kūṭa-stho vijitendriyaḥ
yukta ity ucyate yogī

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.8

A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything—whether it be pebbles, stones or gold—as the same.

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

Book knowledge without realization of the Supreme Truth is useless. This is stated as follows:

atah sri-krishna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.234)

This Bhagavad-gita is the science of Krishna consciousness. No one can become Krishna conscious simply by mundane scholarship. One must be fortunate enough to associate with a person who is in pure consciousness. A Krishna conscious person has realized knowledge, by the grace of Krishna, because he is satisfied with pure devotional service. By realized knowledge, one becomes perfect. By transcendental knowledge one can remain steady in his convictions, but by mere academic knowledge one can be easily deluded and confused by apparent contradictions. It is the realized soul who is actually self-controlled, because he is surrendered to Krishna. He is transcendental because he has nothing to do with mundane scholarship. For him mundane scholarship and mental speculation, which may be as good as gold to others, are of no greater value than pebbles or stones.

Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

He is devoid of desires, being satisfied by knowledge attained by teachings (jnanam) and realization (vijnana). He remains pervaded by one nature at all times (kuta sthah), since he has no attraction for any object. He sees as equal a lump of dirt (losta), rock and gold.

Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:

6.8 That Karma Yogin whose mind is content with the knowledge of the self and the knowledge of the difference, i.e., whose mind is content with the knowledge concerning the real nature of the self as well as with the knowledge of the difference of Its nature from Prakrti; ‘who is established in the self’ (Kutasthah), i.e., who remains as the self which is of the uniform nature of knowledge in all stages of evolution as men, gods etc. whose senses are therefore subdued; and to whom ‘earth, stone and gold are of equal value’ because of his lack of interest in any material objects of enjoyment on account of his intense earnestness to know the real nature of the self as different from Prakrti — he, that Karma Yogi, is called integrated i.e., fit for the practice of Yoga which is of the nature of the vision of the self. And also.

Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:

The characteristics and superiority of one who has established themselves in yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness which have been previously mentioned are now being concluded and substantiated by Lord Krishna. Jnana is knowledge which has been received from instruction. Vijnana is intuitive realisation arising from perception. One who is self-satisfied within needing no external material stimulus is free from agitation and fixed with all the senses under control. Such a person has equal vision towards all and is rapt in meditation on the atam or soul within. Such a person has nothing to acquire and nothing to reject.

Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:

Lord Krishna speaks of the benefits of victory over the senses in this verse. Only one who has succeeded in controlling the senses will become equiposed and tranquil. When the mind is no longer inclined to the attraction of sense objects and is turned inward, at that time one becomes qualified for enlightenment and the Supreme Being magnanimously and comprehensively becomes established in the heart. The characteristics of a spiritually enlightened person are being explained. Such a person is not bewildered by the dualities such as heat and cold and perceives Supreme Being everywhere. Being content within due to the spiritual knowledge acquired, having duly subdued the senses with the mind fully controlled, meditation within becomes one’s sole objective. The word vijnana means transcendental knowledge which denotes illumination and realisation. It has been said by Shiva himself: That which the common people are aware about the Supreme Lord is known as jnana or knowledge and that which the self- realised are transcndentally aware of is known as vijnana. What one realises by hearing and reflecting on the Vedic scriptures is jnana. What one realises by direct perception of the atma or the eternal soul is vijnana. Vijnana in special persons can also be transcendental perceptions of the Vedic scriptures. One who meditates on the atma within assumes the qualities of the atma within. A yogi or one perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness is in equanimity in all activities. The word yuktah denotes a yogi who is in communion with the ultimate consciousness. Constant in such consciousness without any wavering such a person remains immersed in the atma with complete equinimity.

Now begins the summation.

At all times and in all situations the awareness of the Supreme Lord Krishna being the controller, maintainer and energiser of all creation is known as jnana or knowledge. Special realisations and illuminations about confidential topics concerning Lord Krishna is vijnana or transcendental awareness. In the Mundaka Upanisad I.I.IV and V. a distinction is made regarding knowledge. It states that by reading the Vedic scriptures it is possible to become aware of the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence whereas such jnana or knowledge will not bestow moksa or liberation from the material existence it will lead to vijnana or transcendental knowledge where upon cognisance of the atma and the Supreme Lord. In conclusion the Vedic scriptures give transcendental perceptions and illuminations of vijnana when the Supreme Lord Krishna or any one of His authorised incarnations is the goal to be realised and when not they merely bestow jnana. The goal of human existence is not to only experience moksa but to eternally perform activities in communion with Him.

Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:

Lord Krishna is emphasising that accompanying spiritual knowledge from the Vedic scriptures there must be personal realisation also. This will occur naturally when one is relieved of all doubts and after adequate reflection and introspection. Such a person is steadfast and serene even if coming upon something extraordinary by chance. This is because such a one is free from all desires and cravings. The external functions of the senses have been mastered and under control. Everything is envisioned equally without considering its external value, hence one neither avoids the unfavourable nor seeks the favourable. Such a person is considered a yogi or whose individual consciousness has attained communion with the ultimate consciousness.

Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:

6.8 A yogi, jnana-vijnana-trpta-atma, whose mind is satisfied with knowledge and realization-jnana is thorough knowledge of things presented by the scriptures, but vijnana is making those things known from the scriptures a subject of one’s own realization just as they have been presented; he whose mind (atma) has become contented (trpta) with those jnana and vijnana is jnana-vijnana-trpta-atma-; kutasthah, who is unmoved, i.e. who becomes unshakable; and vijita-indriyah, who has his organs under control;- he who is of this kind, ucyate, is said to be; yuktah, Self-absorbed. That yogi sama-losta-asma-kancanah, treats equally a lump of earth, a stone and gold. Further,

Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:

6.8 Jnana – etc. Knowledge : a knowledge which is different from the false one. What consists of varied thoughts : the action in which varied thoughts are involved, i.e. the action that is born as result of preceding thoughts of reasoning.

Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:

kuta-stho vijitendriyah
yukta ity ucyate yogi

Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:

jñāna — by acquired knowledge; vijñāna — and realized knowledge; tṛpta — satisfied; ātmā — a living entity; kūṭa-sthaḥ — spiritually situated; vijita-indriyaḥ — sensually controlled; yuktaḥ — competent for self-realization; iti — thus; ucyate — is said; yogī — a mystic; sama — equipoised; loṣṭra — pebbles; aśma — stone; kāñcanaḥ — gold.