Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Bringing back the much enjoyed open discussion on the Gita, for general public. Proceeds Chapter and verse wise. For the keen student seeking a deep understanding of Krishna’s counsel! Registration necessary.
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Bringing back the much enjoyed open discussion on the Gita, for general public. Proceeds chapter and verse wise. For the keen student seeking a deep understanding of Krishna’s counsel! Registration necessary.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:01 am

Hari Om. Pranam to all.

With Bhagavan's grace, Pujya Gurudev and Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji's blessings, the group has successfully completed systematic study of 11th Chapter of Gita, Visva Rupa Darsana Yoga.

Let's now study the next chapter, Chapter 12 - Gita Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga- the Yoga of Devotion.

Guidelines:

We will stick to Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji's Gita text for our study and Pujya Swami Advayanandaji's "Gita Ready Reference" book for our main reference. Additional references only from Chinmaya Mission Acharya's discourses/CDs/DVDs/Shankara Bhashya as well as teachers in the line of Advaita parampara will be allowed and appreciated. We will take up the verses according to the thought flow for our discussion.

Since we are starting a new topic I invite all readers to come forward and join this discussion actively. If we have more participants we will get more views and that will enrich our Satsang. I also request respected Acharyas here to please help us in our effort. There are different ways you can participate in this discussion.

Category 1. You would like to be an integral part of this study group and will be committed to study. You will be posting verses, writing your thoughts/reflections/references on verses regularly. I will count on you to be regular and will call you out for contributing.

Category 2. You would like to be a casual contributor because you are very interested in participating but cannot devote regular time. You will participate as and when you have time. I will not call you out for any time critical tasks like posting verses. You are very welcome to contribute/ask questions anytime as long as you stick to guideline above and keep your posting relevant to the ongoing discussion.

Category 3. You are an Acharya or Brahmachari or Swamiji or knowledgeable Vedanta Scholar of Chinmaya Mission. You would like to provide guidance to us or give pointers to us when you have time. We will be very grateful to you ! You may remain anonymous without revealing your identity if that's what you like, as long as you identify yourself in category 3.

Please specify which category you would like to join. A brief introduction about you will be helpful too.

The existing Category 1 members are
Muruganji
Sathyavathi ji
Priyaji
Sujaji
Nikhil
Dr Lakshmi

These members need not introduce themselves again. Any new members are welcome and should introduce and participate in this satsang.

Looking forward to everyone's active participation and enriching the learning experience from this forum.

Regards
Arvind Kannan
Arvind
 
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:54 am

Hari Om,

Let us now see Sloka 1 of Chapter 12. Let us try to answer these questions :
(1) How is the previous Chapter connected to Arjuna's question in Sloka 1?
(2) What is the nature of Arjuna's question?
(3) What can we understand about the reflection that Arjuna has done on what Bhagavan has spoken till now on the basis of his question? Or, why did this question arise in Arjuna's mind?

Pranams
Arvind
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:09 am

Sloka 1
अर्जुन उवाच
एवं सततयुक्ता ये भक्तास्त्वां पर्युपासते ।
ये चाप्यक्षरमव्यक्तं तेषां के योगवित्तमाः ॥


Word to Word Meaning:
अर्जुन उवाच : Arjuna spoke
एवं = Thus
सततयुक्ता = ever steadfast
ये = those
भक्तास्त्वां = your devotees
पर्युपासते = who worship You
ये = (as well) as those
चाप्यक्षरमव्यक्तं = (who worship) the imperishable, the unmanifested
तेषां के = among those
योगवित्तमाः = (who is) better verses in Yoga

Full Sloka Meaning:
Those devotees who, ever steadfast, thus worship You, and also those who worship the Imperishable, the Un-manifested- which of them are better versed in Yoga?

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:11 am

Sloka 1

The 12th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita begins with a question of Arjuna.A question pre-supposes a doubt.
A question arises when when one does not see a logical connection. Upto 10th Chapter we find Sri Krishna giving upasana of nirguna Brahman (here and there). But the Lord has also recommended saguna upasana (saguna is at times glorified, my devotee never perishes and so on).This sets the ground for Arjuna's question- for liberation which is better ? Who is the best amongst those who possesses the means for liberation?

एवं, in this way- in the day you have said , a recalling in the mind of what has already been spoken till now.

सततयुक्ता , those who are ever united with the Lord as a full time activity - whether saguna or nirguna

भक्तास्त्वां पर्युपासते - the devotees who worship you. The saguna bhakta worships the Virat form of the odd as explained in Chapter 11, as also serving the world as an expression of the Lord only.

ये चाप्यक्षरमव्यक्तं - and then there are "others", a second category who worship the nirguna Brahman, the unmanifest. They worship the Aksaram, the subject matter of the Upanishads that uses the language of negation. The method of worship is exclusively sravana, mananam and nidhidyasanam - meaning they are in 'karma sanyaasa'.

तेषां के - among these two categories

योगवित्तमाः - who is more well equipped in Yoga, that is the means. Idea is both are trying for liberation, but of these two paths- which means is better to reach the Goal? This is the purport of the question.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby lakssg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:56 pm

Verse 1

After the divine vision which was an actual demonstration of Lords cosmic form as expounded in the Vibuthi yoga Arjuna is determined to reach the goal .In the end of the 11th chapter the Lord has glorified Bhakthi and has made it crystal clear that with unwavering devotion “by dedicating all activities to the Lord, by considering Lord as goal, by seeing Lord in all beings” only one can attain the Divine.
Even though nirguna jnana nista has been glorified by Lord in many places , saguna brahma upasana -bhakthi also is equally glorified.
Arjuna was under the impression that those who abide on nirguna brahma are better placed than saguna upasakas
After the divine vision where he had a direct vision of the lord and by lords word regarding the importance of devotion Arjuna wants to know exactly
=whom to meditate for a definite result - saguna sakara or nirguna brahma
= who has a better grasp over the means to liberation- saguna bhaktha or niguna jnani
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:10 am

Hari Om,

Let us now see Slokas 2,3, and 4.

Pranams
Arvind
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:14 am

Sloka 2
श्रीभगवानुवाच
मय्यावेश्य मनो ये मां नित्ययुक्ता उपासते ।
श्रद्धया परयोपेतास्ते मे युक्ततमा मताः ॥


Word to Word Meaning
श्रीभगवानुवाच = The Lord spoke
मय्यावेश्य = On Me fixing
मनो ये मां = the mind in Me
नित्ययुक्ता = ever steadfast
उपासते = (those) who worship
श्रद्धया परयोपेतास्ते मे = endowed with supreme faith
युक्ततमा = they are best versed in Yoga
मताः = (in My) opinion

Full Sloka Meaning:
Those who, fixing their mind in Me, worship Me, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, these , in my opinion, are best in Yoga.

Sloka 3
ये त्वक्षरमनिर्देश्यमव्यक्तं पर्युपासते।
सर्वत्रगमचिन्त्यं च कूटस्थमचलं ध्रुवम्‌ ॥


Word to Word Meaning
ये = Who
त्वक्षरम = Verily the Imperishable
अनिर्देश्यम = the indefinable
अव्अयक्तं = the unmanifest
पर्युपासते = (those) who worship
सर्वत्रगम - the Omnipresent
अचिन्त्यं च = the unthinkable also
कूटस्थम = the unchangeable
अचलं - the immovable
ध्रुवम्‌ = the Eternal

Full Sloka Meaning:
Those who worship the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Unmanifest, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, The Immovable and the Eternal...

Sloka 4
सन्नियम्येन्द्रियग्रामं सर्वत्र समबुद्धयः ।
ते प्राप्नुवन्ति मामेव सर्वभूतहिते रताः ॥


Word to Word Meaning:
सन्नियम्येन्द्रियग्रामं = Having restrained the sense organs
सर्वत्र = everywhere
समबुद्धयः = even minded
ते प्राप्नुवन्ति = they also come
मामेव = to Me alone
सर्वभूतहिते रताः = (those) who always seek the welfare of all beings

Full Sloka Meaning
Having restrained all the senses, even-minded everywhere, rejoicing ever in the welfare of all beings - verily they also come into Me.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Schandra » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:40 am

Hari Om

Shloka 1

The Lord in His earlier teachings in the preceding chapters has praised Nirguna Ishvara Dhyana(free of all attributes) and in the previous chapter He reveals His cosmic form (Visvarupa)which He reveals to undying , steadfast devotion. This is Saguna Ishvara Dhyana, which He also praises equally. Arjuna as a result of this has a logical doubt in his mind as to who according to the Lord is the more superior bhakta? The one following the Nirguna Ishvara Dhyana or Saguna Ishvara Dhyana ? Arjuna seeks this clarification to enable him to follow the better path to attain the ultimate goal.
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:19 am

Sloka 2

The question asked by Arjuna is who is better equipped with the means for liberation - saguna or nirguna bhakta. The gist of the Lord's answer is it depends where the mind goes easily or abides in. To ascertain this the Lord explains who a saguna bhakta is in Sloka 2, and who a nirguna bhakta is in Sloka 3-4.

First the Lord defines who is an ideal saguna bhakta (one who worships the Personal Form) and who is an ideal nirguna bhakta (one who worships the Formless).

The Lord says there are three main characteristics of a saguna bhakta:
(1) He has faith. Faith is the foremost thing. The definition of Faith is I believe the Shastras but I have not experienced it- but I know it is true. Without this no progress is possible.
(2) He has love for the Lord and hence he is steadfast in his love. His love is not divided between the world and God.
(3) His mind has "entered" the Lord. The Lord uses मय्यावेश्य, which means that the mind has entered into Bhagavan. This might be through japa, meditation , kirtan, dance or Pooja etc. Mind is emotional, intellect is rational. The mind has the ability , through emotion to lift and place it in an object. That is not possible by buddhi which requires data for processing. But with mind one can generate emotion and become one with the object. Hence this bhakti is best for those employing their minds, and using the mind they have entered the "Lord" by single thought of Him. This is meaning of मय्यावेश्य.

Hence a true devotee of Saguna (Personal Form) is one who is endowed with all of the above.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:20 pm

Sloka 3
ये त्वक्षरमनिर्देश्यमव्यक्तं पर्युपासते।
सर्वत्रगमचिन्त्यं च कूटस्थमचलं ध्रुवम्‌ ॥


This Sloka and the next talks about Nirguna Brahman. The characteristics of Nirguna Brahman is given in this Sloka.

(1)Brahman is called avyakta , meaning un-manifested. Brahman never becomes an object of perception.
(2) Since he is unmanifest he is anirdesyam meaning he cannot be indicated by any means or by pointers. It is not available for perception or can never become an object of perception. He always remains behind all manifestation. Consciousness will never become manifested. Also therefore it is nirguna, no description is possible.
(3) Because it is avyakta it is imperishable indicated by the word 'aksaram'. For it is not born, how can that which is not be born be perishable ?
(4) There is not action involved in it, as action is possible only in Time and Space. Therefore it is ध्रुवम्‌, immovable.
(5) That which is imperishable and un-manifest only can be everywhere hence it is all-pervading सर्वत्रगम.
(6) Because it is 'avyakta' therefore it is 'achintyam' because it never is an object of perception. Hence words cannot describe it or be brought into the mind's comprehension to describe it. Mind can think only where there is data present.
(7) कूटस्थम - कूट means Maya , false or illusory. Hence कूट referes to the seed of Samsara. कूटस्थम means one who is presiding over this Maya and not affected by it. कूटस्थम also means that which is a support or substratum that remains unaffected or unchanged.
Hence by the nature of these indicators the Nirguna Brahman is indicated.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:27 pm

Sloka 4

Now what is the requirements, or sadhana required to understand or abide in this Nirguna Brahman is said in Sloka 4. The idea is if abidance in Nirguna Brahman is required these three adjustments in the individuality are required. All the three are qualified with a verb सर्वत्र - meaning always these three must be there. They are:
(1) सन्नियम्येन्द्रियग्रामं - Complete withdrawal and control of the senses.
(2) समबुद्धयः - Equanimity of mind - in favorable and unfavorable conditions. The fullness arising from the knowledge of the Self.
(3) सर्वभूतहिते ररताः - Seeking always the welfare of all beings.
Bhagavan says a nirguna Bhakta is one who abides in the form of Brahman as described in Sloka 3, and has a good measure of all the above three qualities.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:08 am

Hari Om,

Now let us see Sloka 5.

Pranams
Arvind
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Schandra » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:09 am

Hari Om

Shloka 2

Arjuna has posed the question to the Lord as to which Bhakta, Saguna or Nirguna is superior. Lord Krishna explains in this Shloka the characteristics exhibited by the Saguna Bhakta. For this form of Dhyana, the bhakta needs to have his mind fixed on the Lord in a consistent and steadfast manner along with an intense and unwavering faith in Him which will bring about an inner transformation in the bhakta. Therefore a Saguna bhakta is a superior bhakta.. Having said this , Lord Krishna explains what the characteristics of the Nirguna Ishvara are and the qualities required for one to pursue Nirguna Ishvara Dhyanam in Shlokas 3 and 4.

Shloka 3

The Lord recaps the qualities of Nirguna Ishvara . He is:

1. Avyaktaha : not perceivable by any of the sense organs
2. Achintyam: cannot even be conceived by the mind.
3. Anirdeshyam: indescribable
4. Sarvatragam: all pervading
5. Achalam: immovable
6. Kutastam: free from changes or modifications
7. Dhruvam: eternal

Since the Nirguna Ishvara is such an abstract and therefore a very difficult concept to grasp, a bhakta who wants to pursue Nirguna Ishvara Dhyanam needs certain preparatory qualifications or qualities that Bhagwan cites in the next Shloka.

Shloka 4

The preparatory qualifications for Nirguna Ishvara Dhyanam are 1) mastery over the sense organs which tend to roam in an extroverted manner, taking the mind along with them. Since the Nirguna Ishvara is unobjectifiable, it means meditating on the Nirguna Isnvara is actually meditating on one's own true nature or atma. Therefore the sense organs should look inward and not be extroverted. 2) Shouls maintain equanimty under all circumstances. The mind should be rid of raga and dvesha.
3) should be filled with empathy and committed to the well being of all creation , exhibiting a largeness of mind.

Such a bhakta (Nirguna Bhakta) will attain the Lord Himself( moksha).
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:17 pm

Sloka 5
क्लेशोऽधिकतरस्तेषामव्यक्तासक्तचेतसाम्‌ ।
अव्यक्ता हि गतिर्दुःखं देहवद्भिरवाप्यते


क्लेशोऽ = Difficulty is
अधिकतरस्तेषाम = greater for those
अव्यक्तासक्त चेतसाम्‌ = whose minds in set on the un-manifest
अव्यक्ता हि = for the un-manifest as
गति = the goal
र्दुःखं = is sorrowful
देहवद्भिरवाप्यते = for the embodied

Full Sloka Meaning:
Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the 'Un-manifest'; for the goal, the 'Un-manifest', is very hard for the embodied to reach.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:07 am

Bhagavan in Sloka 5 talks about those seekers who directly try to meditate upon the Nirguna Brahman without adequate preparation on the Lord with form. In other words they are not endowed with the required mental purity to meditate on the formless aspect of the Divine.
For such people अधिकतरस्तेषाम, the difficulty is more. By this the Lord indicates that even meditation on the Form of the Lord is difficult, but here the difficulty is "greater". Again we must not understand that "greater" means if the seeker puts in more effort he will succeed. It only goes to say that he will fail in his efforts if he directly tries to meditate on the Nirguna Brahman.
Not only that it will be र्दुःखं, sorrow only as the seeker will try to meditate and he will be frustrated. If the earlier Saguna meditation is not done, such an exercise will be futile and sorrowful.

Now, but for whom is this told or indicated? That is indicated by the word देहवद्भि - for the embodied Jiva. For the jiva who is identified or given reality to this body, mind and intellect, for such a person it is difficult. For one who has to some extent detached from his body by performing Karma Yoga and Upasana on Saguna Brahman, for such a person the Nirguna Meditation will be effortless. This must be understood.

Here the instruction is for Arjuna, and for most jivas. For majority of people Saguna meditation is recommended and not Nirguna. This answer's Arjuna's question - as to which is better- Saguna or Nirguna Dhyana, It depends on the capacity, strength and earlier preparation of the seeker.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby sathiavathi » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:56 pm

Hari Om
Verse-1
In this verse Arjuna wants to understand the right path of spiritual evolution
and asks here a pertinent question regarding the two types of seekers, seeking one and the same goal.Some mediate
upon the manifested form of the infinite, directly perceptible to the sense organs. Others contemplate upon the
unmanifested supreme, not directly perceptible to the sense organs. Both of them are sincere and progress
onwards.But the question is as to which, out of these type of seekers, is better versed in yoga.

Verse-2
In this verse Lord explains three main necessary conditions that are necesaary and unavoidable for one to
become a true devotee. Perfect faith,ever steadfast in worship and one's mind totally merged with the concept
of god, if these three are accomplished in anyone , he is considered as the most steadfast devotee by the Lord.

Verse 3 and 4
In these verses Lord is trying to describe those who meditate upon the unmanifest, the imperishable, the indefinable,the omnipresent,the immovable and the eternal form of Lord. Lord says that those who meditate the unmanifest form of Lord fixing their mind on the unmanifest, are able to control their sense organs, keep themselves equanimous and make it their nature to serve others too reach the same goal the supreme self.

Verse-5
In this verse Lord declares that those whose thoughts are fixed on the unmanifest they have to face greater difficulty in reaching the supreme. Lord explains why it is hard for the embodied to reach the unmanifest.
Embodied means those who are attached to their bodies. If one lives only a life of sensuality and satisfaction of body-cravings, one will find it too difficult to take to steady and continuous meditation upon the subtle theme of infinite,formless and allpervading. A mind and intellect agitated,panting and restless, suffering from desirous plays are not vehecles that can successfully fly beyond the frontiers of names and forms to the endless spiritual glory.
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Schandra » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:57 am

Hari Om

Shloka 5

Lord Krishna admits that the Nirguna Ishvara Dhyanam is extremely difficult and is filled with innumerable and almost insurmountable obstacles. The destination of the formless one is difficult to reach for the ordinary people not only because it needs lots of qualifications and preparation but also due to the biggest obstacle being that the majority of the people have a strong attachment to the physical body which is of the grossest form. When the mind is thus fixated on such a gross from, it is unable to understand or sense something as subtle as the formless Nirguna Ishvara. Like in any subject, a concrete concept is easier to comprehend than an abstract one. The intellect which is so used to objectification therefore finds it very difficult to pursue the formless or the Nirguna Ishvara Dhyanam.
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:34 am

Hari Om,

Thank you for the reflections. Let us now see Slokas 6 and 7.

Pranams
Arvind
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:58 pm

Sloka 6
ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि सन्नयस्य मत्पराः ।
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते ॥


Word to Word Meaning
ये तु = But those
सर्वाणि = all
कर्माणि = actions
मयि = in Me
सन्नयस्य = renouncing
मत्पराः = regarding Me as the Supreme Goal
अनन्येनैव = single-minded
योगेन = with Yoga
मां = Me
ध्यायन्त = meditating upon
उपासते = worship

Full Sloka Meaning
But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on e with single-minded devotion (Yoga)

Sloka 7
तेषामहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्युसंसारसागरात्‌ ।
भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशितचेतसाम्‌ ॥


Word to Word Meaning
तेषामहं = For them
समुद्धर्ता = the saviour
मृत्यु संसार सागरात्‌ = out of the ocean of the mortal samsara
भवामि = (I) become
नचिरात्पार्थ = ere long O Partha
मय्या = in me
वेशितचेतसाम्‌ = of those whose minds are set

Full Sloka Meaning
For them, whose minds are set on Me, verily I become , ere-long, O partha, the Saviour, (to save them) out of the ocean of finite experiences , the Samsara.

Hari Om
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Re: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12- Bhakti Yoga

Postby Arvind » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:06 am

Slokas 6 and 7

In Sloka 5 it was said that Nirguna Dhayna , meditation on the formless aspect of the Lord is extremely difficult and is not suitable for those jivas who are attached to the body. For them saguna upasana, or devotion of the form of the Lord has been advised.

Now Bhagavan himself explains what constitutes Saguna Bhakti. The Lord explains the characteristics of a devotee who is walking the path of devotion on the transcendental form of the Lord.
The first condition is that he changes his self definition- the Lord is to be served and one becomes a servant. This is indicated by the word मत्पराः, meaning making Him the centre of one's life. When the object or goal becomes the Lord, therefore all activities also become dedicated to the Lord , hence the second condition is सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि सन्नयस्य, dedicating all the actions one does for the Lord alone, including the results of the action. And finally such a thing or attitude should not be part time, but full time one must give undivided attention to the Lord hence अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते, such devotees worship Me 24*7. It is not that the attention is divided between the world and the Lord.
To such a such a devotee alone, the Lord promises in Sloka 7, that I become their saviour. The Lord personally says he will come and lift the devotee from the pangs of Samsara. As the devotee has surrendered to the Lord, he takes now responsibility for the devotee and his liberation, this is the idea.

In the path of Nirguna upasana or Jnana, the devotee puts in self-effort. But in Saguna upasana the Lord helps the devotee. Of course the devotee has to put some effort, and when he moves ahead with zeal the Lord is also pleased and he comes and lifts the devotee. There is impetus on God's side as all and things move forward. He takes responsibility as devotee has surrendered fully to the Lord. Seeing the love of the devotee the Lord responds, this is the power of love.

Hari Om
Arvind
 
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