asaḿyatātmanā yogo
duṣprāpa iti me matiḥ
vaśyātmanā tu yatatā
śakyo ’vāptum upāyataḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.36

For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But he whose mind is controlled and who strives by appropriate means is assured of success. That is My opinion.

Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares that one who does not accept the proper treatment to detach the mind from material engagement can hardly achieve success in self-realization. Trying to practice yoga while engaging the mind in material enjoyment is like trying to ignite a fire while pouring water on it. Yoga practice without mental control is a waste of time. Such a show of yoga may be materially lucrative, but it is useless as far as spiritual realization is concerned. Therefore, one must control the mind by engaging it constantly in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Unless one is engaged in Krishna consciousness, he cannot steadily control the mind. A Krishna conscious person easily achieves the result of yoga practice without separate endeavor, but a yoga practitioner cannot achieve success without becoming Krishna conscious.

Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

The Lord cites his own conclusion. Yoga is difficult for a person whose mind is not controlled by practice and detachment (asamyata atmana). Yoga or samadhi, characterized by stopping the mind, can be attained after a long time by a person who makes effort with the mind controlled by practice and detachment. You also can attain it by following the method of practice.

Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:

6.36 Yoga is hard to attain even in spite of great efforts by one of unrestrained self, i.e., of unrestrained mind. But the same Yoga which is of the form of sameness of vision can be attained by proper means by one who is striving, whose ‘mind is subdued,’ i.e., by one whose mind is conquered by works (Karma Yoga) taught before, which is of the nature of My worship and which includes within itself knowledge (Jnana). Then Arjuna puts questions in order to hear the greatness of Yoga, as it really is, which he has already heard about at the beginning of the teaching, ‘Here there is no loss of effort’ (2.40). There the greatness of Karma Yoga as inclusive of knowledge of the self with Yoga as its culmination was taught. This alone is the real greatness of Yoga.

Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:

Here Lord Krishna is emphasising the importance of the mind regarding yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. For one whose mind is uncontrolled it is not possible to practice yoga but that person who has controlled their mind by dispassion and regular practice and meditation can succeed in yoga by striving repeatedly.

Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:

It should not be thought that the mind of its own accord becomes controlled because that is not the case. For those who are unrighteous, who do not desire what is good for other created beings, who hate, who are debauchers, who are non-believers of the Vedic scriptures and other such persons, the opportunity for moksa or liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death in the material existence never manifests. This has been categorically confirmed in the Brahma Purana.

Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:

Lord Krishna is confirming that it is not possible to become established in yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by dhyana or meditation. To behold all with equanimity and dispassion is not possible for one whose mind is restless and uncontrolled. But through ceaseless striving and constantly practising of meditation it is possible to be successful in controlling it.

Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:

6.36 Me, My; matih, conviction; is iti, that; Yoga is dusprapah, difficult to be attained; asamyata-atmana, by one of uncontrolled mind, by one who has not controlled his mind, the internal organ, by practice and detachment. Tu, but, on the other hand; sakyah, Yoga is possible; avaptum, to be attained; yatata, by one who strives, who repeatedly makes effort; upayatah, through the means described above; and vasyatmany, by one of controlled mind, by him whose mind has been brought under control through practice and detachment. As to that, by accepting the practice of Yoga, actions leading to the attainment of this or the next world may be renounced by a yogi, and yet he may not attain the result of perfection in Yoga, i.e. full Illumination, which is the means to Liberation. Consequently, at the time of death his mind may waver from the path of Yoga. Apprehending that he may be thereby ruined.

Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:

6.36 Asamyata – etc. In do way whatsoever, is the Yoga attainable for a man with uncontrolled self i.e., for a man without desirelessness. One, with subdued self : one, with an attitude of desirelessness. By him who exerts : by him who has practice. By means : by undertaking the means enjoined in many scriptures of the Siddanta and the rest.

Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:

asaḿyatātmanā yogo
duṣprāpa iti me matiḥ
vaśyātmanā tu yatatā
śakyo ’vāptum upāyataḥ

Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:

asaḿyata — unbridled; ātmanā — by the mind; yogaḥ — self-realization; duṣprāpaḥ — difficult to obtain; iti — thus; me — My; matiḥ — opinion; vaśya — controlled; ātmanā — by the mind; tu — but; yatatā — while endeavoring; śakyaḥ — practical; avāptum — to achieve; upāyataḥ — by appropriate means.