Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You need to understand what Yoga is. Yoga is not limited to Yogasanas (body postures), Pranayama and meditation. Mixing two herbs is also considered as Yoga in Ayurveda.
The conjunction of two or more particular planets is also called as Yoga. A particular combination of planets and constellations is also called as Yoga.
In the same way, Arjuna was so overcome with this grief that he became totally one with it; that is why it is considered as Yoga (here, meaning to unite with one’s sorrow).
So, when a person gets so immersed in Vishaada (grief or sorrow), it is called as Vishaada Yoga.
When one receives and soaks himself completely in Sankhya (transcendental knowledge), then it is said to be Sankhya Yoga (referring to the second chapter of the Gita where Lord Krishna elaborates upon the transcendental nature of the Self). In the same way, when someone becomes totally one with his Karma (actions) and understands the depth of his Karma, then it is said to be Karma Yoga.
When one unites so totally with Jnana (knowledge), then it is said to be Jnana Yoga.
Yoga means to unite in totality.
So, you can unite and become one with knowledge, with your karma, or with meditation.
In the same way you can also unite and become one with your sorrow. In Arjuna’s case, it is his sorrow that he was so overcome with first, before he could hear the knowledge.
The first thing one must know is that there is misery in life. One should not deny this fact or be oblivious to it. One who denies that there is misery in life is foolish.
First, know and accept that there is misery in life. Then do what is needed to overcome.
Why is this so? It is because there is always some cause or reason behind sorrow or misery. Misery cannot exist without a cause. What can be the cause of misery? There are four Eshnas (attachments) a person may have that can lead him to misery.
1. Vitteshna (attachment to wealth and materialistic prosperity)
2. Putreshna (attachment to one’s children and progeny)
3. Jiveshna (attachment to one’s life and physical body) , and
4. Lokeshna (attachment to one’s reputation or fame) .
What does the word ‘Eshna’ mean? It means craving or greed towards something.
For example, a person is feverish and greedy for money and prestige. When he does not receive either, then he becomes miserable.
Similarly, the attachment one has towards one’s children and progeny is called Putreshna.
Then, having a feverish desire to be famous in society is called Lokeshna.
Jiveshna is the attachment and craving to live more and more (meaning to one’s life or the physical body).