through physical actions.
    • In CH7-12, upāsana-sādhana is highlighted. Meditation on Īśvara, through the mind. Meaning gradually going from the grosser instrument to the subtler instrument.
      • Karma-yoga sādhana: active/busy/passionate/dynamic lifestyle… serving the society, contributing.
      • Upāsana-sādhana: learn to withdraw & focus. Saguṇa Īśvara dhyānam.
  1. Grace of Īśvaraḥ: Īśvara anugraha
    • Important factor for spiritual growth of the individual.
      • CH2-6: highlight was individual effort.
      • CH7-12: Krishna gives a warning, do not think by your effort alone. Be confident, but do not be over/under-confident. 2 Extremes.
      • Over-confidence: Idea I can do anything. With such attitude… Bhagavān’s orders at appropriate time will give a big knock to make you humble again.
      • Under-confidence: When failures come, person says: “Nothing is in my hands, everything is pre-destined. I’m powerless. What’s the point!”.
      • SOLUTION: Adopt the MIDDLE path. Meaning: I accomplish things with my effort, backed by the grace of Bhagavān. This is the balanced attitude.
  • SUMMARY 3 parts of CH7-12: (1) Īśvara svarūpam (2) Īśvara upāsana (3) Īśvara anugraha. Small chapter, but powerful.


Keywords: abhokta, abhyasa, abokta, acarya, acaryah, akarta, antaranga sadhana, anugra, anugraha, asanga, atman, atyantika duhkha nivritti, bahiranga sadhanani, bhagavan, darsanam, darshana, dehi, devesha, dharana, eka, ishvara, jivanmukti, jivanmuktih, jnana, kama, manasa, moksha, navadvare, nididhyasana, nididyasana, nirguna, nista, nistha, nitya, pana-kosa, pancha-kosha, pariharau, prasada bhavana, raga, rajasic, saguna , samadhi, samashti, samasti, santi, sarvagata, satchitananda, satkam, satya, shanti, shatkam, shravana, shravanam, sravana, svarupam, tattva nistha, uddhared atmanat manam, upasana, vairagyam, vedanta, vedantic, vijnana, vishaya, viyoga, vyapara, vyasthi, vyasti


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Chinmaya Int. Foundation, Swami Paramarthananda

Recorded 25 June, 2019



  1. Hi Andre.
    I said I would listen for a while without commenting, but I have to ask this.
    At about the 52 minute mark you said the essence of the Self is love.
    This accords with nearly all other spiritual teaching that I have embraced.
    I didn’t think this was the case with Advaita Vedanta.
    I have understood so far that the Atman, which is not separate from Isvara, which is not separate from Brahma, is without attributes.
    Isn’t love an attribute?
    An emotion?
    An expression?
    A need?

    I am sure you get my point.
    I am also sure, because the teaching is so complete and without negation, that I am not seeing this correctly.
    But since I can’t, it’s important that I ask the Acarya.

    Can you please help me again to see more clearly.
    My heartfelt thanks. ?

    1. Advaita is not just about negation. That is nihilism (idea that absolute Reality can’t be described in any word).

      Secondly, Vedic culture is full of poems, using every word possible to sing glories of God. Look at Rumi’s poems. Love, nectar, His compassion, ineffable joy, unspeakable stillness, the one who gobbles up, etc….

      Therefore, one needs to accept that no word contradicts the One. Every word only sings His glories.

      In fact, forget “love”, here’s 1000 more names to describe Him in popular Vedic Viṣṇusahasranāma :

      Passionless, ultimate authority, auspicious sound, the great form, self-effulgent, etc…

  2. Thanks Andre.
    Great reply.
    I have to learn not to be so literal.
    Have Rumi’s Red Book in front of me now.
    Just listening to talk 57 for the third time today.
    This gives me a real sense of the cause and order of creation.
    Very excited ?

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