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Adhyaya 12 : Bhakti Yga

 Introduction

The Lord referred to His unmanitest as well as manifest forms but Arjuna being always in the company of his human form expressed his preference to manifested and therefore pleasing and mild form. In seventh Adhyya incomprehensible, unmanifest and changeless form of the Absolute was referred to as the supreme and the best. In ninth Adhyya worship through devotion of the manifested form was glorified and Arjuna was advised to carry out actions in the spirit of worship and as offering to God. Then in tenth Adhyya the Lord presented some of his splendid and powerful aspects and in eleventh Adhyaya he revealed his cosmic form.

Now Arjuna wants to know which one of these two - unmanifest and manifest - one should adopt for his devotional worship.

Verse 1 to 7

Instead of asking a direct question to know the superiority of the one Arjuna raises a humble query.

"There are some devotees who steadfastly attached to your human form worship you and some worship your imperishable unmanifest form. Out of these two which one is the most perfect in the knowledge of Yoga? (Who is in perfect union with God?)"

The Lord gives a prompt and decisive reply in favour of those whose minds are fixed upon Him who appears in manifest form and who are always engaged in His worship with absolute faith and devotion. These devotees are considered to be the most perfect in Yga.

Those others who worship the imperishable, unmanifest which is indefinable, omnipresent, incomprehensible, changeless, immovable and constant, by controlling their senses, by being equally disposed to all and joyfully engaged in the wellbeing of all creatures, come to Me alone.

But with their minds attached to the unmanifest they face immense troubles because it is painfully difficult for the embodied beings to achieve the goal of the unmanifest.

In contrast to this troublesome and difficult path, the Lord glorifies the easy and joyful way of worship of the manifest form.

"Surrendering their activities into Me and meditating upon Me with undivided faith those who worship Me, fully attached, with their thoughts in Me, 1 become their saviour from the ocean of this mortal world without any loss of time."

Therefore the Lord advises Arjuna to fix his mind in Him and place his intelligence in Him so that he would doubtlessly stay in Him always thereafter.

Verse 8 - 15

The Lord now starts explaining the ways and means that help the devotee to intensify his devotion to God.

If Arjuna finds it difficult to steady his mind in the Lord, then he should desire to get him through the practice of Yga of concentration.

If he lacks the strength to practice then he should devote himself in the service of the Lord because by working for the sake of the Lord he would reach perfection

If however he is unable to work this way also, then he should surrender himself to the divine power of the Lord and controlling himself he should renounce the fruits of his entire actions.

Thus enumerating the possibilities in descending order of easiness, the Lord mentions the reason explaining the comparative greatness of different methods. He says : (Discriminating) knowledge is better than mere practice (of mechanical study). Better than knowledge however is meditation and the renunciation of the fruits of action is better than meditation. After the renunciation one attains peace.

The Lord thus made it very dear that one has to pass through various stages to make himself worthy of the last perfect stage of blissful union with God. The Lord describes the virtues of such a devotee of rare variety:

"Dear to Me is that devotee who hates no creature and is friendly and compassionate to all. He is free from the sense of ego and possession. To him pleasure and pain are equal. He is tolerant, ever-contented, self-controlled, steadfast in resolve and his mind and intellect always surrendered to Me.

 

Verse 16-20

"Dear to me is that devotee who neither annoys the world nor gets annoyed by it. He is free from joy, anger fear and anxiety.

Dear to me is that devotee who has no expectation, who is chaste, attentive, indifferent and sorrow free. He does not initiate any selfish action.

"Dear to me is that devotee who neither gets pleased nor becomes, hateful who neither laments nor desires, who has forsaken both auspicious and inauspicious.

Dear to me is that devotee who is alike to friend and foe, alike in honour and dishonour. He remains the same in heat and cold, in pleasure and pain and he is always free from any attachment.

He who considers blame and praise as equal, who observes silence and who remains satisfied with whatever he gets, who is not bound to any single home such a devoted person of steady intellect is dear to me.

Finally the Lord uses the superlative to express his love for his devotee. "But those devotees treating Me as their highest goal with full faith follow this pious and nectar like teaching of mine are extremely dear to me.

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