Chapter XII: The path of devotion

Arjuna is exceedingly happy and extremely fortunate that he has had the most rare Vision of the cosmic Form. How is it possible for him to be burdened with further philosophical and spiritual questions? The reason is that his vision of the cosmic Form does not imply that he has reached the Goal of goals. The vision has to be transformed into the living, constant Reality in Arjuna’s life, and then he has to live in the Reality itself. The experience of the vision is good. The realisation of the vision is better. The embodiment of the vision is best. Better than even the best is the revelation of the vision. Finally it is the manifestation of the vision which is divinely and supremely unparalleled.

The path of meditation and the path of devotion are now being compared. Arjuna wishes to learn from Sri Krishna about the two paths, the path of meditation that leads to the Unmanifest and the path of devotion that leads to the personal God — which is the better of the two? Krishna’s answer is that each path, devotedly and faithfully followed, leads to the Goal. But the path of meditation is more difficult and more arduous. The physical body binds us to the material world. Hence it is difficult for us to meditate on the Unthinkable, the Unimaginable and the Transcendental. But if we approach the Lord who assumes the human form and who plays His divine game in the field of His manifestation, our success will undoubtedly be easier, quicker and more convincing, to a degree which our physical minds would not believe possible.

A genuine seeker must dissolve all that he has — ignorance and knowledge — and all that he is — ego and aspiration — in God. Indeed it is most difficult but not impossible. Lo! He is given the golden opportunity to accept the easiest and the most effective path. In this unique path, he has just to offer the fruits of action to the Lord and he has to dedicate himself — body, mind, heart and soul — to the Lord.

The path of meditation and the path of devotion will lead ultimately to the same Goal. Now what makes the aspirant feel that the path of meditation is extremely difficult to follow? The answer is very simple. The aspirant cannot focus his mind’s attention on the Unmanifest Beyond; whereas if the aspirant is devoted to the Lord in His manifested creation, and if he wants to see and worship his Beloved in each being, his path becomes undoubtedly easier. Love the form first; then from the form, go to the Formless Beyond. The disciple at the beginning must approach the divinely physical aspect of the Guru and then he has to go beyond, far beyond the Guru’s physical form and physical substance in order to commune with and stay in the Ineffable and the Ever-Receding Beyond.

The disciple wants the easiest path. Sri Krishna kindly consents. He says that the path of meditation is difficult, the path of selfless service is difficult and the path inspired by Love and Devotion is difficult. But still there is one more path which is extremely easy to follow. In this path, one has merely to renounce the fruit of action. If we cannot do our work as a dedicated service to God, we should not succumb to dark disappointment. We can just work, work for ourselves. We need only offer our fruits to the Lord. However we will do well if we do only that particular work which we feel from within to be right. Naturally we will do the work that is demanded of us by our soulful duty. If we do our soulful duty and offer the fruits to the Lord, in no time our Inner Pilot is won.

Sri Chinmoy, Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: the Song of the Transcendental Soul.First published by Agni Press in 1971.

This is the 22nd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: the Song of the Transcendental Soul, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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