Bhagavad Gita-Chapter 12 Bhakti Yogah-Yoga of Devotion


ye tu sarvaani karmaani mayi sannyasya matparaah
ananyenaiva yogena maam dhyaayanta upaasate // 12.6 //

But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme goal, meditating on Me with unswerving devotion;

teshaamaham samuddhartaa mrtyusamsaarasaagaraat
bhavaami  nachiraat paartha mayyaaveshitachetasaam // 12.7 //

For them whose minds are set on Me, verily I become ere long, O Partha, the saviour out of the ocean of finite experiences, the samsara.

Later on in this Chapter the way of life prescribed for the worshippers of the unmanifest Lord has been dealt with. Now the discipline in life for a seeker through his devotion on the manifest lord is described.

Sri Krishna lays down certain conditions to be followed by those who want to meditate upon the Form of The Lord and concludes that those who follow these instructions fully and sincerely will be saved from their mortal limitations by Himself on whose form they have been contemplating. These instructions are:
•Renouncing all actions in Him - renouncing one's individual ego and limitations and identifying oneself with Him by complete surrender before The Lord.
•Regarding Him as the supreme goal - directing one's energy and dealings for achieving the goal of self perfection symbolised in the form of The Lord.
•Meditating on Him with unswerving devotion - Lifting the mind from agitation prone thoughts to a greater goal with single-pointed attention.

Thus Upasana is not merely meditation upon the goal but becoming one with the goal contemplated upon. Sri Krishna assures such a devotee that He will be his saviour from all imperfections, agitations and sorrows of the mortal life and that too ere long.

For the one whose nature is not steeped in vairagya or renunciation, for the one who is neither very tired of nor very attached to the world, the path of devotion is the most suitable one (Bhagavata XI.20.7). It is a matter of temperament whether we adopt the pravritti dharma, the path of works or nivritti dharma, the path of renunciation.

mayyeva mana aadhatswa mayi buddhim niveshaya
nivasishyasi mayyeva ata oordhwam na samshayah // 12.8 //

Fix your mind on Me alone, place your intellect in Me; thereafter you shall, no doubt, live in Me alone.

Fix your mind on Me - By meditation, mind can be made to concentrate on the form of The Lord giving up all thoughts of sense objects.

Place your intellect in Me - Also the intellect, which discriminates and determines, should be made to focus itself on The Lord.

Live in Me alone - If the mind rests on The Lord and the intellect understands the Infinite, the individuality ends and one merges with the Infinite, the All Pervading. There is no doubt about this says Sri Krishna.


atha chittam samaadhaatum na shaknoshi mayi sthiram
abhyaasayogena tato maamicchaaptum dhananjaya // 12.9 //

If you are unable to fix your mind steadily on Me, then by the Yoga of constant practice you do seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya.

If one is not able to fix his mind and intellect wholly on the Lord without any break then Sri Krishna advises that by constant practice to steady the mind and fix it on one point one can achieve realisation. The practice of withdrawing the mind from all sorts of sensual objects and fixing it again and again on one particular ideal or a tangible symbol or the Self with the help of discriminative intellect which rules over and directs the mental energies is known as Abhyasa. By such constant practice, Divinity takes gradual possession of our nature.

abhyaase'pyasamartho'si  matkarmaparamo bhava
madarthamapi karmaani kurvansiddhimavaapyasi // 12.10 //

If you are unable even to seek by practice, then you be intent on doing actions for My sake; even by performing actions for My sake, you shall attain perfection.

If concentration is found difficult on account of the outward tendencies of the mind or external circumstances, then do all actions for the sake of The Lord. Thus the individual with the purity of mind achieved becomes aware of the Eternal Reality.

athaitadapyashakto'si kartum madyogamaashritah
sarvakarmaphalatyaagam tatah kuru yataatmavaan // 12.11 //

If you are unable to do even this, taking refuge in Me, self controlled, surrender the fruits of all actions.

Renouncing the fruits of action - Every action culminates in a result or fruit at a future date. Generally individuals waste their energies in worrying about the future results of their present actions. Sri Krishna urges here to curb these wasteful anxieties and fears about the future and do the work without desire of the fruit by surrendering all the fruits of actions to Him. He says that even this act can integrate one's personality and make him single pointed and strong.

In the preceding four verses, the concentration of the mind on The Lord is enjoined first; in case of inability to do that, three alternatives have been put forward to achieve the same goal. They are:  
•Abhyasa Yoga, constant practice to still the mind.
•Performance of actions for the sake of The Lord alone.
•Giving up the fruits of actions to The Lord i.e. the Yoga of desireless action, nishkamakarma.

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