The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 12
The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.
This is the Summary of the twelfth chapter, Bhakti Yoga
Arjuna now questions Srīkrishna: “Between those who forever worship you with work and devotion, and those that contemplate the Unmanifest Reality, who are better?
Srīkrishna replies that those who worship him with faith and devotion keeping their mind centered only in him are better. However, even those who control their senses and contemplate on the Ultimate Reality, will ultimately reach him alone. Only, their path is more difficult and troublesome. Those who offer all their actions unto him and meditate on him with a concentrated mind, will cross over the ocean of samsāra (or transmigration) best with death.
He then advises Arjuna to establish his mind and intellect on him. If he cannot do it, he should try to reach him through repeated practice, failing which he can try doing work for his sake. Even this will lead him to Srīkrishna. If even that becomes impossible he can just practise self-control and offer the fruits of all his actions unto him.
Lord Srīkrishna the describes the characteristics of a bhakta or an ideal devotee:
- He does not hate anyone. He is friendly to all.
- He is compassionate and free from egoism as also possessiveness.
- He is equanimous in pleasure and pain, ever forgiving and ever contented.
- Having mastered his passions, he has dedicated his mind unto the Lord.
- He is never the cause of unrest in the world, nor can the world upset him.
- He is free from joy and anger, fear and anxiety.
- He is beyond pleasure and hatred, sorrow and desires, and has abandoned all actions, good or bad.
- He has devotion and looks upon friend and foe with an equal eye and is equanimous in honour and dishonour.
- Ever contented, having no particular place to lay his head, has steadiness of mind.
Such a devotee is ever dear to him. Such devotees who follow this immortal good with faith considering him as the Supreme Goal of life are exceedingly dear to him.
— Courtesy: Swami Harshananda (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)