CHAPTER 12: Devotional activity
©2001, TheBhagavatGita.com



Text: 1, 2, 3-4, 5, 6-7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-14, 15, 16, 17, 18-19, 20

TEXT 1

arjuna uvaca
evam satata-yukta ye
bhaktas tvam paryupasate
ye capy aksaram avyaktam
tesam ke yoga-vittamah

WORD FOR WORD

arjunah uvaca -- Arjuna said; evam -- thus; satata -- always; yuktah -- engaged; ye -- those who; bhaktah -- devotees; tvam -- You; paryupasate -- properly worship; ye -- those who; ca -- also; api -- again; aksaram -- beyond the senses; avyaktam -- the unmanifested; tesam -- of them; ke -- who; yoga-vit-tamah -- the most perfect in knowledge of yoga.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna inquired: Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in Your devotional service or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested?

 



TEXT 2

sri-bhagavan uvaca
mayy avesya mano ye mam
nitya-yukta upasate
sraddhaya parayopetas
te me yuktatama matah

WORD FOR WORD

sri-bhagavan uvaca -- The Supreme said; mayi -- upon Me; avesya -- fixing; manah -- the mind; ye -- those who; mam -- Me; nitya -- always; yuktah -- engaged; upasate -- worship; sraddhaya -- with faith; paraya -- transcendental; upetah -- endowed; te -- they; me -- by Me; yukta-tamah -- most perfect in yoga; matah -- are considered.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme said: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be most perfect.

 



TEXTS 3-4

ye tv aksaram anirdesyam
avyaktam paryupasate
sarvatra-gam acintyam ca
kuta-stham acalam dhruvam

sanniyamyendriya-gramam
sarvatra sama-buddhayah
te prapnuvanti mam eva
sarva-bhuta-hite ratah

WORD FOR WORD

ye -- those who; tu -- but; aksaram -- that which is beyond the perception of the senses; anirdesyam -- indefinite; avyaktam -- unmanifested; paryupasate -- completely engage in worshiping; sarvatra-gam -- all-pervading; acintyam -- inconceivable; ca -- also; kuta-stham -- unchanging; acalam -- immovable; dhruvam -- fixed; sanniyamya -- controlling; indriya-gramam -- all the senses; sarvatra -- everywhere; sama-buddhayah -- equally disposed; te -- they; prapnuvanti -- achieve; mam -- Me; eva -- certainly; sarva-bhuta-hite -- for the welfare of all living entities; ratah -- engaged.

TRANSLATION

But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable -- the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth -- by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me.

 



TEXT 5

kleso 'dhikataras tesam
avyaktasakta-cetasam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham
dehavadbhir avapyate

WORD FOR WORD

klesah -- trouble; adhika-tarah -- very much; tesam -- of them; avyakta -- to the unmanifested; asakta -- attached; cetasam -- of those whose minds; avyakta -- toward the unmanifested; hi -- certainly; gatih -- progress; duhkham -- with trouble; deha-vadbhih -- by the embodied; avapyate -- is achieved.

TRANSLATION

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.

 



TEXTS 6-7

ye tu sarvani karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena
mam dhyayanta upasate

tesam aham samuddharta
mrtyu-samsara-sagarat
bhavami na cirat partha
mayy avesita-cetasam

WORD FOR WORD

ye -- those who; tu -- but; sarvani -- all; karmani -- activities; mayi -- unto Me; sannyasya -- giving up; mat-parah -- being attached to Me; ananyena -- without division; eva -- certainly; yogena -- by practice of such bhakti-yoga; mam -- upon Me; dhyayantah -- meditating; upasate -- worship; tesam -- of them; aham -- I; samuddharta -- the deliverer; mrtyu -- of death; samsara -- in material existence; sagarat -- from the ocean; bhavami -- I become; na -- not; cirat -- after a long time; partha -- O son of Prtha; mayi -- upon Me; avesita -- fixed; cetasam -- of those whose minds.

TRANSLATION

But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Prtha -- for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.

 



TEXT 8

mayy eva mana adhatsva
mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasisyasi mayy eva
ata urdhvam na samsayah

WORD FOR WORD

mayi -- upon Me; eva -- certainly; manah -- mind; adhatsva -- fix; mayi -- upon Me; buddhim -- intelligence; nivesaya -- apply; nivasisyasi -- you will live; mayi -- in Me; eva -- certainly; atah urdhvam -- thereafter; na -- never; samsayah -- doubt.

TRANSLATION

Just fix your mind upon Me, The Supreme, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.

 



TEXT 9

atha cittam samadhatum
na saknosi mayi sthiram
abhyasa-yogena tato
mam icchaptum dhananjaya

WORD FOR WORD

atha -- if, therefore; cittam -- mind; samadhatum -- to fix; na -- not; saknosi -- you are able; mayi -- upon Me; sthiram -- steadily; abhyasa-yogena -- by the practice of devotional service; tatah -- then; mam -- Me; iccha -- desire; aptum -- to get; dhanam-jaya -- O winner of wealth, Arjuna.

TRANSLATION

My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.

 



TEXT 10

abhyase 'py asamartho 'si
mat-karma-paramo bhava
mad-artham api karmani
kurvan siddhim avapsyasi

WORD FOR WORD

abhyase -- in practice; api -- even if; asamarthah -- unable; asi -- you are; mat-karma -- My work; paramah -- dedicated to; bhava -- become; mat-artham -- for My sake; api -- even; karmani -- work; kurvan -- performing; siddhim -- perfection; avapsyasi -- you will achieve.

TRANSLATION

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.

 



TEXT 11

athaitad apy asakto 'si
kartum mad-yogam asritah
sarva-karma-phala-tyagam
tatah kuru yatatmavan

WORD FOR WORD

atha -- even though; etat -- this; api -- also; asaktah -- unable; asi -- you are; kartum -- to perform; mat -- unto Me; yogam -- in devotional service; asritah -- taking refuge; sarva-karma -- of all activities; phala -- of the results; tyagam -- renunciation; tatah -- then; kuru -- do; yata-atma-van -- self-situated.

TRANSLATION

If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.

 



TEXT 12

sreyo hi jnanam abhyasaj
jnanad dhyanam visisyate
dhyanat karma-phala-tyagas
tyagac chantir anantaram

WORD FOR WORD

sreyah -- better; hi -- certainly; jnanam -- knowledge; abhyasat -- than practice; jnanat -- than knowledge; dhyanam -- meditation; visisyate -- is considered better; dhyanat -- than meditation; karma-phala-tyagah -- renunciation of the results of fruitive action; tyagat -- by such renunciation; santih -- peace; anantaram -- thereafter.

TRANSLATION

If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.

 



TEXTS 13-14

advesta sarva-bhutanam
maitrah karuna eva ca
nirmamo nirahankarah
sama-duhkha-sukhah ksami

santustah satatam yogi
yatatma drdha-niscayah
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah

WORD FOR WORD

advesta -- nonenvious; sarva-bhutanam -- toward all living entities; maitrah -- friendly; karunah -- kindly; eva -- certainly; ca -- also; nirmamah -- with no sense of proprietorship; nirahankarah -- without false ego; sama -- equal; duhkha -- in distress; sukhah -- and happiness; ksam i -- forgiving; santustah -- satisfied; satatam -- always; yogi -- one engaged in devotion; yata-atma -- self-controlled; drdha-niscayah -- with determination; mayi -- upon Me; arpita -- engaged; manah -- mind; buddhih -- and intelligence; yah -- one who; mat-bhaktah -- My devotee; sah -- he; me -- to Me; priyah -- dear.

TRANSLATION

One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me -- such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.

 



TEXT 15

yasman nodvijate loko
lokan nodvijate ca yah
harsamarsa-bhayodvegair
mukto yah sa ca me priyah

WORD FOR WORD

yasmat -- from whom; na -- never; udvijate -- are agitated; lokah -- people; lokat -- from people; na -- never; udvijate -- is disturbed; ca -- also; yah -- anyone who; harsa -- from happiness; amarsa -- distress; bhaya -- fear; udvegaih -- and anxiety; muktah -- freed; yah -- who; sah -- anyone; ca -- also; me -- to Me; priyah -- very dear.

TRANSLATION

He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me.

 



TEXT 16

anapeksah sucir daksa
udasino gata-vyathah
sarvarambha-parityagi
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah

WORD FOR WORD

anapeksah -- neutral; sucih -- pure; daksah -- expert; udasinah -- free from care; gata-vyathah -- freed from all distress; sarva-arambha -- of all endeavors; parityagi -- renouncer; yah -- anyone who; mat-bhaktah -- My devotee; sah -- he; me -- to Me; priyah -- very dear.

TRANSLATION

My devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and not striving for some result, is very dear to Me.

 



TEXT 17

yo na hrsyati na dvesti
na socati na kanksati
subhasubha-parityagi
bhaktiman yah sa me priyah

WORD FOR WORD

yah -- one who; na -- never; hrsyati -- takes pleasure; na -- never; dvesti -- grieves; na -- never; socati -- laments; na -- never; kanksati -- desires; subha -- of the auspicious; asubha -- and the inauspicious; parityagi -- renouncer; bhakti-man -- devotee; yah -- one who; sah -- he is; me -- to Me; priyah -- dear.

TRANSLATION

One who neither rejoices nor grieves, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things -- such a devotee is very dear to Me.

 



TEXTS 18-19

samah satrau ca mitre ca
tatha manapamanayoh
sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu
samah sanga-vivarjitah

tulya-ninda-stutir mauni
santusto yena kenacit
aniketah sthira-matir
bhaktiman me priyo narah

WORD FOR WORD

samah -- equal; satrau -- to an enemy; ca -- also; mitre -- to a friend; ca -- also; tatha -- so; mana -- in honor; apamanayoh -- and dishonor; sita -- in cold; usna -- heat; sukha -- happiness; duhkhesu -- and distress; samah -- equipoised; sanga-vivarjitah -- free from all association; tulya -- equal; ninda -- in defamation; stutih -- and repute; mauni -- silent; santustah -- satisfied; yena kenacit -- with anything; aniketah -- having no residence; sthira -- fixed; matih -- determination; bhakti-man -- engaged in devotion; me -- to Me; priyah -- dear; narah -- a man.

TRANSLATION

One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service -- such a person is very dear to Me.

 



TEXT 20

ye tu dharmamrtam idam
yathoktam paryupasate
sraddadhana mat-parama
bhaktas te 'tiva me priyah

WORD FOR WORD

ye -- those who; tu -- but; dharma -- of religion; amrtam -- nectar; idam -- this; yatha -- as; uktam -- said; paryupasate -- completely engage; sraddadhanah -- with faith; mat-paramah -- taking Me, the Supreme Lord, as everything; bhaktah -- devotees; te -- they; ativa -- very, very; me -- to Me; priyah -- dear.

TRANSLATION

Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.

 



Bhagavad-Gita