by Paramahansa Yogananda
Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
And, O King Dhritarashtra, as I recall and recall again the colossal manifestation of Hari (Krishna), great is my amazement; I am ever renewed in joy.
Such is my faith: that, wherever is manifest the Lord of Yoga, Krishna; and wherever is present Partha (Arjuna, a true devotee), expert wielder of the bow of self-control, there too are success, victory, attainment of powers, and the unfailing law of self-discipline (which leads to liberation).
— The Bhagavad Gita XVIII:77-78
At the battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna was equipped for victory with his all-powerful bow, Gandiva, and was charioteered by Lord Krishna. The devotee of every clime and age, when he sets out to win the battle against the sense soldiers of the blind king Mind, must similarly equip himself with the bow of self-control; and, charioteered by God, must rally the army of emperor Discrimination with its forces of virtue and its allies of spiritual perceptions.
By practicing renunciation (nonattachment) and by withdrawal of the consciousness from sense perceptions in yoga meditation, every devotee should learn to unite his soul with Spirit. The yogi who is able to sit in meditation with spine erect and to free his soul from the consciousness of the senses and unite it with the bliss of Spirit, and who is able by constant practice of yoga to retain that introspective state of Self-realization in his human nature, will attain the cosmic prosperity of God—all His infinite treasures. By determinedly fulfilling the law of liberation, that devotee will know victory over all nature and possess the highest spiritual accomplishments: all wisdom, love, and powers of the Divine.
The words of Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are at once a profound scripture on the science of yoga, union with God, and a textbook for everyday living. The student is led step by step with Arjuna from the mortal consciousness of spiritual doubt and weak-heartedness to divine attunement and inner resolve. The timeless and universal message of the Gita is all-encompassing in its expression of truth. The Gita teaches man his rightful duty in life, and how to discharge it with the dispassion that avoids pain and nurtures wisdom and success. The enigmas of creation are resolved in an understanding of the nature of matter. The mysteries that veil the Infinite Spirit are sundered one by one to reveal a beloved God whose awesome omnipotence is tempered with a tender love and compassion that readily responds to a sincere call from His devotees.
In summation, the sublime essence of the Bhagavad Gita is that right action, nonattachment to the world and to its sense pleasures, and union with God by the highest yoga of pranayama meditation, learned from an enlightened guru, constitute the royal path to God-attainment.
The Kriya Yoga technique, taught by Krishna to Arjuna and referred to in Gita chapters IV:29 and V:27-28, is the supreme spiritual science of yoga meditation. Secreted during the materialistic ages, this indestructible yoga was revived for modern man by Mahavatar Babaji and taught by the Gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. Babaji himself ordained me to spread this holy science of God-union. Through the blessings of Bhagavan Krishna and Mahavatar Babaji, whom I behold in Spirit as one, and of my guru and paramguru, Swami Sri Yukteswar and Lahiri Mahasaya, I offer to the world this interpretation of the Gita as it has been divinely revealed to me. Any devotee who will emulate Arjuna—epitome of the ideal disciple—and perform his rightful duty with nonattachment, and perfect his practice of yoga meditation through a technique such as Kriya Yoga, will similarly draw the blessings and guidance of God and win the victory of Self-realization.
As God talked with Arjuna, so will He talk with you. As He lifted up the spirit and consciousness of Arjuna, so will He uplift you. As He granted Arjuna supreme spiritual vision, so will He confer enlightenment on you.
We have seen in the Bhagavad Gita the story of the soul's journey back to God—a journey each one must make. O divine soul! like Arjuna, "Forsake this small weakheartedness (of mortal consciousness). Arise!" Before you is the royal path. (pg.1100-1102)