Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 212

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

Worship of the Personal Lord is better than meditation of the Absolute

Different Approaches tu sarvam sarvam
mayi samnyasya matparah
ananyenai 'va yogena
mam dhydyanta uudsate
(6) But those, who, laying all their actions on Me, intent on Me, worship, meditating on Me, with unswerving devotion,

7. tesdm aham samuddharta
bhavãmi nacirat partha
mayy avetitacetasam
(7) These whose thoughts are set on Me, I straightway deliver from the ocean of death-bound existence, 0 Partha (Arjuna) God is the deliverer, the saviour. When we set our hearts and minds on Him, He lifts us from the sea of death and secures for us a place in the eternal. For one whose nature is not steeped in vairagya or renunciation, the path of devotion is more suitable. The Bhdgavata says : "The path of devotion is most suitable for him who is neither very tired of nor very attached to the world.[1]It is a matter of temperament whether we adopt the pravrtti dharma, the path of works, or nivrttidharma, the path of renunciation.

8. mayy eva mina ddhatsva
mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasisyasi mayy eva
ata urdhvarh na samsayah
(8) On Me alone fix thy mind, let thy understanding dwell in Me. In Me alone shalt thou live thereafter. Of this there is no doubt.

9. atha cittam samadhatum
na saknosi maya sthiram
abhyasayogena tato
mam iccha 'ptum dhanarhjaya
(9) If, however, thou art not able to fix thy thought steadily on Me, then seek to reach Me by the practice of concentration, 0 Winner of wealth (Arjuna)
It this spiritual condition does not arise spontaneously, we must take up the practice of concentration, so that we may gradually fit ourselves for the steadfast directing of the spirit to God By this practice, the Divine takes gradual possession of our nature

10. abhyase 'py asamartho 'si
matkarmaparamo bhava
rnadartham api karmani
kurvan siddhim avcipsyasi
(10) If thou art unable even to seek by practice, then be as one whose supreme aim is My service ; even performing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection If concentration is found difficult on account of the outward tendencies of the mind or our circumstances, then do all actions for the sake of the Lord. Thus the individual becomes aware of the eternal reality. matkarma is sometimes taken to mean service of the Lord, puja or worship, offering flowers and fruits, burning incense, building temples, reading scriptures, etc.[2]

11. athai tad apy asakto 'sit
kartum madyogam asritah
aah kuru yatatmavan
(11) If thou art not able to do even this, then taking refuge in My disciplined activity, renounce the fruit of all action, with the self subdued madyogam asritah: taking refuge in my wondrous power.—Sridhara. If you cannot dedicate all your works to the Divine, then do the work without desire of the fruit. Adopt the yoga of desireless action, niskamakarma. We can renounce all personal striving, resign ourselves completely and solely to God's saving power, submit to self-discipline and work, abandoning all thought of reward. One must become like a child in the hands of the Divine.

12. sreyo hi jnanam abhyasaj
jnanad dhyanam visisyate
dhydndt karmaphalatyagas
tyagac chantir anantaram
(12) Better indeed is knowledge than the practice (of concentration) ; better than knowledge is meditation ; better than meditation is the renunciation of the fruit of action ; on renunciation (follows) immediately peace.
Sridhara interprets nana as avesa or directing the spirit towards God and dhyana as being full of God, bhagavanrnayatvam, and this is completed in the spirit's full possession of God Himself. Cp. Surya Gita: "Devotion is better than knowledge and desire-less action is better than devotion. He who realizes this principle of Vedanta is to be regarded as the best man.[3] Devotion, meditation and concentration are more difficult than renunciation of the fruits of action, karmaphalatyaga. This latter destroys the sources of unrest and brings about an inner calm and peace, which are the very foundations of spiritual life. The bhakti emphasis leads to the subordination of knowledge and meditation to the devout mind and consecration of all works to God.


References and Context

  1. na mrvinno o natasakto bhaktiyogo'sya siddhidah. XI, 20, 7.
  2. Abhinavagupta regards matkarmam as equivalent to bhagavat karmam as puja, japa, svadhyaya, homa, etc.
  3. jnanad upastir uthrsta karrnotkrstam upasanat iti yo veda vedantaih sa eva purusottamah. 114, 77.