Bhagavad Gita -Srila Prabhupada 530

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is -Shri Shrimad A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Devotional Service
Chapter 12: Verse-5

kleso ’dhikataras tesam avyaktäsakta-cetasäm
avyaktä hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir aväpyate[1]


For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.


The group of transcendentalists who follow the path of the inconceivable, unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord are called jnäna-yogis, and persons who are in full krsna consciousness, engaged in devotional service to the Lord, are called bhakti-yogis. Now, here the difference between jnäna-yoga and bhakti-yoga is definitely expressed. The process of jnäna-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. A crude example may be given here. We may find some mailboxes on the street, and if we post our letters in those boxes, they will naturally go to their destination without difficulty. But any old box, or an imitation which we may find somewhere but which is not authorized by the post office, will not do the work. Similarly, God has an authorized representation in the Deity form, which is called arcä-vigraha. This arcä-vigraha is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. God will accept service through that form. The Lord is omnipotent, all-powerful; therefore, by His incarnation as arcä-vigraha He can accept the services of the devotee, just to make it convenient for the man in conditioned life.



  1. klesah=trouble; adhika-tarah=very much; tesam=of them; avyakta=to the
    unmanifested; äsakta=attached; cetasäm=of those whose minds; avyaktä=toward the unmanifested; hi=certainly; gatih=progress;
    duhkham=with trouble; deha-vadbhih=by the embodied; aväpyate=is achieved.

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