Buddhi Yoga & Yoga Ladder
Krsna’s is talking about Buddhi Yoga in Bhagavad Gita. Buddhi means basically the process of Sadhana Bhakti; wherein you’re trying to through practice engage the body, mind and word in Krsna’s service.
So then in the Gita, this gives three aspects of the Buddhi Yoga, it’s a combination of Karma, Jnana, Dhyana and Bhakti.
So the whole process is Devotional Service but Devotional Service may not be the prominent element in our lives. Means it is that’s why we’re doing everything but it maybe not what we’re always thinking about or doing. That’s why it’s called Sadhana because when someones on the platform of Prema then you can say, “this is solid Devotional Service” because all you do is think about Krsna, all you do is serve Krsna, there’s nothing that’s not on that platform. But Sadhana means that you’re practising to get to that platform, because Love for Krsna that’s the actual platform.
So then in this, Buddhi Yoga covers the whole spectrum up to there because Karma will be the prominent element in the beginning because that’s where your focus is on performing the activities of Devotional Service.
As you become expert in those activities then the Jnana part starts to come up in that we start to focus on
“ OK I’m able to do the activity but what’s behind the activity?”
“ Why do all the activities work?”
“ How to improve the quality of the activity?”
Watching the modes of nature work. All the different levels of consciousness, all this.
So the activity stays the same so you wont really see any difference between the Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
The difference will be in where your focus will be? Once you become expert in something then you don’t have to focus on it so much. Means, once your practiced at it, you know like a baby when they get up they have to focus on each step but after a while you don’t even think while you walk. You think of something else you don’t think of walking. So that’s the point, is that the activity, instead of focusing just on the activity your focusing on what’s functioning behind the activity? The metaphysics? The Philosophy? You know these kinds of things.
Dhyana means now the point is, got to where you’re focusing more on Krsna. It means your able to remember him, think of him more and that so you may perform the activity, Karma activities or not? You may use the elements of Jnana as an inspiration to remember Krsna or not? And so that’s there and when that meditation becomes fixed in Samadhi then the next stage is Prema.
So here we can see what Krsna’s talking about in the Gita. He’s saying
“Perform your duty” That’s Karma Yoga.
“In Knowledge” That’s Jnana Yoga.
“Thinking of me” That’s Dhyana Yoga.
“And doing it for me” That’s Bhakti Yoga.
So that theme comes up all throughout the Gita, he’ll explain something and show how it connects to that. The body, the mind, and words are all trying to be connected. So here we have body, you could look at it this way, body is Karma because it’s the body that does the activity. Then words means the intelligence, Prabhupada mentions “ You can tell if someone is intelligent or not by what they speak”. If they don’t speak you can’t tell. Because the intelligence is in charge of the senses, so of all the senses that represents the intelligence it’s the speech because if its functioning it works nicely. And then the mind means the meditation, the Dhyana, the emotion, the needs, So that powers the other two. So Karma, Jnana and Dhyana cover body, mind and words.
So this is what the Gita is showing, this is what is important. And Bhagavatam carries this on by showing how different personalities throughout time have done this. How they have perfected their lives through this process. Some we see are more in Karma, some in Jnana, some in Dhyana and some elevated more to the Devotional aspect, it becomes more prominent.
– HH Bhaktividya Purna Swami
05 July 2007, B Manor – Dynamics of Vedic Social Psychology – Part 3