Why this is important ?
Many people quote different slokas of the bhagavad gita in isolation and then insist that there are contradictions. Actually that is not right. There is a clear If-Then structure, which helps each person find the advice that they are looking for.
A manual for life.
The Bhagavad Gita is like a manual for living. It helps if you read the original at as early an age as possible., you can find the clause that is applicable to you.
12.1 Arjuna asks Krishna who is better, the ones who pursue the avyakta akshara (the umanifest) or the Krishna Bhaktas.
12. 2 – 12.4 Krishna says that both reach Him (That) alone, if they apply themselves properly.
Initially the universe was avyakta or unmanifest and it slowly differentiated itself into the manifest universe that we are part of. A bit of that unmanifest or avyakta stuff is present in us as our jiva – atma. The ratio of the manifest to the unmanifest increases till a point in time called the pralaya. At that time the the manifest universe becomes unmanifest again. (See : A description of Pralaya or Cosmic Dissolution : Mahabharatam)
Some people search for the nirguna brahman (attributeless divinity) and some worship the saguna brahman (divinity with a form such as Krishna). Both reach the same final state.
12.5 Krishna says that for those who possess a body, it is really hard to attain the avyakta – gati.
It is very hard to conceptualise since our navigatory senses (eyes etc) with their limited bandwidths cannot detect it.
12.6 – 12.8 Krishna will Himself raise those who dedicate all their work to Him and who contemplate (on) Him alone.
12.9 If you can’t put your manas, buddhi and chitta in Krishna, then you can practice. “abhyasa yoga”
manas is that bit of your mind that feels and senses, buddhi is that part of your mind that is educated or taught, chitta is your consciousness, your sakshi (the witness). Devi is Citsvarupi. See : Tat Tvam Asi.
12.10 If you can’t practice that level of absorption, then dedicate all your work (karma) to Krishna.
12.11 If you can’t dedicate your work to Krishna, then give up the results of all your actions. (sarva karma phalatyagam)
12.12 To know is better than to practice. To contemplate is better than to merely know. Giving up the results of your karma is better than to merely contemplate. Giving up the results of your actions leads to peace.
śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaṃ viśiṣyate
dhyānāt karmaphalatyāgas tyāgāc chāntir anantaram
12.13 – 20 describe the nature of a true bhakta.
What goes by the name of bhakta or bhakti today is significantly different from what is described Krishna in chapter 12 and by Narada in his Narada Bhakthi Sutras.
Those who are non-envious, friendly and compassionate to all beings, not possessive, not agitated by pain and pleasure, content, forgiving, clean, dextrous, unafraid, who trouble the world not, who are untroubled by the world, who are of firm conviction and dedication, who give up endeavors and who neither rejoice, grieve, desire, or dislike and who treat alike friend and foe, honor and dishonor, happiness and sadness, praise and rebuke, who have no home, are silent and steady in mind, such bhaktas are dear to Krishna.
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