Meaning of word Yoga- karma yoga in Bhagwad Gita
According to the epic Mahabharata , Arjun, his brothers, family and public used to worship in the shape of yajna. Ashtang Yoga etc., being spiritual deeds and on the other hand everybody used to discharge their duties in respect of nation, family etc., too like progress in science, agriculture , education, defence , business , family affairs being worldly deeds/duties etc. , as spiritual or materialistic ,these two types of duties according to Vedas are required to be discharged by the human beings. So karma Yoga (duties towards Nation/family etc.) preached in Bhagwad Gita are the duties related to thereligious Mahabharat war for which Arjun is fundamentally liable to discharge being Kshatriya-a warrior in community and he discharged the same accordingly .This preach to Arjuna about his duty to take part in the religious war being auspicious deed as per the Veda’s teachings for a military man , has got no concern with Ashtang yoga mentioned in Patanjali Yoga Darashan/Vedas. Because when a military man like Arjun is required to be prepared for taking part in a war, preachof worship or Yoga is not feasible and even looks no nice at this belated stage. Therefore, we too see in epic Mahabharta that since childhood all five brothers and the public used to do worship like Yajna ,Ashtang Yoga separately in daily life being spiritual deed.After Mahabharta war,Yudhistra ,Arjun with other three brothers ruled over the Earth for thirty-six years and at last on advice by Vyas Muni they left the kingdom and went to the jungle for worship/Yajna/Ashtang Yoga for the remaining life.
A Rishi/Yogi is only capable to dig out real meaning of Vedas /Shashtras, duly blessed with divine eyes.
Mahabharta, Bhagwat Geeta, Valmiki Ramayan and like wise other holy books of the ancient Rishis like Kapil Muni, Gemini Rishi , Vyas muni ,Agastya Rishi have been written on the basis of knowledge gained from the four Vedas.As there was no other holy except Vedas and even there was no other religion/culture was originated by any Rishi/Munis.Whole of the Universe used to worship or discharge duties in accordance with the four Vedas only. So to dig out the real meaning either of the Vedas /Yoga originated direct from Almighty God, or of all shastras written by the ancient Rishis, it is only possible by a yogi who studied as well as practiced preached in the vedas. This Truth has been stated by lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita, chapter 11, shloka 8th that “o Arjuna ! You are not able to see me with ordinary eyes you have , therefore I donate you the divine eyes. About these divine eyes, Yajur Veda mantra 31/19 says –
“ Tasye Yoni pari pashyanti Dheeraha”
Dheeraha means the Yogi who has attained Eighth stage of Ashtang Yoga i.e., Samadhi .So the Mantra says that only an Ashtang yogi is able to see (realize) Almighty God. Rigveda Mantra 1/164/16 says that he who is not an Ashtang Yogi and thus has not attained Samadhi step by step is, therefore not capable to realize the God or dig out the factual meaning of divine words of Vedas/Yoga etc.
Use of word yoga in Bhagwat Geeta and Vedas in particular situation Keeping in view the above truth, now we learn chapter 2 of Bhagwad Geeta shloka 48 & 50. In these shalokas a word Yoga has been mentioned. The word Yoga is also generated from sanskrit dhatu , “yujir yoge“where its meaning is to unite. This is common meaning of the word Yoga. In this sense , one can be united with several objects like instigated deeds, bad deeds, study, God, television, theft , wandering hither&thither and so on. Therefore while giving the description of chitta vritti (effect of various forms of chitta) Patanjali Rishi very nicely preaches in sutra 1/1 of Yoga Darshana about the common meaning of “Yoga” that basically it is the nature of the mind in all kind of the stages (materialistic/spiritual) to be attached or think on one subject all the time. So to be united with any kind of deeds is also a Yoga situation . These shlokas have been cited by Lord Krishna in the situation when Arjuna is not desirous of taking part in the religious war of Mahabharata. He did not want to be united with the war. So this condition has been cited in shloka 48 wherein Lord Krishna says to Arjun a word “Yogastha” means- do not be puzzled, determine your duty and with full attention you discharge the same at your level best .While discharging the duties keep aside the attachment and the result thereof , relating either in success or in failure i.e. unite yourself with the duties. Similarly, in the same situation Lord Krishna speaks the word “Budhi yukto” in shloka 50, “Budhi Yukto ”means union with mind (Budhi) i.e., Budhi Yoga,i.e. to discharge duties at level best which means that a learned person knows his duties well as stipulated in Vedas and discharges the same accordingly. This is actually a definition of Karma Yogi, who discharges duties and never thinks about the result with regards to success or failure. We must also not forget that Bhagwat Geeta has been written by Vyas Muni in a manner being recited by the mouth of Lord Krishna who both were learned, wiser and philosopher of the Vedas and Yoga. That is why in both the shlokas, they hint about the learned Karma Yogi. Secondly, Yogeshwar Krishna says that the Karma Yogi does not do the bad deeds being against the Vedas. So these two shalokas conclude that the Karma Yogi leaving behind the result of success or failure is only after the duties to be discharged. Therefore, in this chapter too, the word Yoga does not mean Ashtang Yoga preached in Patanjali Yoga Darshan /Vedas.Yajur Veda Mantra 2, chapter 40 also preaches about Karma Yogi that doing the auspicious deeds ,discharging the duties, he attains good health and long life of more than hundred years .In this way doing instigated deeds for family, nation and self etc., he will never be attached with the result of the duties. Thus when we will have not to bear the result of deeds, naturally we will be able for salvation. This stage of salvation is obtained by discharging the duties and not by leaving. That is why Lord Krishna says, O Arjuna! being a Karma Yogi and keeping aside the result of war, you take part in the war and accordingly you will have not to bear the result of the deeds being religious mentioned in the Vedas. Several duties like national politics, agriculture, education, military arrangements to safe guard the nation , services to parents, spiritual master, old man- woman, services towards family affairs , categorized as social and materialistic auspicious deeds are mentioned in the Vedas are religious. On the other hand , Vedas too speak loudly about the several spiritual auspicious deeds like Yajna, Yoga practice etc. Both the duties are to be discharged and not only one. The above cited Yajur Veda mantra says that these both two types of the instigated deeds- spiritual and materialistic are required to be done by human-beings . But in these two above shalokas 48 & 50, only one type of social materialistic instigated deeds are being preached by Lord Krishna i.e., to take part in the war and not the second type of spiritual deeds i.e., Ashtang Yoga or Yajna etc. So everywhere the meaning of the word Yoga does not mean either Ashtang Yoga or Karma Yoga. Just see that in the Sanskrit language , the meaning of ‘sandhava’ is salt and is horse too. But when we are eating then its meaning will be considered salt and not horse. And when we are ready to ride then its meaning will have to be taken as horse and not salt. Similarly ,is the case of word Yoga and other divine words of Vedas too. For examplelet us observe Rig Vedas first mantra ‘Agnim Idehe Purohitam——‘.
This mantra says that we must desire for Agni. Now the worldly meaning of Agni is fire where as its spiritual meaning in this Mantrais Almighty God. According to this mantra, we desire to realize the Agni whose qualities are to creat universe, to nurse and to destroy it at an appropriate time, a town accord. Secondly, we are desirous of the Agni who takes care of human beings , who is giving the birth and by virtue of his blessings we are able to see our father, mother , and family; thirdly in this Rig Veda mantra, we desire the Agni who is showering upon us the blessings of food ,ornaments and all types of facilities around us. Now considering all the described qualities of the Agni mentioned in the mantra , a learned man (Rishi/Muni/Yogi) naturally digs out the meaning of such type of Agni as almighty God and not the fire. Because the burning worldly fire has got no such qualities of creating the universe etc., instead it has also been created by the Almighty God. So the burning worldly fire is not worship able in Vedic culture.