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 diference between the jivatma and the

Paramatma is always alive in his consciousness.

In the most mature stage, the yogi transcends the

diicult 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.