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CHAPTER 12

Devotion

Arjuna There are people who worship you (as a personal god with form and attributes) with their mind fixed on you. There are others who contemplate on the eternal and formless. Who among them knows yoga better? 1

Arjuna wishes to know who is better established in yoga (union with supreme) – those who worship Krishna as he just described (11:55 - page 198) or those who follow his earlier statement (7:24 - page 142).

Krishna In my opinion, those who always worship me (as a personal god with form and attributes) with focus and faith are better established in yoga. 2

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THE NEW BHAGAVAD-GITA

Yet those who worship the all-pervading, the eternal, the formless, the changeless, the inconceivable, and the immovable, 3

with complete control over their senses, balanced in all situations, and rejoicing in the welfare of all, also reach me.

4

Greater is the trouble for those who contemplate on the formless for it is only through much pain that they succeed in the path to the invisible, formless god. 5

Those who worship me by dedicating their actions to me, considering me as the supreme goal, and meditating upon me with single-minded concentration, I liberate them from the deadly ocean of worldly life. 6,7

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Devotion

If you fix your mind on the supreme you will certainly reach the supreme. There is no doubt about this! 8

If you can’t focus on the supreme, then try to reach the supreme through diligent practice.

9

Often, it is easier to focus on our work than to meditate on an unseen, supreme being.

If you are incapable of regular practice then try to dedicate all your actions to the supreme. This way, you will attain perfection. 10

If we realize that our work is part of the grand cosmic design, it brings a greater purpose to the activities that we look upon as mundane.

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THE NEW BHAGAVAD-GITA

But if you are unable to dedicate all your actions to the supreme then act with self-restraint, giving up the Fruits of your actions. 11

‘Fruits’ of action are the rewards or results of our work. One should ideally focus on the Work and not on the Fruits.

Knowledge is better than blindly following routines. 12

‘Routines’ refers to mechanically performing an action without understanding the underlying principles.

Contemplation is better than knowledge. Renouncing the Fruits of one’s actions is better than contemplation because soon after this, one attains peace. One who harbors no hatred, who is gentle and friendly to all, who is beyond the feeling of ‘I’ or ‘mine’, who is poised in pain or pleasure and is endowed with forgiveness (is dear to me). 13

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Devotion

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THE NEW BHAGAVAD-GITA

The yogi who is self-controlled, always content, and of firm resolve, with single-minded devotion to me, is dear to me! 14

He is dear to me whose peace is not shaken by anyone, who is at peace with everyone, and who is free from fear, restlessness, envy, and reckless joy. 15

One who is pure and expects nothing, one who is diligent, impartial, and calm, one who works without selfish motives and is devoted to me, is dear to me! 16

He neither revels nor hates nor complains nor craves, he has given up fortune and misfortune, and he is truly devoted. He is dear to me! 17

The outcome of a process may be favorable or unfavorable; but it makes no difference to such a person because he has given up reacting to both. Generally we tend to enjoy good fortune and complain about misfortune but such a person does neither; he just does his work.

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Devotion He is the same to friend and foe, in honor and disgrace, to heat and cold, in pleasure and pain; he is free from attachments!

18

Praise and criticism are the same to him, he is contemplative and contented, he does not care for a home, he is steady-minded, and he is full of devotion. He is dear to me!

19

‘He does not care for a home’ indicates that he doesn’t consider any place as home, yet he feels at home everywhere.

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THE NEW BHAGAVAD-GITA

Those who regard me as the highest goal and practice with sincerity and faith the immortal wisdom that I have declared are indeed very dear to me!

20

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Chapter 12. Devotion