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Twelfth Chapter. The Way Of Devotion In Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita

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Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, [1909] Arjuna said: 1. Those devotees who, ever-steadfast, thus worship Thee, and those also who worship the Imperishable, the Unmanifested,—which of them are better versed in Yoga? 1 The Blessed Lord said: 2. Those who, fixing their mind on Me, worship Me, ever-steadfast, and endowed with supreme Shraddhâ, they in My opinion are the best versed in Yoga. 3-4. But those also, who worship the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Unmanifested, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, the Immovable, the Eternal,—having subdued all the senses, even-minded everywhere, engaged in the welfare of all beings, verily, they reach only Myself. 3 5. Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the Unmanifested; for the goal of the Unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach. 5 6-7. But those who worship Me, resigning all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on Me with single-minded Yoga,—to these whose mind is set on Me, verily, I become ere long, O son of Prithâ, the Saviour out of the ocean of the mortal Samsâra. 6 8. Fix thy mind on Me only, place thy intellect in Me: (then) thou shalt no doubt live in Me hereafter. 8 9. If thou art unable to fix thy mind steadily on Me, then by Abhyâsa-Yoga do thou seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya. 9 10. If also thou art unable to practise Abhyâsa, be thou intent on doing actions -for My sake. Even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection. 11. If thou art unable to do even this, then taking refuge in Me, abandon the fruit of all action, self-controlled. 11 12. Better indeed is knowledge than (blind) Abhyâsa; meditation (with knowledge) is more esteemed than (mere) knowledge; than meditation the renunciation of the fruit of action; peace immediately follows renunciation. 12 13-14. He who hates no creature, and is friendly and compassionate towards all, who is free from the feelings of 'I and mine,' even-minded in pain and pleasure, forbearing, ever content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, and possessed of firm conviction, with mind and intellect fixed on Me,—he who is thus devoted to Me, is dear to Me. 15. He by whom the world is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by the world, who is freed from joy, envy, fear and anxiety,—he is dear to Me. 16. He who is free from dependence, who is pure, prompt, unconcerned, untroubled, renouncing every undertaking,—he who is thus devoted to Me, is dear to Me. 16 17. He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, renouncing good and evil, full of devotion, he is dear to Me. 17 18-19. He who is the same to friend and foe, and also in honour and dishonour; who is the same in heat and cold, and in pleasure and pain; who is free from attachment; to whom censure and praise are equal; who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full of devotion,—that man is dear to Me. 18 20. And they who follow this Immortal Dharma, as described above, endued with Shraddhâ, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, and devoted,—they are exceedingly dear to Me. The end of the twelfth chapter designated, The Way of Devotion. 276:1 Thus: as declared in the last preceding verse (xi. 55). The Unmanifested—Avyaktam—i.e., That which is incomprehensible to the senses, as devoid of all Upâdhis. 278:3 Worship—Upâsanâ—is approaching the object of worship by way of meditating on it, in accordance with the teachings of the Shâstras and the Guru, and dwelling steadily in the current of that one thought, even as a thread of oil poured from one vessel to another. Unchangeable—Kutastha: lit., remaining like a mass. He who is seated in Mâyâ as its Witness. 278:5 The embodied—Those who are attached to, or have identified themselves with, their bodies. No comparison between the worshippers of the qualified and unqualified Brahman is meant here—since by the context, both reach the same goal. The path of the qualified Brahman is described as superior only because it is easier. The path of the unqualified Brahman is harder, because of the necessity of having to abandon all attachment to the body, from the very beginning of the practice. 280:6 Mortal Samsâra: The round of birth and death. 280:8 Mind—Manas: purpose and thought. Intellect—the faculty which resolves and determines. Live in Me—as My Self. 281:9 Abhyâsa-Yoga: the practice of repeatedly withdrawing the mind from the objects to which it wanders, and trying to fix it on one thing. 282:11 In the preceding Slokas,—first, the concentration of the mind on the Lord is enjoined; in case of inability to do that, Abhyâsa-Yoga is advised; if one finds that to be too hard, the performance of actions for the sake of the Lord alone, has been taught. Those who cannot do this even, who want to do things impelled by personal or other desires, are directed to give up the fruits of those actions to the Lord—i.e., not to anticipate, dwell or build on, or care for, the results, knowing them to be dependent upon the Lord. Those who cannot control their desire for work are taught to practise: indifference to the effects thereof. 283:12 Renunciation of the fruit of all action, as a means to the attainment of Bliss, is merely extolled here by the declaration of the superiority of one over another. Wherefore? Because it constitutes a common factor which immediately precedes Peace, both in the case of the man of wisdom who is steadily engaged in devout contemplation, and also of the ignorant one who, unable to tread the paths taught before, takes it up as the easiest means to Bliss. 285:16 Free from dependence—on the body, the senses, the sense-objects, and their mutual connections. Prompt: able to decide rightly and immediately in matters demanding prompt action. Every undertaking—calculated to secure objects of desire, whether of this world or of the next. 285:17 Hates: Frets at receiving anything undesirable. Grieves—at parting with a beloved object. Desires—the unattained. 286:18 Content with anything, homeless: content with the bare means of bodily sustenance. Says the Mahabharata,— "Who is clad with anything, who is fed on any food, who lies down anywhere, him the gods call a Brâhman."—Shanti Parva.

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = "Since Arjuna knows both facets of Sri Krishna: the form of a friend. a more intimate and more solid 'figure', and of course, who he actually is, the Supreme form. Here, Arjun wants to know, what is the better form to pray to?"
2 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The twelfth discourse indicates that the path of devotion is easier than the path of knowledge. In this path the aspirant worships God in His Cosmic Form of the Supreme Personality. He develops a loving relationship with Him, adores Him, remembers Him and chants His glories and Name. He thus effects union with the Lord and attains not only His formless aspect but also the Lord as the manifest universe.The path of knowledge, whereby the aspirant meditates on the formless Brahman, is more difficult as he has to give up his attachment to the body from the very beginning. He has to have dispassion for the things of the world.How to practise devotion? Krishna asks Arjuna to fix his entire mind on Him. As often as the mind wanders it should be brought back to the Lord. If this process of concentration is difficult he should dedicate all his actions to Him, feeling that it is His power that activates everything. If this also is beyond his ability, he should offer all his actions to the Lord, abandoning the desire for their fruits. He should take complete refuge in Him. The devotee who surrenders himself to the Lord attains perfect peace.The Lord goes on to describe the qualities that a true devotee possesses. He neither attaches himself to anything nor does he have any aversion to things. He has a balanced mind under all circumstances. He is not agitated by the happenings of the world, nor does he himself cause any agitation in others. He is perfectly desireless and rejoices in the Lord within. He sees equality everywhere, being untouched by sorrow, fear, honour as also dishonour. He is perfectly content as he has surrendered his entire being to the Lord."Source: http://www.dlshq.org/download/bgita.htm#_VPID_21"
3 Enakshi Ganguly = "The path to devotion may seem hard as well. Krishna tells Arjun, "Focus on me." Well, what does that mean? How can I only focus on you when I have ten billion other things going on in my life? The answer is not a secret. When we begin to see God in all things, in our daily struggles and our daily joys, we stop sectioning off a set amount of time for God. Instead, we spent our whole lives devoted to That. (That is the Eternal Being, since God is not a man!). When we keep God in mind, we gain more perspective. We begin to understand our mortality, and how temporary our feelings are. What is permanent? This soul, atman, and God, Brahman. Isn't our whole lives, then, to find God, home, once again? Krishna dictates how best to come back home to That. Stop being so overly attached to temporary things. Become kind, and have sweetness within oneself. Devote actions to God, and stop expecting results. He continues more in-depth."
4 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Whosoever devotes themselves to contemplation of the atma will certainly prapnuvanti or attain the Supreme Lord which means that by realisation of the atma is essentially realising an essence of the Supreme Lord which is like unto His essence asparamatma the Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of all living entities. This is what is affirmed later in chapter 14, verse 2 with the words mama sadharmyam agatah meaning endowed with a form similar to the Supreme Lords. The Mundaka Upanisad III.I,II,III beginning niranjanah paramam samyam states: Absolved from all sins one achieves sublime similarity with the Supreme Lord. Also in Mundaka Upanisad I.I-V beginning atha para yaya tad aksharam adhigamyate which means: Now that the higher science by which theaksara can be reached. Parabrahma or the Supreme Lord Himself is also designated by the word aksara for He is the source of all beings. That the Supreme Lord is known as Parabrahma is confirmed as distinct from the atma will be explained later in chapter 15, verse 17. But those who minds are attracted to avyakta the unmanifest, impersonal brahman, their tribulations and difficulties are great. This includes those who meditate upon the atma as well for the meditation of controlling the mind to think of all activities in relation to one's individual atma without being able to imagine it in any way while performing physical and material activities is tantamount to great struggle and futile results.It will be shown next how devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna are superior being better equipped by bhakti to attain communion with the Supreme Lord."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-12-04.html"
5 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The group of transcendentalists who follow the path of the inconceivable, unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord are called jnana-yogis, and persons who are in full Krsna consciousness, engaged in devotional service to the Lord, are calledbhakti-yogis. Now, here the difference between jnana-yoga andbhakti-yoga is definitely expressed. The process of jnana-yoga,although ultimately bringing one to the same goal, is very troublesome, whereas the path of bhakti-yoga, the process of being in direct service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is easier and is natural for the embodied soul. The individual soul is embodied since time immemorial. It is very difficult for him to simply theoretically understand that he is not the body. Therefore, the bhakti-yogi accepts the Deity of Krsna as worshipable because there is some bodily conception fixed in the mind, which can thus be applied. Of course, worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form within the temple is not idol worship. There is evidence in the Vedic literature that worship may be saguna and nirguna--of the Supreme possessing or not possessing attributes. Worship of the Deity in the temple is saguna worship, for the Lord is represented by material qualities. But the form of the Lord, though represented by material qualities such as stone, wood or oil paint, is not actually material. That is the absolute nature of the Supreme Lord. "Source: http://www.asitis.com/12/5.html"
6 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Actions are of two types. One is worldly activities undertaken to maintain and progress the material existence of the physical body such as obtaining food and shelter and material development. The other is spiritual activities enjoined by the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures such as propitiation to the Supreme Lord, absence of violence to any living being, charity, etc. in short every act without an ulterior motive and without a hopeful gain. Whosoever being spiritual minded without any motive except for satisfying the Supreme Lord Krishna and without any desire of seeking anything in return from Him, who offer all their activities as devotion to Him, keeping Him alone as their sole goal and in one-pointed devotion focus their meditation on Him fully while worshipping Him in all their activities such as chanting His holy names, glorifying Him, offering prayers to Him, prostrating before His deity form, hearing about His lilas or divine pastimes, enlightening others about His glories, etc. as the be all and end all of all existence itself. To such devotees as these who always are in communion with Lord Krishna in their hearts and minds, He Himself personally becomes their saviour by being their samuddharta or deliverer from mrtyu-samsara-sagarat or the deadly ocean of the perpetual cycle of birth and death which is the principle barrier which stops the atma's or eternal souls of all jivas or embodied from attaining Him when the end of each physical life has transpired."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-12-05.html"
7 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Inasmuch as the Supreme Lord Krishna is the paramount of all and the ultimate achievement being the highest possible attainment for all living entities throughout creation, one should dedicate themselves exclusively for His satisfaction so He will become easily and swiftly attained by His desire. Let thy manasor mind and buddhim or spiritual intelligence be fully reposed in the Supreme Lord remembering Him always and let thy heart be full ofbhakti or exclusive loving devotion for Him. Thus when the mind has been trained and disciplined and the heart has been infused with divine love then urdhvam meaning after this life, one will reside with Him eternally in the spiritual worlds. Lord Krishna emphasises this as reality with the words na samsayah meaning without a doubt."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-12-06.html"
8 Enakshi Ganguly = "YogaJournal: Abhyâsa-Yoga"
9 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Abhyāsa, in Hinduism, is a spiritual practice which is regularly and constantly practised over a long period of time. It has been prescribed by the great sage Patanjali Maharishi in his Yoga Sutras, and by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as an essential means to control the mind, together with Vairāgya.[1]Sutra 1:12 "Both practice (abhyāsa) and non-reaction (vairāgya) are required to still the patterning of consciousness."[2]Sutra 1:13 "Practice is the sustained effort to rest in that stillness."—as translated by Chip Hartranft in his work The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.[2]"Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhyasa"
10 Enakshi Ganguly = "Krishna begins to expound upon the various 'standards' one has to attain in order to be home again."
11 Enakshi Ganguly = "One does not need to follow the rules of bhakti-yoga, one can have the mind on God at all times, and devote all things to God. As humans, we want to section off what is good and owe it to God, and section off what is bad and perhaps, not confront it. In truth, all good and bad sprout from the Supreme Being. Whether it is perceived as good or bad, it is important to concentrate on one's faith in God, and keep the Divinity in mind when acting or thinking. In doing so, perhaps, we may attain a deeper inner peace than if we thought to be alone in our trials and tribulations/celebrations and joy."
12 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13). To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time, without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience of the eternal core of our being"Source (and more information): http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11216.htm"
13 Enakshi Ganguly = "Perspective from a Yogini: Hot Buddha, Cold Buddha"
14 Enakshi Ganguly = "Blog! Abhyasa and Vairagya. Two Fundamental Approaches in Yoga"
15 Enakshi Ganguly = "Another translation:"If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind."Source: http://www.asitis.com/12/12.html"
16 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The translation field of the word vairagya is actually a bit wider though it is set around one and the same conceptual core. Vayu – wind, to dry; raga – the word that the reader already knows from the article devoted to kleshas that is translated as emotion, mood. In this way vairagya is translated as “drying up one’s emotions” that in classical interpretations is referred to as dispassionateness, detachment, non-attachment and even the exotic variant ofemancipation (Fal’kov)"Source: http://yoga-sutra-comment-eng.blogspot.com/2013/02/abhyasa-and-vairagya-two-fundamental.html"
17 Enakshi Ganguly = "When we are absolved of the idea that we actually possess materials or people, when we become distant from the idea that all things are real and permanent and never changing, we allow faith to take its place and such a replacement nourishes the depths of our soul rather than allow for only surface level comfort."
18 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Coming again to the point of pure devotional service, the Lord is describing the transcendental qualifications of a pure devotee in these two verses. A pure devotee is never disturbed in any circumstances. Nor is he envious of anyone. Nor does a devotee become his enemy's enemy; he thinks that one is acting as his enemy due to his own past misdeeds...Nirmama means that a devotee does not attach much importance to the peace and trouble pertaining to the body because he knows perfectly well that he is not the material body. He does not identify with the body; therefore he is freed from the conception of false ego and is equipoised both in happiness and distress. He is tolerant, and he is satisfied with whatever comes by the grace of the Supreme Lord. He does not endeavor much to achieve something with great difficulty; therefore he is always joyful. He is a completely perfect mystic because he is fixed in the instructions received from the spiritual master, and because his senses are controlled, he is determined. He is not swayed by false argument because no one can lead him from the fixed determination of devotional service. He is fully conscious that Krsna is the eternal Lord, so no one can disturb him. All his qualifications enable him to depend entirely on the Supreme Lord. Such a standard of devotional service is undoubtedly very rare, but a devotee becomes situated in that stage by following the regulative principles of devotional service. Furthermore, the Lord says that such a devotee is very dear to Him, for the Lord is always pleased with all his activities in full Krsna consciousness."Source: http://www.asitis.com/12/13-14.html"
19 Enakshi Ganguly = "A great example of one who does that:The Path of Devotion: Bhakti Yoga"
20 Enakshi Ganguly = ""He does not rejoice when he attains desirable objects nor does he grieve when he parts with his cherished objects. Further, he does not desire the unattained."Source: http://www.dlshq.org/download/bgita.htm#_VPID_21"
21 Enakshi Ganguly = "A world-renowned Swami:Sri Ramakrishna"
22 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The absence of hate towards any being in general has already iterated by Lord Krishna in verse 13 of this chapter with the word advesta meaning free of hatred but that is in a general sense towards every being. The equanimity mentioned here is of a more profound nature that of keeping one's equanimity when seeing one in front of them face to face. The word aniketah means unattached to home or fixed residence due to being firmly attached to bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to the Supreme Lord. Equally balanced in praise and censure, happiness and misery, pleasure and pain etc. Such a devotee of the Supreme Lord Krishna is very dear to Him."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-12-15.html"