Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, , at sacred-texts.com
1. Those devotees who, ever-steadfast, thus worship Thee, and those also who worship the Imperishable, the Unmanifested,—which of them are better versed in Yoga? 1
The Blessed Lord said:
2. Those who, fixing their mind on Me, worship Me, ever-steadfast, and endowed with supreme Shraddhâ, they in My opinion are the best versed in Yoga.
3-4. But those also, who worship the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Unmanifested, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, the Immovable, the Eternal,—having subdued all the senses, even-minded everywhere, engaged in the welfare of all beings, verily, they reach only Myself. 3
5. Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the Unmanifested; for the goal of the Unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach. 5
6-7. But those who worship Me, resigning all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on Me with single-minded Yoga,—to these whose
mind is set on Me, verily, I become ere long, O son of Prithâ, the Saviour out of the ocean of the mortal Samsâra. 6
8. Fix thy mind on Me only, place thy intellect in Me: (then) thou shalt no doubt live in Me hereafter. 8
9. If thou art unable to fix thy mind
steadily on Me, then by Abhyâsa-Yoga do thou seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya. 9
10. If also thou art unable to practise Abhyâsa, be thou intent on doing actions -for My sake. Even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection.
11. If thou art unable to do even
this, then taking refuge in Me, abandon the fruit of all action, self-controlled. 11
12. Better indeed is knowledge than (blind) Abhyâsa; meditation (with knowledge) is more esteemed than (mere) knowledge; than meditation the renunciation
of the fruit of action; peace immediately follows renunciation. 12
13-14. He who hates no creature, and is friendly and compassionate towards all, who is free from the feelings of 'I and mine,' even-minded in pain and pleasure, forbearing, ever content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, and possessed of firm conviction, with mind and intellect fixed on Me,—he who is thus devoted to Me, is dear to Me.
15. He by whom the world is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by the world, who is freed from joy, envy, fear and anxiety,—he is dear to Me.
16. He who is free from dependence, who is pure, prompt, unconcerned, untroubled, renouncing every undertaking,—he who is thus devoted to Me, is dear to Me. 16
17. He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, renouncing good and evil, full of devotion, he is dear to Me. 17
18-19. He who is the same to friend and foe, and also in honour and dishonour; who is the same in heat and cold, and in pleasure and pain; who is free from attachment; to whom censure and praise are equal; who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full of devotion,—that man is dear to Me. 18
20. And they who follow this Immortal Dharma, as described above, endued with Shraddhâ, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, and devoted,—they are exceedingly dear to Me.
The end of the twelfth chapter designated, The Way of Devotion.
276:1 Thus: as declared in the last preceding verse (xi. 55).
The Unmanifested—Avyaktam—i.e., That which is incomprehensible to the senses, as devoid of all Upâdhis.
278:3 Worship—Upâsanâ—is approaching the object of worship by way of meditating on it, in accordance with the teachings of the Shâstras and the Guru, and dwelling steadily in the current of that one thought, even as a thread of oil poured from one vessel to another.
Unchangeable—Kutastha: lit., remaining like a mass. He who is seated in Mâyâ as its Witness.
278:5 p. 279 The embodied—Those who are attached to, or have identified themselves with, their bodies.
No comparison between the worshippers of the qualified and unqualified Brahman is meant here—since by the context, both reach the same goal. The path of the qualified Brahman is described as superior only because it is easier. The path of the unqualified Brahman is harder, because of the necessity of having to abandon all attachment to the body, from the very beginning of the practice.
280:6 Mortal Samsâra: The round of birth and death.
280:8 Mind—Manas: purpose and thought.
Intellect—the faculty which resolves and determines.
Live in Me—as My Self.
281:9 Abhyâsa-Yoga: the practice of repeatedly withdrawing the mind from the objects to which it wanders, and trying to fix it on one thing.
282:11 In the preceding Slokas,—first, the concentration of the mind on the Lord is enjoined; in case of inability to do that, Abhyâsa-Yoga is advised; if one finds that to be too hard, the performance of actions for the sake of the Lord alone, has been taught. Those who cannot do this even, who want to do things impelled by personal or other desires, are directed to give up the fruits of those actions to the Lord—i.e., not to anticipate, dwell or build on, or care for, the results, knowing them to be dependent upon the Lord. Those who cannot control their desire for work are taught to practise: indifference to the effects thereof.
283:12 Renunciation of the fruit of all action, as a means to the attainment of Bliss, is merely extolled here by the declaration of the superiority of one over another. Wherefore? Because it constitutes a common factor which immediately precedes Peace, both in the case of the man of wisdom who is steadily engaged in devout contemplation, and also of the ignorant one who, unable to tread the paths taught before, takes it up as the easiest means to Bliss.
285:16 Free from dependence—on the body, the senses, the sense-objects, and their mutual connections.
Prompt: able to decide rightly and immediately in matters demanding prompt action.
Every undertaking—calculated to secure objects of desire, whether of this world or of the next.
285:17 Hates: Frets at receiving anything undesirable.
Grieves—at parting with a beloved object.
286:18 Content with anything, homeless: content with the bare means of bodily sustenance. Says the Mahabharata,—p. 287
"Who is clad with anything, who is fed on any food, who lies down anywhere, him the gods call a Brâhman."—Shanti Parva.