yo ’yaḿ yogas tvayā proktaḥ
etasyāhaḿ na paśyāmi
cañcalatvāt sthitiḿ sthirām
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.33
Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The system of mysticism described by Lord Krishna to Arjuna beginning with the words sucau dese and ending with yogi paramah is here being rejected by Arjuna out of a feeling of inability. It is not possible for an ordinary man to leave home and go to a secluded place in the mountains or jungles to practice yoga in this Age of Kali. The present age is characterized by a bitter struggle for a life of short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even by simple, practical means, and what to speak of this difficult yoga system, which regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place, and detachment of the mind from material engagements. As a practical man, Arjuna thought it was impossible to follow this system of yoga, even though he was favorably endowed in many ways. He belonged to the royal family and was highly elevated in terms of numerous qualities; he was a great warrior, he had great longevity, and, above all, he was the most intimate friend of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, Arjuna had much better facilities than we do now, yet he refused to accept this system of yoga. In fact, we do not find any record in history of his practicing it at any time. Therefore this system must be considered generally impossible in this Age of Kali. Of course it may be possible for some very few, rare men, but for the people in general it is an impossible proposal. If this were so five thousand years ago, then what of the present day? Those who are imitating this yoga system in different so-called schools and societies, although complacent, are certainly wasting their time. They are completely in ignorance of the desired goal.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Seeing that would be difficult to attain such equal vision, Arjuna speaks. “I do not see the permanence of this yoga which has achieved equal vision. This yoga will not last forever. This state will last for three or four days. Why? Because the mind is unsteady (cancalatvat). You spoke of seeing the happiness and distress of all living entities of the world as one’s own happiness and distress. One can maintain such equal vision for friends or neutral persons, but for enemies, those who wish to cause you harm, for those who hate you or criticize you, it is not possible. It is not possible for me to see as equal, at all times, the happiness and distress of Yudhisthira and Duryodhana. Even if by intelligence you see equally the jiva, paramatma, pranas, senses and bodily elements of oneself and ones enemies, that lasts only for two or three days, because the fickle mind is stronger than the discriminating intellect. One sees that the mind, attached to material enjoyment, overcomes the intellect.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.33 Arjuna said — This Yoga as explained by you consists in maintaining equality of vision everywhere, viz., i) among themselves which have been so far known to be of different kinds such as gods and men, and ii) between the individual selves and the Supreme, in so far as (a) all the selves are of the same form of knowledge, and (b) in so far as the individual self (i.e., the released soul) and the Supreme are alike free from Karma. I do not see how this Yoga can be steadily established in my mind, fickle as the mind is.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness spoken previously by Lord Krishna was considered in the mind of Arjuna to be almost impossible to achieve. Equanimity, fixing the mind exclusively on the atma or soul, regarding all living entities as oneself are difficult to maintain with permanence due to the nature of the mind.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Some doubts are spoken to Lord Krishna by Arjuna who exclaims that he is unable to become established in equanimity due to the restless nature of the tempestuous mind. In the Vyasa Yoga it states that in the absence of regulated practice and subsequently gradual renunciation it is not possible to become firmly establishes in the sate of equanimity.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
It is considered by Arjuna that this yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness instructed by Lord Krishna and the beholding of all living entities with the same equal vision is next to impossible. Such yoga characterised by fixed mental discipline he could not comprehend as being steady and stable due to the nature of the mind.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.33 O Madhusudana, ayam, this; yogah, Yoga; yah proktah, that has been spoken of; tvaya, by You; samyena, as sameness; na pasyami, I do not see, I cannot conceive;-what?-etasya, its; sthiram, steady, undisturbed; sthitim, continuance; cancalatvat, owing to the unsteadiness of the mind, which is well known.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.33-34 Yo’ Yam etc. Cancalam etc. By this and which, the two words denoting [respectively] what is actually perceived and what is not perceived, the following is indicated : Thanks to the series of methods spoken just before by the Bhagavat, the Brahman is of course clear and has been no doubt shown as if by perception. Yet, It remains at agreat distance due to the unsteadiness and wickedness of the mind, and It behaves as if It is beyond perception. [Destructive] : The mind destroys both the visible and invisible [ends of man’s action]. Strong : Powerful. Obstinate : impossible to ward off from evil acts. Now the answer –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yo ’yam yogas tvaya proktah
etasyaham na pasyami
cañcalatvat sthitim sthiram
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; yaḥ ayam — this system; yogaḥ — mysticism; tvayā — by You; proktaḥ — described; sāmyena — generally; madhu-sūdana — O killer of the demon Madhu; etasya — of this; aham — I; na — do not; paśyāmi — see; cañcalatvāt — due to being restless; sthitim — situation; sthirām — stable.