In the last verse #8 we saw the Lord giving Arjuna 2 simple tips on meditation upon the Supreme Self. But at the end of the verse Arjuna was still helplessly looking up at the Lord, probably with an expression that said ‘I don’t understand’ which the Lord understood and continues with his teaching in verse #9 by suggesting an alternative route, which is explained by Pujya Swami Chinmayananda as under :
अथ चित्तं समाधातुं न शक्नोषि मयि स्थिरम् ।
अभ्यासयोगेन ततो मामिच्छाप्तुं धनञ्जय ॥ १२-९॥
If you are unable to fix your mind steadily upon Me, then by the ‘YOGA-of constant-practice,’ seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya. 12.9
The technique of self-unfoldment was irrevocably declared by the Lord in the previous verse. The seeker has to fix his mind totally at the feet of the Lord and bring his intellect to play upon and rip open the significance of the Form-Divine. This double act needs an extremely subtle intellect and single-pointedness of the mind. Perhaps Arjuna felt, as any average man would, that this ‘Path’ was almost impossible for him to pursue successfully. The kindly teacher in Krishna, reading this despair from the face of his disciple, tries to give him an alternative method of Self-unfoldment.