Gita Daily Readings

1st September
Chapter XII: 1-2
Arjuna said: Those devotees who, ever steadfast thus worship thee and those also who worship the imperishable and the unmanifested - which of them are better versed in yoga?

The blessed Lord said: Those who, fixing their mind on me, worship me, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, these are the best in yoga in my opinion.

Commentary

Let us not forget that these two verses are a continuation of chapters ten and eleven, where we had a description of God's manifestations and the demonstration of their "unity-in-diversity" and "diversity-in-unity" - which is the meaning of the cosmic form.

Indian and other schools of thought differ about the right attitude. Some say: God should be approached as nameless and formless - to give him form is false and heretical. Others hold that God can only be approached through his manifestations. Even J. Louis Orton in his book "Hypnotism Made Practical," asks "What do we know except through manifestation?" The danger in this method is that the image of the manifestation may be contaminated by us transferring our own worldly defects, innate in our family, possessions and environment, to the image itself. Thus, instead of helping us to overcome our egoism, this method may subtly feed it. Much can be said for and against both points of view.

Krishna has his own method of dealing with a controversy! He asserts the truth, but has no dogma - our goal is to realize "I am God" and we can reach it only if we turn away from "dogma" (the word when reversed reads "am-god"!). Therefore, he repeats what he had said at the conclusion of the previous chapter: "Whatever be your approach to me, remember that one-pointedness, steadfastness, and faith are essential, and you must merge yourself in me." (cf X11:5)

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