sa niścayena yoktavyo
tyaktvā sarvān aśeṣataḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.24
One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with determination and faith and not be deviated from the path. One should abandon, without exception, all material desires born of mental speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides by the mind.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently prosecute the practice without deviation. One should be sure of success at the end and pursue this course with great perseverance, not becoming discouraged if there is any delay in the attainment of success. Success is sure for the rigid practitioner. Regarding bhakti-yoga, Rupa Gosvami says:
utsahan niscayad dhairyat
sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh
sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati
“One can execute the process of bhakti-yoga successfully with full-hearted enthusiasm, perseverance, and determination, by following the prescribed duties in the association of devotees and by engaging completely in activities of goodness.” (Upadesamrita 3)
As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.
Similarly, the practice of yoga, especially bhakti-yoga in Krishna consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps those who help themselves.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Please see text 25 for Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur’s combined commentary to texts 24 and 25.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.24 – 6.25 There are two kinds of desires: 1) those born of contact between the senses and objects like heat, cold etc.; 2) those generated by our mind (will) like that for sons, land etc. Of these, the latter type of desires are by their own nature relinquishable. Relinquishing all these by the mind through contemplation on their lack of association with the self; having relinquished the ideas of pleasure and pain in respect of unavoidable desires resulting from contract; restraining all the senses on all sides, i.e., from contact with all their objects — one should think of nothing else, i.e., other than the self. Little by little ‘with the help of intellect controlled by firm resolution,’ i.e., by the power of discrimination, one should think of nothing else, having fixed the mind on the self.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Having renounced all desires which arise due to infatuation of the mind for sense objects as well as renouncing the impressions within the mind from past sense experiences which are tangible obstructions to the achievement of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Controlling the senses from meandering in all directions by the strength of the purified mind which views sense gratification as a detrimental activity for spiritual development. This verse is a continuation of the previous verses and Lord Krishna is encouraging the practice of this superior yoga.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
In verse eighteen Lord Krishna already explained that fixed concentration in the atma or soul frees one from the craving of sense enjoyments. Now reflecting that these enjoyments are the primary oppressors against the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, and are very difficult to eradicate due to latent impressions from past activities; Lord Krishna gives advice how to abandon them with the words sankalpa-prabhavan meaning desires of the world. The word sankalpa is the conceived images of one’s desires. In the minds of the ignorant they are the forms of worldly objects yearned for. They also include the latent desires in the memory from the remembrance of past experiences of sensual pleasures and enjoyments in the thinking of: I enjoyed that and I want to enjoy this. These ideas and mentality are detrimental obstructions in the furtherance of yoga and are veritably the root cause of misery and suffering. One should reflect that they arise from the interactions of the sense objects in material existence and contemplating their banal and mundane nature develop a healthy aversion to engaging the body and the mind in their sense desires.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.24 See Comment under 6.25
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.24-25 Sankalpa – etc. Sanaih etc. By mind alone : i.e., not by withdrawing from activities. Holding steadiness; thinning, step after step, the misery born of desired; let him not think anything like receiving and abandoning objects and so on. Others have explained [the passage] as ‘Let him think only negation (or void). But this (explanation) is not up to our taste. For, that world result in the doctrine of nihilism. What is to be achieved is not a mere withdrawl [or one-self] from the objects. This is stated as –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sa niscayena yoktavyo
tyaktva sarvan asesatah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
saḥ — that; niścayena — with ﬁrm determination; yoktavyaḥ — must be practiced; yogaḥ — yoga system; anirviṇṇa-cetasā — without deviation; sańkalpa — mental speculations; prabhavān — born of; kāmān — material desires; tyaktvā — giving up; sarvān — all; aśeṣataḥ — completely; manasā — by the mind; eva — certainly; indriya-grāmam — the full set of senses; viniyamya — regulating; samantataḥ — from all sides.