Qualities of a Yogi

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

In Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes the qualities that a true devotee possesses. He neither attaches himself to anything nor does he have any aversion to things. He has a balanced mind under all circumstances. He is not agitated by the happenings of the world, nor does he himself cause any agitation in others. He is perfectly desireless and rejoices in the Divine within. He sees equality everywhere, being untouched by sorrow, fear, honour and dishonour. He is perfectly content as he has surrendered his entire being to the Divine.

The devotee is neither elated by praise nor pained by censure. He keeps a balanced state of mind. He has controlled the organ of speech and so he is silent. His mind is serene and silent as he has controlled the thoughts also. He is quite content with the bare means of bodily sustenance. Contentment ever dwells in the heart of the devotee. Like the ocean which is ever full, his heart is ever full as he has no cravings. He is ever joyful and joyous. He never grumbles, complains or murmurs when he does not obtain food and clothing.

Those who are free from likes and dislikes, attraction and repulsion, can possess equanimity. Those who are neither elated nor troubled when they obtain desirable or undesirable objects can possess evenness of mind.

The bhakta does not rejoice when he attains desirable objects nor does he grieve when he parts with his cherished objects, and he does not desire the unattained. The ordinary person of the world is ruled by the pairs of opposites, honour and dishonour, cold and heat, pleasure and pain. A yogi, a sage or a devotee has a balanced mind. He has poise or equanimity and is not at all swayed by the blind forces of attraction and repulsion.