Gita Saar, Chapter – 12
Chapter 12 starts with God explaining to Arjuna the simple secret of attaining union with God. The advice is simple-it is not by knowledge or methods that one be realized, although they are necessary, but it is only by single -pointed love & devotion that realization can be achieved. Devotion and love for the Paramatma are the fuel and the north star that take our blind seeking for God in the right direction. i.e. It is only when you truly love God, will you generate the capacity to see him with your own eyes.
As Arjuna hears these words of Lord Krishna, he has a query. He asks that since the Lord can be worshiped both in form as well as in the formless, which would be a better way to worship him?
The Supreme Lord through Krishna replies in,- “Those who fix their minds on My personal form (Saguna roop) and are always engaged in meditating upon Me with genuine faith, they are considered by Me to be the most perfect.
But since some devotees cannot be at that level and yet even if they strive and succeed in controlling their senses, are even minded to all other beings, are compassionate to the suffering of others and are constantly striving to focus on my eternal, omnipotent, unthinkable,indestructible, indefinite, immovable and changeless self-even those come to me swiftly.”
God further clarifies Arjuna’s query by saying -”The easier path is to focus on the Saguna roop since greater is the difficulty of those whose minds are set on the un-manifested; because, the goal, the un-manifested (nirguna), is very hard to achieve for most body conscious people.”
God explains that given the above limitations of most seekers, the simpler method is by worshiping a form of God that the seeker can relate to and by dedicating all daily activities unto God and being devoted to God without deviation and by engaged in devotional service and always striving to meditate upon God, having fixed his/ her minds upon God’s form.
God says-”O son of Pritha – for such amongst you, I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth & death.”
God further reiterates /repeats to Arjuna all the methods to succeed so that no confusion may be left in Arjuna’s mind-”Fix your mind upon Me only, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. If you are not able to fix your mind steadily on Me, then do seek to reach Me by the Yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga). If you are even unable to practice that, then become dedicated in working for My sake, as even by doing actions for my sake, you will achieve perfection. If you are unable to do even this, then taking refuge in union with Me, renounce the fruits of all actions to Me.”
What we observe from God’s statements in these verses of chapter 12 is that God wants us to find Him and therefore he provides varied techniques and methods for his sincere devotees. God tries to make the path simple for all his devotees and not just a select few. This is demonstrated by the fact that God gives many methods and not just one. The reason for giving many methods is so that persons of different natures may find a method that suits them best.
Further in Chapter 12, God describes the qualities of His dear and sincere devotees. He says-”He, who has no dislike towards anyone, who is friendly and compassionate to all; who is free from attachment and egoism; balanced in pleasure and pain; and forgiving; ever content; steady in meditation; self-controlled; possessed of firm conviction; with mind and intellect dedicated to God; he, My such devotee, is dear to Me.”
God continues,-”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. One who never rejoices nor hates, never grieves nor craves, and remains detached for better or for worse – one who is such a devotee is dear to Me. He who is the same to a foe and friend, and also in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat, and in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment, who is balanced in censure (criticism) and praise, pain and pleasure, who is silent, content with anything, doesn’t care for any particular residence, steady-minded, full of devotion, such a devotee is very dear to Me. And, those devotees who follow this Immortal Dharma (law or doctrine as described above) endowed with faith, regarding Me as their Supreme goal, are exceedingly dear to Me.”
In conclusion we can say that in chapter 12, God gives the complete path towards realization. He also describes the qualities that light up in us as we walk the path towards Godhead. To make it clear to the seeker, God describes the nature of such a man and also the relationships of such a man with the outside world, his psychological life and intellectual evaluation of the world of beings and happenings. This enumeration lays out as guidelines the various moral, ethical and spiritual qualities of a true devotee. This is guide and a clarion call not just to Arjuna, but to all beings.
This chapter makes it clear that developing genuine love and devotion for God is the final state of attainment for the devotee-the pre-qualification- but if the devotee, specially in the beginning, finds himself unable to generate that love specially when he cannot see the form of the Lord, God has kindly given some tips and suggestions on how to generate that love and devotion through various methods such as renouncing the fruits of action, doing penance and practice, doing all worldly actions in the name of the Lord etc.
Thus this chapter is key because it gives a step by step method of attaining the genuine devoted state. The state upon which, the journey of the devotee become swift.
The chapter also lists out thirty nine qualities of a perfected devotee. These are meant to inspire and guide us. When we fall in love with God, we attain all these qualities automatically. Even if we attain one of these qualities, we attain all the rest of them.