It is not that Bhagavad-gītā rejects the meditational yoga process; it recognizes it as a bona fide method, but it further indicates that it is not possible in this age. Thus the subject in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā is quickly dropped by Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. Arjuna next asks,
kāṁ gatiṁ kṛṣṇa gacchati
“What is the destination of the man of faith who does not persevere, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?” (Bg. 6.37)
In other words, he is asking what becomes of the unsuccessful yogī, or the person who attempts to perform yoga but somehow desists and does not succeed. It is something like a student who does not get his degree because he drops out of school. Elsewhere in the Gītā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa points out to Arjuna that out of many men, few strive for perfection, and out of those who strive for perfection, only a few succeed. So Arjuna is inquiring after the vast number of failures. Even if a man has faith and strives for perfection in the yogasystem, Arjuna points out that he may not attain this perfection due to “worldly-mindedness.”
chinnābhram iva naśyati
vimūḍho brahmaṇaḥ pathi
“O mighty-armed Kṛṣṇa,” Arjuna continues, “does not such a man, being deviated from the path of Transcendence, perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?” (Bg. 6.38)
When a cloud is torn apart by the wind, it does not mend back together again.
etan me saṁśayaṁ kṛṣṇa
chettum arhasy aśeṣataḥ
chettā na hy upapadyate
“This is my doubt, O Kṛṣṇa, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for Yourself, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.” (Bg. 6.39) Arjuna is asking this question about the fate of the unsuccessful yogī so that in the future people would not be discouraged. By a yogī, Arjuna is referring to the haṭha-yogī, jñāna-yogī and bhakti-yogī; it is not that meditation is the only form of yoga. The meditator, the philosopher and the devotee are all to be considered yogīs. Arjuna is questioning for all those who are attempting to become successful transcendentalists. And how does Śrī Kṛṣṇa answer him?
pārtha naiveha nāmutra
vināśas tasya vidyate
na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaścid
durgatiṁ tāta gacchati
Here, as in many other places throughout the Gītā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. This is another of the Lord’s innumerable names. Bhagavān indicates that Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of six opulences: He possesses all beauty, all wealth, all power, all fame, all knowledge and all renunciation. Living entities partake of these opulences in finite degrees. One may be famous in a family, in a town, in a country or on one planet, but no one is famous throughout the creation, as is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The leaders of the world may be famous for a few years only, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago and is still being worshiped. So one who possesses all six of these opulences in completeness is considered to be God. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa speaks to Arjuna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such it is to be understood that He has complete knowledge. Bhagavad-gītā was imparted to the sun-god and to Arjuna by Kṛṣṇa, but nowhere is it mentioned that Bhagavad-gītā was imparted to Kṛṣṇa. Why? Complete knowledge means that He knows everything that is to be known. This is an attribute of God alone. Being that Kṛṣṇa knows everything, Arjuna is putting this question to Him about the fate of the unsuccessful yogī. There is no possibility for Arjuna to research the truth. He simply has to receive the truth from the complete source, and this is the system of disciplic succession. Kṛṣṇa is complete, and the knowledge that comes from Kṛṣṇa is also complete. If Arjuna receives this complete knowledge and we receive it from Arjuna as it was spoken to him, then we also receive complete knowledge. And what is this knowledge? “The Blessed Lord said: Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.” (Bg. 6.40) Here Kṛṣṇa indicates that the very striving for yoga perfection is a most auspicious attempt. When one attempts something so auspicious, he is never degraded. Actually Arjuna is asking a very appropriate and intelligent question. It is not unusual for one to fall down from the platform of devotional service. Sometimes a neophyte devotee does not keep the rules and regulations. Sometimes he yields to intoxication or is trapped by some feminine attractions. These are impediments on the path of yoga perfection. But Śrī Kṛṣṇa gives an encouraging answer, for He tells Arjuna that even if one sincerely cultivates only one-percent worth of spiritual knowledge, he will never fall down into the material whirlpool. That is due to the sincerity of his effort. It should always be understood that we are weak and that the material energy is very strong. To adopt spiritual life is more or less to declare war against the material energy. The material energy is trying to entrap the conditioned soul as much as possible, and when the conditioned soul tries to get out of her clutches by spiritual advancement of knowledge, material nature becomes more stringent and vigorous in her efforts to test how much the aspiring spiritualist is sincere. The material energy, or māyā, will then offer more allurements.