yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.17
He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and mating—which are demands of the body—can block advancement in the practice of yoga. As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasadam, sanctified food. Lord Krishna is offered, according to the Bhagavad-gita (9.26), vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains, milk, etc. In this way, a person in Krishna consciousness becomes automatically trained not to accept food not meant for human consumption, or not in the category of goodness. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krishna conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in Krishna consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss. Avyartha-kalatvam: [Cc.Madhya 23.18-19] a Krishna conscious person cannot bear to pass a minute of his life without being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore, his sleeping is kept to a minimum. His ideal in this respect is Srila Rupa Gosvami, who was always engaged in the service of Krishna and who could not sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes not even that. Thakura Haridasa would not even accept prasadam nor even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand names. As far as work is concerned, a Krishna conscious person does not do anything which is not connected with Krishna’s interest, and thus his work is always regulated and is untainted by sense gratification. Since there is no question of sense gratification, there is no material leisure for a person in Krishna consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech, sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily activities, there is no material misery for him.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Yukta here means “controlled.” One who controls eating and walking (ahara, vihara), and controls actions such as speech (cesta) during execution of both material and spiritual duties (karmasu), performs yoga without suffering.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.17 The ‘yoga which destroys all sorrows,’ i.e., unties bondages, is successfully practised by him who is temperate in eating and recreation, temperate in exertion, and temperate in sleep and vigil.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
What kind of person is able to begin the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness? The answer is the person who is moderate, restrained and regulated in all activities. Thus Lord Krishna states that such persons are eligible to practice yoga.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna uses the compound word yuktahara-viharasya means one who is temperate and regulated in their eating habits so that the efforts to feed oneself are minimised allowing the effort to achieve perfection in meditation to be maximised.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna declares that those who are moderate, restrained and regulated are eligible candidates to practice yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.17 Yogah bhavati, Yoga becomes; duhkha-ha, a destroyer of sorrow-that which destroys (hanti) all sorrows (duhkhani)-, i.e., Yoga destroys all worldly sorrows; yukta-ahara-viharasya, of one whose eating and movements are regulated- ahara (lit. food) means all that is gathered in, [According to the Commentator, ahara, which also means food, includes mental ‘food as well. See Ch. 7.26.2.-Tr.] and vihara means moving about, walking; one for whom these two are regulated (yukta) is yukta-ahara-vihara-; and also yukta-cestasya, of one whose effort (cesta) is moderate (yukta); karmasu, in works; similarly, yukta-svapna-avabodhasya, of one whose sleep (svapna) and wakefulness (avabodha) are temperate (yukta), have regulated periods. To him whose eating and movements are regulated, whose effort in work is moderate, whose sleep and wakefulness are temperate, Yoga becomes a destroyer of sorrows. When does a man become concentrated? That is being presently stated:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.16-17 Yogosti etc. Yuktahara etc. For foods : for sense-objects that are being brought [by sense-organs]. Effort : activity for enjoying [them]. Its appropriateness is neither to have unlimited indulgence, nor to have unlimited abstention. The same is in all cases. The rest [of the text] is clear. On the authority of the Sage [Vyasa], the form jagaratah etc. [may be viewed correct] as those in the Vedic literature. The same is in other similar instances also.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yogo bhavati duhkha-ha
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yukta — regulated; āhāra — eating; vihārasya — recreation; yukta — regulated; ceṣṭasya — of one who works for maintenance; karmasu — in discharging duties; yukta — regulated; svapna-avabodhasya — sleep and wakefulness; yogaḥ — practice of yoga; bhavati — becomes; duḥkha-hā — diminishing pains.