SRIMAD BHAGAVAD-GITA: CHAPTER TWELVE


(Bhakti-yoga)
The Path of Devotion

 

 

arjuna uvacha
evam satata-yukta ye, bhaktas tvam paryupasate
ye chapy aksaram avyaktam, tesam ke yoga-vittamah [1]

arjunah uvacha–Arjuna said: ye bhaktah–Those devotees who; evam–thus; satatayuktah–constantly with exclusive devotion; paryupasate–worship; tvam–You, Syamasundara; cha api–or; ye–those who; (paryupasate)–worship; avyaktam–the unmanifest, impersonal; aksaram–imperishable, Brahman; tesam–of these two types of yogis (jnana-yogi and bhakti-yogi); ke–who; yoga-vittamah–is the best knower of yoga?

1 Arjuna inquired: Of those devotees who are constantly engaged in worshipping You (as Syamasundara, Your original humanlike form) with exclusive devotion, and those who worship the impersonal Brahman, who is the best knower of yoga?

sri-bhagavan uvacha
mayy avesya mano ye mam, nitya-yukta upasate
sraddhaya parayopetas, te me yuktatama matah [2]

sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Supreme Lord said: ye–Those who; sraddhaya upetah–with faith; paraya–transcendental to the mundane; avesya–have absorbed; manah–the mind; mayi–in thought of Me, Syamasundara; nitya-yuktah–always engaged in exclusive devotion; (iti)–thus; upasate–worship; mam–Me; te–they; yuktatamah–are the best knowers of yoga. (iti)–This is; me–My; matah–opinion.

2 The Supreme Lord said: In My opinion, those who with faith in the divine are absorbed in thought of Me, Syamasundara, and worship Me constantly with exclusive devotion, are the superior knowers of yoga.

ye tv aksaram anirdesyam, avyaktam paryupasate
sarvatra-gam achintyam cha, kutastham achalam dhruvam [3]
sanniyamyendriya-gramam, sarvatra sama-buddhayah
te prapnuvanti mam eva, sarva-bhuta-hite ratah [4]

ye tu–But those who; sanniyamya–fully control; indriya-gramam–all the senses; sama-buddhayah–with equanimity; sarvatra–for everything; ratah–(who are) dedicated; sarva-bhuta-hite–to the welfare of all beings; (iti)–and thus; paryupasate–worship; (me)–My; anirdesyam–indefinable; avyaktam–unmanifest, impersonal; sarvatra-gam–all-pervading; achintyam–inconceivable; kuta-stham–unchanging; achalam–immovable; dhruvam–eternal; aksaram cha–attributeless aspect of Brahman; te eva–they, too; prapnuvanti–attain; mam–Me (as My Brahman effulgence).

3-4 However, those who fully control their senses, who are equal-minded towards everything, who are dedicated to the welfare of all beings and thus worship My indefinable, impersonal, all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, immovable, eternal, attributeless aspect of Brahman—they, too, attain Me (as Brahman).

Commentary

The Lord's statement, "The worshippers of Brahman also reach Me," should not be misconstrued to mean that the impersonalists are on an equal footing with the devotees. The clue as to how the impersonalists can also reach Krishna has been given in the writings of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur.

A person may progress on the path of selfless action up to the stage of meditation, as described in the first six chapters of the Gita. Then he may undergo great difficulty in searching for the Lord on the path of impersonalism. But when he progresses to the stage of dedicating himself to perform welfare work for others (sarva-bhuta-hite ratah), he may get the chance to render service to a pure devotee.

For example, if one engages in the general public welfare work of opening or running a hospital, if some service is even unknowingly rendered to a devotee of the Lord, a Vaisnava, one's devotional merit begins (ajnata-sukrti). By association with a devotee (sadhu-sanga), one develops faith in the divine personal form of the Lord, and automatically abandons the attempt of attaining to the impersonal Brahman.

With such faith, one takes shelter of a bona fide Guru, engages in the devotional practices based on hearing and chanting the holy name and glories of the Lord, and progresses on the path back to home, back to Godhead. Thus Lord Krishna indicates: "I am the ultimate goal, and Brahman is only a relative position. It is not the final absolute, because the absolute position is Mine. Only if the impersonalists serve others they may thereby come to Me—because the only way to come to Me is through a Vaisnava."

rahuganaitat tapasa na yati
na chejyaya nirvapanad grhad va
na chchhandasa naiva jalagni-suryair
vina mahat-pada-rajo 'bhisekam

(Bhag. 5.12.12)

(The sage Jada Bharata said to King Rahugana:)
"O Rahugana, without bathing in the dust of the holy feet (service) of the pure devotees (mahabhagavata Vaisnavas), one cannot know the Supreme Lord by adopting the religious life of brahmacharya, grhastha, vanaprastha or sannyasa, or by worshipping the gods of water, fire, and sun, etc."

naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo 'bhisekam
niskinchananam na vrnita yavat

(Bhag. 7.5.32)

(Prahlada Maharaj said:)
"As long as persons of mundane mentality have not been bathed by the dust of the feet of Lord Krishna's surrendered devotees who are free from mundane attachment, they cannot have a touch of Krishna's lotus feet, which are the destroyer of all obstacles."

To consider that the Lord has taken the personal and impersonal aspects to be equal is a very commonly committed mistake. In reply to Arjuna's doubt in this respect, the Lord has clearly stated that the personalists are superior to the impersonalists—yet, the impersonalists are also given a chance to reach Him, because without Him, no ultimate goal exists. Without coming to the path of devotion, the worshippers of impersonal Brahman will reach Brahman, the dazzling effulgence of the divine form of Lord Sri Krishna.

kleso 'dhikataras tesam, avyaktasakta-chetasam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham, dehavadbhir avapyate [5]

tesam–For those; avyakta-asakta-chetasam–of minds attached to the unmanifest; (bhavati)–there is; adhikatarah–greater; klesah–struggle; hi–as; avyakta gatih–the way of attaining the unmanifest, the impersonal Brahman; avapyate–is attained; duhkham–with difficulty; dehavadbhih–by the embodied soul.

5 Persons whose minds are attached to the impersonal Brahman must undergo a greater struggle, as the path of attaining the impersonal Brahman is difficult for the embodied soul.

ye tu sarvani karmani, mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena, mam dhyayanta upasate [6]
tesam aham samuddharta, mrtyu-samsara-sagarat
bhavami na chirat partha, mayy avesita-chetasam [7]

ye tu–But those who; sannyasya–offering; sarvani–all; karmani–actions; mayi–to Me; mat-parah–taking refuge in Me; mam dhyayantah–meditating on Me; ananyena yogena eva–with exclusive devotion; upasate–thus worship (Me); (he) partha–O Arjuna; aham–I; na chirat–without delay; bhavami–become; samuddharta–the deliverer; mrtyu-samsara-sagarat–from the deathly ocean of material suffering; tesam–of those persons; avesita-chetasam–whose hearts are absorbed in thought; mayi–of Me.

6-7 But those who offer all their actions to Me, take refuge in Me, their hearts absorbed in thought of Me in pure devotion and who thus worship and adore Me—O Partha, I swiftly deliver such dedicated souls from the deathly ocean of material suffering.

mayy eva mana adhatsva, mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasisyasi mayy eva, ata urdhvam na samsayah [8]

adhatsva–Steady; manah–your mind; mayi eva–in Me alone. nivesaya–Repose; buddhim–your intelligence; mayi (eva)–in Me alone. nivasisyasi–You will abide; mayi eva–in Me; atah urdhvam–hereafter; na samsayah–there is no doubt.

8 So fix your mind in Me always and repose your intelligence in Me, Syamasundara, and you will ultimately abide in Me. Of this there is no doubt.

atha chittam samadhatum, na saknosi mayi sthiram
abhyasa-yogena tato, mam ichchhaptum dhananjaya [9]

(he) dhananjaya–O Arjuna; atha–if; na saknosi–you are unable; samadhatum–to establish; chittam–your mind; sthiram–resolutely; mayi–in Me; tatah–then; ichchha–seek; aptum–to attain; mam–Me; abhyasa-yogena–by the yoga of constant practice.

9 O Dhananjaya, and if you are unable to firmly fix your mind in Me, try to attain Me by the repeated practice of remembering Me.

abhyase 'py asamartho 'si, mat-karma-paramo bhava
mad-artham api karmani, kurvan siddhim avapsyasi [10]

(yadi)–If; (tvam) asi–you are; asamarthah–unable; abhyase api–to practise remembering Me, too; (tarhi)–then; mat-karma-paramah bhava–concentrate on offering your actions to Me. kurvan api–Also by performing; karmani–actions; mat-artham–for Me; avapsyasi–you will attain; siddhim–perfection.

10 If you cannot do that either, concentrate on offering your actions to Me. You will attain perfection through actions performed for Me.

athaitad apy asakto 'si, kartum mad-yogam asritah
sarva-karma-phala-tyagam, tatah kuru yatatmavan [11]

atha–And if; etat api–this, too; asi–is; asaktah–not possible; kartum–to do; tatah–then; mat-yogam asritah (san)–taking shelter in My yoga; yata-atmavan (bhutva)–controlling your mind; sarva-karma-phala-tyagam kuru–give up, for Me, the fruits of all your actions.

11 And if you cannot do that, then resolve to give up, for Me, the fruits of your actions.

sreyo hi jnanam abhyasaj, jnanad dhyanam visisyate
dhyanat karma-phala-tyagas, tyagach chhantir anantaram [12]

hi–For; jnanam–Knowledge of Me; sreyah–is better; abhyasat–than practice; dhyanam–meditation on Me; jnanat visisyate–is better than knowledge. karmaphala-tyagah–Giving up, for Me, the fruits of action; dhyanat–comes from meditation. tyagat–From giving up, for Me, the fruits of action; santih–peace ensues; anantaram–thereafter.

12 For knowledge of Me is superior to mere practice, and meditation on Me is superior to knowledge alone; from meditation comes the selflessness of giving up, for Me, the fruits of action, following which peace ensues.

advesta sarva-bhutanam, maitrah karuna eva cha
nirmamo nirahankarah, sama-duhkha-sukhah ksami [13]
santustah satatam yogi, yatatma drdha-nischayah
mayy-arpita-mano-buddhir, yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah [14]

yah–One who is; advesta–without hatred; maitrah–friendly; karunah eva cha–and compassionate; sarva-bhutanam–towards all beings; nirmamah–free from possessiveness; nirahankarah–free from ego; sama-duhkha-sukhah–equipoised in unhappy and happy circumstances; ksami–forgiving, tolerant; satatam santustah–ever content; yogi–a yogi; yata-atma–self-controlled; drdha-nischayah–of firm resolve; arpita-mano-buddhih–who has given his mind and intelligence; mayi–to Me; sah–such a person is; mat-bhaktah–My devotee; me priyah–dear to Me.

13-14 One who is without hatred, who is friendly and compassionate towards all, free from possessiveness and ego, equipoised in unhappy and happy circumstances, forgiving, always content, a self-controlled yogi of firm resolve who has given his mind and intelligence to Me—such a person is My devotee, and he is dear to Me.

yasman nodvijate loko, lokan nodvijate cha yah
harsamarsa-bhayodvegair, mukto yah sa cha me priyah [15]

yasmat–He by whom; lokah–anyone; na udvijate–is not disturbed; yah cha–and he who; na udvijate–is not disturbed; lokat–by anyone; yah cha–and who; muktah–is free; harsa-amarsa-bhaya-udvegaih–from elation, anger, fear and grief; sah–he is; priyah–dear; me–to Me.

15 One who causes no disturbance to anyone and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is free from elation, anger, fear and grief—he is dear to Me.

anapeksah suchir daksa, udasino gata-vyathah
sarvarambha-parityagi, yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah [16]

yah–One who is; anapeksah–without expectation; suchih–clean hearted; daksah–able; udasinah–impartial; gata-vyathah–fearless; sarva-arambha-parityagi–and a renouncer of all selfish undertakings; sah–he is; mat-bhaktah–My devotee; me priyah–dear to Me.

16 One who is without expectation, clean hearted, able, impartial, fearless and a renouncer of all selfish undertakings—he is My devotee, he is dear to Me.

yo na hrsyati na dvesti, na sochati na kanksati
subhasubha-parityagi, bhaktiman yah sa me priyah [17]

yah–One who is; na hrsyati–neither elated; na dvesti–nor resentful; na sochati–neither laments any loss; na kanksati–nor hankers for the unattained; subha-asubhaparityagi–a renouncer of both auspicious and inauspicious acts; yah bhaktiman–and who is endowed with devotion; sah me priyah–he is dear to Me.

17 One who is neither elated nor resentful, who neither laments nor hankers as he has renounced both auspicious and inauspicious endeavours, and who is endowed with devotion—he is dear to Me.

samah satrau cha mitre cha, tatha manapamanayoh
sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu, samah sanga-vivarjitah [18]
tulya-ninda-stutir-mauni, santusto yena kenachit
aniketah sthira-matir, bhaktiman me priyo narah [19]

(yah) narah–A person who; samah–sees with equality; satrau cha–an enemy; mitre cha–and a friend; tatha–and similarly; samah–is equipoised; mana-apamanayoh–in honour and dishonour; sita-usna-sukha-duhkhesu–and in the presence of cold, heat, pleasure and pain; sanga-vivarjitah–who has given up all attachment; tulya-nindastutih–and who considers abuse and praise equally; mauni–who is contemplative or of controlled speech; santustah–satisfied; yena kenachit–in any eventuality; aniketah–who has no attachment to hearth and home; sthira-matih–whose mind is peaceful; bhaktiman–and who is endowed with devotion; (sah) me priyah–he is dear to Me.

18-19 A person who sees with equality an enemy and a friend; who is equipoised in honour and dishonour, and in the presence of cold, heat, pleasure and pain; who has given up all attachment; who considers abuse and praise equally; who is contemplative; who is satisfied in all circumstances; who has no attachment to hearth and home; whose mind is peaceful, and who is endowed with devotion—he is dear to Me.

ye tu dharmamrtam idam, yathoktam paryupasate
sraddadhana mat-parama, bhaktas te 'tiva me priyah [20]

ye tu sraddadhanah–Those faithful persons who; paryupasate–adore and follow; idam–this; dharma-amrtam–nectarine path; yatha-uktam–as described; mat-paramah–knowing Me as the supreme goal; te bhaktah–such devotees; ativa–are very; priyah–dear; me–to Me.

20 Those faithful devotees who, knowing Me as the supreme goal of life, wholeheartedly follow the nectarine path I have described, are very dear to Me.

iti sri-mahabharate sata-sahasryam samhitayam vaiyasikyam
bhisma-parvani srimad-bhagavad-gitasupanisatsu brahmavidyayam
yoga-sastre sri-krsnarjuna-samvade
bhakti-yogo nama dvadaso 'dhyayah [12]

End of Chapter Twelve

The Path of Devotion

from the conversation
of Sri Krishna and Arjuna
in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita Upanisad,
the Yoga Scripture of Transcendental Knowledge
in Bhisma Parva of Sri Mahabharata, the Holy Scripture
revealed by Srila Vyasadeva in a hundred thousand verses.

 

 

 

⇐ 11: The Vision
of the Universal Form

13: Distinction
Between Matter and Spirit ⇒

 

CONTENTS:

Mangalacharanam
Preface
Introduction
1 Observing the Armies
2 The Constitution of the Soul
3 The Path of Action
4 The Path of Knowledge
5 The Path of Renunciation of Action
6 The Path of Meditation
7 Knowledge and Realization of the Supreme
8 The Merciful Absolute
9 The Hidden Treasure of Devotion
10 The Divine Glories of the Lord
11 The Vision of the Universal Form
12 The Path of Devotion
13 Distinction Between Matter and Spirit
14 The Three Divisions of Material Nature
15 The Supreme Person
16 The Godly and Ungodly Natures
17 The Three Types of Faith
18 The Path of Liberation
The Glories of the Gita
The Glories of Srimad Bhagavad-gita from Sri Vaisnaviya-tantra-sara

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE | HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE