Happy All the Time

Chapter II, Verse 48

Sri Nerode’s Translation:


Do thy duty in tune with the Divine, casting all ideas of self aside, remaining balanced in either success or failure. Such evenness is called Yoga.


Helpful Translation:

One who transmutes the three qualities (the gunas) and the pair of opposites (duality) is in the state of balance called yoga.



In this verse “yoga” means union. When one is no longer pulled through the cycles of positive, negative and gray areas, he is at rest or “balanced”.

When the ego and intellect are reunited with the expanded awareness of the soul and of intuition, the individual is able to “be”, simply enjoying the illusion of life without concern for any desirable or undesirable variation.

The easiest way to develop the practice of living in the moment, is to do what you love. Most everyone has experienced times of great joy while fully engaged in an activity. The intellectual may spend an entire night studying and only realize that hours have passed when the sun rises. An athlete might be so consumed by a competition that only the bell at the end of the game limits his awareness again. Every person has had the experience of “time flies when you’re having fun”.

These moments of complete and enthusiastic immersion into an activity illustrate the definition of “yoga” alluded to in this verse.

Let’s assume for a moment that the purpose of life is to be happy. Joy at all times and in all circumstances appears to be a laudable goal. Yet ask someone if it is possible to be “happy all the time” and the most common response will be “That’s impossible” or “highly unlikely”.

Any person who claims a continuous happy state-of-existence is unlikely is limited by their own expectation of results. This verse summarizes the previous two verses in a new garment of words and defines “yoga”. Verse 46 stated that religion and the associated intellect are not essential to one who expresses unlimited awareness. Verse 47 states that the highest state of awareness is found in action not in results. Verse 48 states that living in the moment is the actual definition of the state of yoga and thus is the goal of all yogic practices.

Living in the moment means to be anchored in an unlimited state of consciousness. The personal ego and blind intellect find comprehensive awareness a threat. Both ego and intellect are based in the concept of individuality. Individuality is in direct conflict with the universal nature of the soul.

Easter Eggs:

Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:


DhananjayaConqueror of wealth.

The surface meaning is “one who has conquered the temptation of material wealth.” But in the Bhagavad Gita Dhananjaya usually signifies one who is enlightened and who brings wisdom from the highest states of expanded awareness.

Samatvam – Often mistranslated as “indifference”, samatvam in this verse should be translated as equanimity.

Yoga in this verse is defined as a state of consciousness versus a form of practice.

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Ancient History

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