Adhyaya 12 : Bhakti Yõga
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 Adhyãya
incomprehensible, unmanifest and changeless form of the Absolute was referred to as the
supreme and the best. In ninth Adhyãya 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 Adhyãya the Lord presented some of
his splendid and powerful aspects and in eleventh Adhyaya he revealed his cosmic
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 Yõga.
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
"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
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 Yõga
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
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.
"Dear to me is that devotee who
neither annoys the world nor gets annoyed by it. He is free from joy, anger fear and
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.