The yogi’s transcendence of scripture is not due to defiance or ignorance or negligence but due to scripture’s irrelevance

Just as we need a manual to best handle a technological device, we need a manual to best handle the ultimate cosmological device – the universe.

That’s why the Bhagavad-gita (16.24) urges us to harmonize our action with scriptural direction.

Yet the same Gita states (06.44) that advanced yogis go beyond the range of scripture (shabda-brahmaativartate). Why?

Let’s first understand people’s varying attitudes towards scripture.

People don’t follow scripture due to defiance or ignorance or negligence. Defiance means that they go against the word of God because they are aggressively anti-theistic. Ignorance means that they don’t know the value of scripture as a manual for living. Negligence means that they disregard scriptural guidance as optional and dispensable.

Earnest yogis carefully avoid all these attitudinal pitfalls and follow scripture diligently. That’s how they become advanced yogis. Once they become advanced, they recognize that scriptures offer a user-friendly multi-level educational program for spiritual growth. Within that program, what is relevant at one level becomes irrelevant at a higher level just as the primary lesson in mathematics that we can’t subtract a larger number from a smaller number becomes irrelevant in higher classes.

Returning to the pertinent Gita verse (06.44), shadba-brahma refers to the scriptural teachings about using religion as a tool for material progress as understood in the tripartite progression of dharma, artha and kama. While this teaching is valid and valuable for spiritual beginners, savants understand that it underutilizes the potential to offer eternal happiness latent in the supreme scriptural teaching of pure devotion for Krishna. Advanced yogis, therefore, transcend such preliminary scriptural directions, as is also exhorted in the Gita’s conclusion (18.66) and focus on the scripture’s ultimate teaching that leads to life and love eternal.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 44

"By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles – even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures."


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  1. I still feel that your explanation is not lucid for a common person to understand

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  2. I have been attracted to ISKCON primarily by reading and listning your daily articles. These articles are very rich, to the point, very very high quality and intelligent explanation of queries. I really feel blessed by Krishna to have found a spiritual scientist like you.

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