Bhagavad-gītā kiñcitadhītā – One śloka a day – chapter 12.02
मय्यावेश्य मनो ये मांनित्ययुक्ता उपासते |
श्रदध्या परयोपेतास्ते मे युक्तमा मता: || २ ||
mayyāveśya mano ye māṁ nityayuktā upāsate |
shraddhayā parayopetāste me yuktatamā matāḥ || 2 ||
Śrī Bhagavān said:
Endowed with unflinching faith, their minds committed to Me, being ever united (with Me), those who meditate upon Me are considered by Me as the most exalted.
Pūjya Swami Dayananda Saraswati :
Regarding the two types of karma-yōgis, one who does aonly karma, and another does upāsana also;
Those who worship committing their mind to Parameśvara are karmayogīs, as was said in the last chapter. Parameśvara is one who is the Lord of all yogīs, all exalted devatas, all-knowing, and whose vision is not blinded by the five-fold kleśas – avidyā – ignorance, aśmita – egoism, rāga – like, dveṣa – dislike, abhiniveśa – attachment. Upon such an Īśvara, they meditate.
And they meditate with ultimate śraddhā, commitment in śruti. Even if they do not understand what the śruti says, they provisionally accept it’s veracity. Such karma-yogīs, who also meditate upon me, with śraddhā in how I am described in śruti, are the most exalted; they are near mokṣa.
Although those who worship nirguṇa-brahman, are himself, Kṛṣṇa does not want Arjuna to emulate them. Therefore, he presents the karma-yogīs as ones who are near to him. The very fact that Arjuna asked what is better, means karma-yoga is better for him.
My take home points (Sugavanam Krishnan’s points)
- This śloka makes a classic case for why we should not read Gītā without the bhāṣya backing. If read alone, then one will make the conclusion that karma-yogīs are better than jñāna-yogīs, which will go against what Kṛṣṇa has been saying in the previous 11 chapters.
This śloka also tells me that every teaching has to be looked at in the context of the person to whom it is being given. The common mistakes that people make, is, they take the liberty to prescribe to others, what has been given to them as a prescription by their Guru. Many say, this is what Kāñci ācārya told me, and so, this is what you should also do, forgetting the fact that the advise was given to him, and not to anyone else, for they are different. I find that people even prescribe medicines given to them as a patient, when someone complains of a similar condition. While I can understand their sense of empathy in doing so, we need to understand we may actually be causing great harm
As my teacher cum friend said this morning, the common misconception is that Lord Krishna is “comparing’ the teachings of the 2 Paths and then affirming which is better. That is not so. The example given was of a 10 year old child wanting to read Shakespeare’s works. You and I know that Aesops Fables give Shakespeare’s plays in form of stories which are easy to understand for the child. So the school teacher would obviously “recommend” the diluted version rather than the Complete Works of Shakespeare in their original form. Only because the teacher knows the level and capacity of the child. At some point the teacher may even have to downplay the original by telling the child that only the stories are good and original “not good”. Same is being done by the Lord for Arjuna. HE knows that Arjuna is not yet ready for Sanyasa and so is gently guiding him to Karma Yoga.
The word Yoga itself is misunderstood in the context of Chapter names of the Gita. Every Chapter has been called Yoga. Arjun Vishada Yoga, Karma Yoga, etc. The Yoga here simply means “Topic”. So the topic of discussion is explained in the beginning of each Chapter. Therefore just because Karma “Yoga” is discussed ahead of Bhakti “Yoga” doesn’t mean one is better than another 🙂