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Title: Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga
User: Bhushan Nityananda dasa Date: 2007-06-11 19:43:07
C H A P T E R T W E L V E
Summarized & Narrated into Question Answer Form
Based on the Commentary of Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti
By Purnachandra dasa prabhu ACBSP
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by writing to Purnacandra dasa, Radha-Krishna Temple, 10 Soho Street, London W1, U.K.
Arjuna: O Krishna, I realize that I am more attached to Your two-armed form. I now want to confirm that the path of bhakti is the best path. Therefore who are considered better, those who worship the impersonal Brahman or devotees who worship You?
Krishna: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always worshipping Me with great faith are the most perfect, Arjuna. These devotees are the best because bhakti is the quickest process for attaining Me. But those who worship the all-pervading, impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth, by controlling the senses and being equal to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all at last achieve Me.
Arjuna: Why are they inferior, Krishna, if they will also achieve you?
Krishna: Because those who are attached to My impersonal feature have to experience more difficulty, Arjuna. It also takes them a longer time to obtain their goal. However, whatever one can obtain by karma and jnana is easily and quickly obtained by My devotees. My unalloyed bhaktas do not even think of crossing this material world, therefore I personally uplift them without their desiring it. They make no endeavour to elevate themselves other than devotional service to My lotus feet.
Those unalloyed devotees renounce all activities that are obstacles to My devotion. They only hear about and remember Me and engage in pure devotional service. In this mood they meditate on My pastimes, their minds fully engaged in Me. I quickly uplift such devotees from the ocean of birth and death --- for I cannot tolerate delay. I come on Garuda and personally pick them up and take them away. Other yogis take the path of light or darkness, but I do not care for this process for My pure devotees. Bhakti does not depend on prescribed duties or anything else. Devotees attain Me by nothing more than devotion and chanting.
Arjuna: Then why should I fight, Krishna?
Krishna: Because your fighting is devotional service, Arjuna. How many times must I tell you? Just fix your mind upon Me and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always without a doubt. Not like the misra-bhaktas who gradually come to Me. They only see My aisvarya feature.
Arjuna: Krishna, it's difficult to fix the mind and intelligence on You. What will be the result if I cannot do it?
Krishna: If you are not able to directly remember Me without deviation, Arjuna, then bring your mind back again and again. Fix it on My form. Practising like this is called abhyasa-yoga or sadhana-bhakti. The mind is like a river which flows to filthy areas, but control it with dams. Bring it to the ocean of My form and swim in this ocean of rasa. You are called Dhananjaya because you fought with enemies and obtained wealth. Now, fight with the enemy of your mind and obtain the wealth of meditation.
Arjuna: My mind flickers like the wind, Krishna, I don't have the strength to control it. What should I do?
Krishna: If you cannot perform abhyasa yoga, Arjuna, and your mind is influenced by ignorance then you need to work for Me.
Arjuna: What type of work, Krishna?
Krishna: Build temples, Arjuna, make gardens, clean My temple, hear and chant, pick flowers, or perform puja. All these services are directly related with devotion. By performing these activities for My sake your mind will become attached to My form and glories. Even if you cannot remember Me while working, you will still attain prema. However, if you think you are a famous aristocrat, and you cannot perform menial service for Me, then you can perform yoga and renounce the fruits of whatever activities you perform and give them to Me. Still, if you cannot do this, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action because that will bring peace of mind.
Arjuna: Krishna, what are the qualities of one who has obtained that peace through devotional service?
Krishna: One is not envious but is a kind friend to all living beings. There is no sense of proprietorship or false ego in such a person . One is equal in both happiness and distress, tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination. Such a devotee is very dear to Me. He has these good qualities because his mind is surrendered to Me. That devotee is not disturbed by anyone and never puts others into difficulty. He is equipoised in happiness, distress, in fear or anxiety.
My devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert in philosophy, who does not take sides, and does not feel disturbed even when disrespected by others is very dear to Me. One who does not become elated if he gets a son or a disciple, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things is very dear to Me. One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equi-poised in honour and dishonour, heat and cold, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, who is always silent and satisfied with anything, who is not attached to his residence, who is fixed in knowledge, and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me.
These qualities are born from devotion not from the mode of goodness. If someone has even one of these qualities he is dear to Me. Beginners who are aspiring for these qualities are better than the perfected ones on other paths. Devotees who follow sadhana are dear to Me, but those who have these qualities are very dear to Me. Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal are very, very dear to Me.