Definition of Yoga as Defined by Bhagwan Shri Krishna in Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2 verse 48 is

योगस्थ कृरु कर्माणि सङ्गंत्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय | सिद्ध्यासिध्यो समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते||२.४८||

Yogasthakuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya| siddhya-asidhhyoh samo bhutvasamatvam yoga uchyate||2.48||


Abandoning attachment and established in Yoga, perform works, viewing success and failure with an even mind. Equipoise is said to be Yoga.

Commentary by Bhagwad Ramanujacharya :

Abandoning the attachment to kingdom, relatives etc., establish yourself in Yoga, engage in war and other such activities. Perform these with equanimity as regards success and failure resulting from victory or defeat which are inherent in them. Yoga is defined in this verse as "equanimity with regard to success and failure.”

So formally Yoga is defined in this verse as :

Samtvam yoga uchyate or "equanimity with regard to success and failure."

My question is about the Characters in Mahabharata and most known people who were present in Kurushketra war whose behaviour was such that they are fit to be known as yogi according to this definition.

For E.g. Yudhishthir was every time in yoga because irrespective of situation good or bad he was always following Dharma as in Dharma Shastras, without a second thought so he can be a yogi.

Bhishma on the other hand was trapped in his own karma (words to different people) and was not following dhrama even thought he knew it , it means he didn't have a sama buddhi to analyze the situation and thus he was not fit for the title of yogi. etc etc.

PS: If this question is too broad to answer let me know in the comments section I will edit the question and restrict the parameters of analysis (characters).

  • 1
    This is another way of asking what characters were Karma Yogis, i.e. what characters followed Nishkama Karma. Well, the concept of Nishkama Karma is characteristic of Pancharatra, and the Pancharatra tradition had been lost long before the time of the Mahabharata war. So most people living at the time, although they certainly did their Dharma, were not Karma Yogis. However Bhishma had been initiated into Pancharatra, so he may have been a Karma Yogi. It's not like he was judging his actions according to success and failure; his personal wish was for the Pandavas to win and Krishna to kill him – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 7 '16 at 19:23
  • Also, the Bhagavad Gita is part of the Pancharatra tradition and it obviously inculcates the principles of Karma Yoga, so it's possible that Arjuna took the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita to heart and fought according to Karma Yogi. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 7 '16 at 19:24
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Lets call it never failure karma yogi like Yudhishtira if we are really judging and ever failing duryodhana these are the top and bottom part of my scale and I just want the top of the charts like Yudhishtira who never failed as to fit in that definition – Yogi Jul 7 '16 at 19:33
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    Well, Yudhishthira was certainly a paragon of Dharma, but that doesn't mean he was a Karma Yogi. He may have done his Dharma with goals in mind. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 7 '16 at 19:39
  • 1
    The ability to maintain Dharma even during war is certainly a great quality for a person to have, but it's not the same as Nishkama Karma. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 8 '16 at 1:55

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