योगेन वा तदात्मानं वेदेहाया निवर्तते ॥ २१ ॥
hitvā vṛtti-trayaṁ svayam
yogena vā tadātmānaṁ
virameta — desists; yadā — when; cittam — the mind; hitvā — giving up; vṛtti-trayam — the functions of material life in the three phases of waking, sleep and deep sleep; svayam — automatically; yogena — by regulated spiritual practice; vā — or; tadā — then; ātmānam — the Supreme Soul; veda — he knows; īhāyāḥ — from material endeavor; nivartate — he ceases.
Either automatically or because of one’s regulated spiritual practice, one’s mind may stop functioning on the material platform of waking consciousness, sleep and deep sleep. Then one understands the Supreme Soul and withdraws from material endeavor.
As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.25.33), jarayaty āśu yā kośaṁ nigīrṇam analo yathā: “Bhakti, devotional service, dissolves the subtle body of the living entity without separate endeavor, just as fire in the stomach digests all that we eat.” The subtle material body is inclined to exploit nature through sex, greed, false pride and madness. Loving service to the Lord, however, dissolves the stubborn false ego and lifts one to pure blissful consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the sublime perfection of existence.