Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 36

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 36
Bhagavad Gita Chapter XII

Arjuna said, 'Of those worshippers who, constantly devoted, adore thee, and those who (meditate) on thee as the Immutable and Unmanifest, who are best acquainted with devotion?

The Holy One said, 'Fixing (their) mind on me, they that constantly adore me, being endued (besides) with the highest faith, are deemed by me to be the most devoted. They, however, who worship the Immutable, the Unmanifest, the All-pervading, the Inconceivable, the Indifferent, the Immutable, the Eternal, who, restraining the entire group of the senses, are equal-minded in respect of all around and are engaged in the good of all creatures, (also) attain to me. The trouble is the greater for those whose minds are fixed on the Unmanifest; for the path to the Unmanifest is hard to find by those that are embodied. They (again) who, reposing all action on me (and) regarding me as their highest object (of attainment), worship me, meditating on me with devotion undirected to anything else, of them whose minds are (thus) fixed on me, I, without delay, become the deliverer from the ocean of (this) mortal world. Fix thy heart on me alone, place thy understanding on me, Hereafter then shalt thou dwell in me. (There is) no doubt (in this).[1] If however, thou art unable to fix thy heart steadily on me, then, O Dhananjaya, strive to obtain me by devotion (arising) from continuous application. If thou beest unequal to even (this) continuous application, then let actions performed for me be thy highest aim. Even performing all thy acts for my sake, thou wilt obtain perfection. If even this thou art unable to do, then resorting to devotion in me, (and) subduing thy soul, abandon the fruit of all actions.

Knowledge is superior to application (in devotion); meditation is better than knowledge; the abandonment of the fruit of reaction (is better) than meditation; and tranquillity (results) immediately from abandonment. He who hath no hatred for any creature, who is friendly and compassionate also, who is free from egoism, who hath no vanity, attachment, who is alike in pleasure and pain, who is forgiving, contented, always devoted, of subdued soul, firm of purpose, with heart and understanding fixed on me, even he is dear to me. He through whom the world is not troubled, (and) who is not troubled by the world, who is free from joy, wrath, fear and anxieties, even he is dear to me. That devotee of mine who is unconcerned, pure, diligent, unconnected (with worldly objects), and free from distress (of mind), and who renounceth every action (for fruit), even he is dear to me.[2] He who hath no joy, no aversion, who neither grieveth nor desireth, who renounceth both good and evil, (and) who is full of faith in me, even he is dear to me. He who is alike to friend and foe, as also in honour and dishonour, who is alike in cold and heat, (and pleasure and pain), who is free from attachment, to whom censure and praise are equal, who is taciturn, who is contented with anything that cometh (to him), who is homeless, of steady mind and full of faith, even that man is dear to me. They who resort to this righteousness (leading to) immortality which hath been (already) declared,—those devotees full of faith and regarding me as the highest object (of their acquisition) are the dearest to me.



  1. Ata urddham is 'after this,' or 'hereafter on high' as Mr. Davies renders it.
  2. Although the limitation "for fruit" does not occur in the text, yet, it is evident, it should be understood. Krishna does not recommend the total abandonment of actions, but abandonment for their fruit. Mr. Davies renders arambha as "enterprise.