युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा || 17||
yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-cheṣhṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
yukta—moderate; āhāra—eating; vihārasya—recreation; yukta cheṣhṭasya karmasu—balanced in work; yukta—regulated; svapna-avabodhasya—sleep and wakefulness; yogaḥ—Yog; bhavati—becomes; duḥkha-hā—the slayer of sorrows
For him who is moderate in food and recreation, moderate in exertion in all actions, moderate in sleep and wakefulness, yoga destroys all pain and suffering (caused by birth and death).
“Be moderate, avoid excess in all things” – This is the Lord’s command. Yoga then destroys all suffering. So if a man suffers, the cause for it is excessive indulgence in some form or other. Self-control actually means the power by which man can order the body and mind to function according to the highest spiritual laws. There is no self-control for the man whose body and mind act in their own way in defiance of the spiritual laws. This principle holds good in Dhyanayoga. Enthusiastic beginners, with more zeal than wisdom, overdo the sadhana and consequently suffer discomfort and pain, and then they give up the practice altogether thinking that they are not fit for it. Overdoing a good thing is as harmful as indulgence in bad things. Young students burn midnight oil to prepare for the examinations, and in writing the examination, they become exhausted and their whole work goes in vain. Even if they pass the examination, the after-effects of over-exertion cause some disease or other. So also in spiritual Sadhana the progress should be slow, steady, and sure. Over-exertion defeats the very purpose of yoga. Ascetic torture of the body by fasting too much and sleeplessness is not the way of yoga. A moderate way of life is yoga. The golden mean is yoga. Harmony and balance is yoga. It shows that a man can practice yoga while engaged in all the activities of life by strictly adhering to the law of moderation. In fact the body itself is made and sustained on the principle of harmony, balance and moderation. Excess of heat burns it, excess of cold stiffens it. The eyes cannot see when there is an excess light; in total darkness also they; cannot see. Extremes are alike. Moderate light and warmth are necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The analogy may be extended to the realm of the mind also. Excess of study dulls the brain, and causes fatigue and nervous disorders. Excess of emotion causes insanity. The nervous system breaks down by agitation and mental conflict. So moderation and harmony are the very principles of man’s existence. It is the law of nature. Yoga (Dhyanayoga) is possible only for the man who avoids excess in all activities of life. The yogi transcends all suffering by yoga.
Question: What is the reward of Dhyana Yoga?
Answer: All suffering is removed by Yoga.
Question: What are the prescribed conditions?
Answer: Moderation in food and recreation, in work, in sleep and wakefulness, are the conditions of Yoga.
Question: What is the way to overcome suffering?
Answer: Yoga. (Meditation on the Self, the Lord).