Tag Archives: Arjuna

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 16

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 16

Anapekshah shuchirdaksha udaaseeno gatavyathah;
Sarvaarambhaparityaagee yo madbhaktah sa me priyah.

He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned, and untroubled, 
renouncing all undertakings or commencements—he who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me.

Interpretation

Continuing to talk about the people who are dearer to Him, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about some more qualities that a person should possess to become closer or dearer to Him. He says that a person who is free from all wants is closer to Him. Not only that a person who is also an expert in things that he does, unconcerned and untroubled by situations that arise around him is dearer to Him. Finally he says a person who renounces all his works and commencements to Him and who is devoted to Him is considered to be closest to Him. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A new phrase to look at is “He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned and untroubled”. Here we are talking about a person who is totally dedicated his life to the service of the mankind. This person doesn’t want anything in life but he is busy satisfying the wants of people around him. This person is pure and an expert in many things. That means this person doesnt think even for a minute in a selfish way and he has attained mastery in whatever he does. Not only that he is unconcerned by everything around him and is untouched by what people talk and say about him. Have you ever seen or met such people before? Have you ever thought you can be one amongst them?

You cannot meet them because, they are not famous promoting themselves on TV channels. If you want to be one amongst them, then you have to concentrate on what the person wants, rather than focussing on what you want. Its wrong to say that such people don’t exist. They are around and we dont know them. Even you know them, they are not famous and lead a simple life. A person who is pure is not concerned how much popularity he is earning and how many people are talking about him. He keeps silently doing his work and he does his bit to change the world in his own way. If you touch and change even one person’s life also by being like this, you will be dearer to God rather than attracting a lakh people by holding a satsung.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 11

Athaitadapyashakto’si kartum madyogamaashritah;
Sarvakarmaphalatyaagam tatah kuru yataatmavaan.

If thou art unable to do even this, then, taking refuge in union with Me, 
renounce the fruits of all actions with the self controlled.

Interpretation

This Bhakti yoga is all about a series of steps that one needs to take to attain salvation. The substantial part of like Bhakti Yoga is concentrated at worshipping God in His form. In the last shloka Lord Krishna advises to do all the actions in His name if a person is unable to follow Abhyasa Yoga. In this shloka Lord tells what to do if a person is unable to do actions in the name of God. He says that if a person fails in that also then that person should take refuge in Him and renounce the fruits of all his actions to the self controlled, referring to Himself. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The question we have to ask here is why a person is unable to do things in the name of God? Previous shloka talked about his inability to surrender and that is understandable. But why does a person not do things in the name of God? There are many reasons for it. There are many things good and bad that we have to do in life and we have no choice in it. Such things we cant do in the name of God. Suppose someone is having a business of making leather products. For making leather he need to kill animals or use the skin of animals. Definitely he cannot kill animals in the name of God. His conscious will prevent him from doing so. 

Thus if he fails in one task, naturally he will not be motivated to offer and do things in the name of God. Sometimes we have to tell lies to save ourselves or mislead people to meet some of our objectives. All these things cant be done in the name of God. Thus if a person fails to do things in his name, he should at least leave the result to him is what Lord is saying here. Leaving the result to him means, do things but leave the result in the hands of God. This is almost similar to doing things and not expecting a result, but there is a small difference in both.

The difference is, when you leave the fruits of the actions to God, you will be satisfied with the outcome. Whatever maybe the outcome of that action, you will accept it thinking that it is the gift of God. Previously I was talking about doing uncomfortable things like telling lies or misleading people. Here, when you do that, you wont do that in the name of God but you always say that oh God, am doing this work because I have to do, I leave the consequences of it in your hands. You only decide what I to get as the result. If you have such a kind of thinking in every action that you do, then also you will attain the perfection required for the salvation is what Lord Krishna says here.

Life Story of Lord Krishna – Part 5

We have in the last four parts have got to know many things about the ‘Krishna’. His early life, childhood, teenage, marriage life, advisory life to the King and his painful moments with the relatives, people and the brother ‘Balram’. We also know about his nature when we look at his friendship with Sudama. This is all that we know about Krishna but the other two parts from here we would know his life with Pandavas. Life with Pandavas has to be the most valuable and awaiting one for Krishna. We know why it’s the meeting with Pandavas and friendship with Arjuna the reason for the worlds famous book that has answers to every problem and that’s Bhagavad-Gita.

If not for friendship between Arjuna and Krishna, Gita would have never been possible. So let’s look at events that are connected between Krishna and Pandavas.

First time Krishna met Pandavas was during the Draupadi swayamvaram, Draupadi is the queen of the Drupad Kingdom and the King wants to marry off his daughter. Thus he announces swayamvaram and sends an invitation to the Kingdoms all across the country including the Kingdom of Yadavas. From the Yadava Kingdom comes Krishna and the Pandavas also come to the Swayamvaram. Pandavas at that time were in forests having escaped the lac house assassination attempt planned by Kauravas. They also attend the swayamvara disguised as Brahmins. have finished their exile and have taken the role of Brahmins.

The Swayamvaram starts off and all the kings one by one come and try to complete the task but everybody fails and only Arjuna will be able to finish the game and Wins it. The task was to hit the eye of a revolving fish seeing the mirror image of it in water. Arjuna wins the task and wins Draupadi. But the Kings who came for swayamvara raise an objection as to how a poor Brahmin can win a rich Princesses. Krishna interferes into the argument and explains all the people in meeting to calm down and tells them that Arjuna isn’t a lower caste person but he is a Brahmin which is as much superior as Kshatriya. Thus it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. Arjuna then thanks Krishna, Krishna tells both Yudhishthira and Arjuna that he knows them much before. He also tells them they are Kshatriyas. When asked how does he know about their caste, Krishan tells that ‘you cannot hide the fire behind the ash, fire has a natural habit of glowing and the same is seen in the face of all the five of you’ ‘only Kshatriya has the face which glows like fire’ and Krishna is invited to the marriage of Pandavas with Draupadi. Krishna goes there and blesses all of them and tells Draupadi that she is like his sister and would take care of her in every way.

The second time Krishna meets Arjuna is during the one year jungle exile. Arjuna voluntarily moves to Jungle as repentance for the act he committed. As per the set rules, Draupadi would be with one brother for one day and that day another person should not disturb them. Arjuna forgets his archery in the room and the next day thinking that Yudhishthira wouldn’t have gone to the room he gets into the room without announcing and finds both Yudhistir and Draupadi making love. Though Yudhistir understands that it’s not intentional but it’s just by accident, Arjuna feels ashamed and goes on exile for one year to the forest. Arjuna then keeps moving in the forest and one day while he was cutting the wood, that’s when Krishna’s sister Subhadra sees Arjuna and falls in love with him instantly. She then leaves the place, after sometime Krishna comes and meets Arjuna. Arjuna then tells the story of why he is the forest, Krishna then asks Arjuna to accompany him to Dwaraka which is very close from that place. But Arjuna denies, Krishna somehow manages to take him to Dwaraka and Arjuna receives a lot of respect during his trip. Arjuna also gets to see Subhadra and he also instantly likes her. He opens up and asks Krishna that he wants to marry Subhadra. Though Krishna knows everything, Krishna acts as if he doesn’t know anything. Krishna then starts a game where he involves Satyabhama into it and asks her to send Subhadra to Arjuna. Arjuna then takes away Subhadra and elopes with her. Like every-time, Krishna goes to the angry people of Dwaraka who didn’t like what Arjuna did and pacifies them telling good things about Arjuna.

Arjuna and Subhadra

After one year and after exile, Arjuna returns to Kingdom. Yudhisitir feels very happy and wants to celebrate it grandly, so he calls all the Kings from different kingdoms including Kauravas and Chedi Kingdom king Shishupala. Shishupala is related to Krishna and his death is written in hands of Krishna. Shishupala who hates Krishna keeps abusing Krishna during the day, Krishna takes a vow from Shishupala Mother that he wouldn’t kill him for 100 mistakes. Krishna keeps counting and as soon as he crosses 100th time, Krishna releases Sudarshana Chakra which cuts the throat of Shishupala and kills him. This was on Friday 26th February 3153 B.C. At the same time, Duryodhan also faces a lot of ridicule at Maya Sabha, especially from Draupadi. This is where Duryodhana wants to take the revenge. So Duryodhana invites Pandavas to Game of Dice on Wednesday 4th May 3153 B.C.


That’s when the Pandavas keep losing the game and as part of the bet, Duryodhana orders to disrobe Draupadi. As his brother Dushyasan tries to disrobe Draupadi, She prays to Krishna. Krishna then sends saree to her which keeps wrapping Draupadi and saves her. And for your information, Krishna was 73 years old at that time. Coming up next week is the last part of the Story of Lord Krishna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 10

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 10

Abhyaase’pyasamartho’si matkarmaparamo bhava;
Madarthamapi karmaani kurvansiddhimavaapsyasi.

If thou art unable to practice even this Abhyasa Yoga, be thou intent on doing actions for My sake;
even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about those who are not able to fix their minds on the Lords and practice abhyasa Yoga. Abhyasa yoga as described in the previous shloka is all about practicing to fix our minds and activities only on God. Lord Krishna says that if one is unable to do that also, he still can attain salvation. For that to happen, the person has to possess the intent to do all the actions he is doing in the name of God. If a person does his actions for the sake of God also, he will attain the same perfection and is eligible for salvation.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The question that needs to be asked here is, why does a person fail in Abhyasa Yoga? Why can’t he surrender himself to God? If we look at an individual he is driven by a lot of bodily needs as well as responsibilities which come in the way of the surrender in the name of God. Suppose, take a person from a middle-class family, who has a lot of devotion towards God and wants to surrender himself to God. But he has a wife and children to take care of. For their sake, he has to engage in a lot of activities in earning money which makes him difficult to focus or concentrate on God. But he is constantly thinking about salvation and his inability to attain it.


Does that mean that such people are ineligible for salvation? That is exactly the same question that Lord Krishna tries to address through this shloka. He says that if by any reason a person is not able to concentrate on Him, then also he can achieve salvation by doing all his works in the name of God. If you take the same middle-class person example, he can say that earning money for the sake of family is my responsibility and am doing it in the name of God. Such kind of thought process has lots of benefits. What are they? If a person has such a mindset he will never do anything that is wrong or which is adharma. 

Doing things in the name of God adds a lot of responsibility to us and we do that work with devotion. For example, if a student thinks that he is writing the examination in the name of God, then the whole approach of his changes. He will be very serious in his preparation, devotes time because of which he acquires knowledge and that helps him in doing well. He will not resort to malpractices like cheating or copying in the exam because he is scared of God when he is doing it in the name of God. Thus that work which is done with utmost attention and care is good enough to qualify as perfection, which takes a person to the path of salvation.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 8

Mayyeva mana aadhatswa mayi buddhim niveshaya;
Nivasishyasi mayyeva ata oordhwam na samshayah.

Fix thy mind on Me only, thy intellect in Me, then 
thou shait no doubt live in Me alone hereafter.

Interpretation

After talking about worshipping God in His form and the benefits that can individual can get, by doing so, Lord Krishna talks further about worshipping God in His form. Here Lord Krishna advises a person to focus the mind on the Lord alone and nobody else. Apart from mind He also asks the person to focus his intellect also on God. If that person integrates both body and mind and focuses only on God, then He will live nowhere else other than in God. Lord says that there should not be any doubt in this belief. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have talked about fixing the mind and intellect in God. But today we will look at it with some more depth. Fixing the mind and intellect is nothing but surrender. Its not that we have never done it before. When you go to a doctor for a surgery or treatment to a chronic illness, you totally surrender to him. Your mind will not think anything else other than the doctor and your intellect teaches you to trust wholeheartedly what he says and you do it without asking questions. The same type of surrender we have to do it to God.

Here it is tough because, you go to doctor when you have an illness and when that illness is life-threatening or chronic you totally surrender to him, because you fear your life. But surrendering to God doesn’t present you to similar situation so, surrendering is not that easy. Of course, you do surrender to God, when things go out of control and only when God alone can save you. Continuing the example above, if doctor also says the survival chances are less, then fear for life makes you to surrender to God completely and totally, only with a hope that you will recover.

This surrender does nothing good o you, since it is out of fear and extreme attachment that you are holding for your body. Human beings all through their lives run behind knowledge and intellect to gratify their senses. The surrender is to the senses not to the soul. Though we know that our body is perishable, we do things to gratify it like indulging in various pleasures, giving it comforts etc. We run behind things that give us materialistic pleasure. A true surrender is where you forget your body, fix your mind with God and all the intellect you gathered through knowledge should be used in His worship, such a person has God dwelling in him, forever.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 5

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 5

Klesho’dhikatarasteshaam avyaktaasaktachetasaam;
Avyaktaa hi gatirduhkham dehavadbhiravaapyate.

Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the Unmanifested;
for the goal—the Unmanifested—is very difficult for the embodied to reach.

Interpretation

After talking about the people who worship God in His form and those who worship God in its formless being, Lord Krishna in this shloka explains the difficulties of worshipping God in His formless being. He says that a person who has set out to worship God in his formless being has to first set out his mind on the unimanifested form of the God. This will be a problem for Him because fixing up a single goal or point of reference will be very tough for the person who is looking at the God in unmanifested form. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Adi Shankaracharya quoted the same from Gita and says that a person who is worshipping God in its formless being or unmanifested way is difficult than worshipping God in His form. If we analyse the reasons for it, the primary reason is that a person who worships Him in the formless being is worshipping God in “Nirguna”, “Nirvishesh” and “nirakar”. Nirguna means without any gunas or qualities. Now, just imagine that you are worshipping God with an assumption that He doesnt have any qualities. That means all those praises showered upon Him wont be there and that makes a person lose his interest. 

Nirguna is a very important concept in some worshippers. They worship God not because of any qualities or powers but they worship Him as nothing. That concept itself is difficult to hold and sustain. It requires a different form of Bhakti to sustain that feeling. Same is the case when you worship Him in His Nirvishesh form. Nirvishesh means without attributes. And the third is the Nirakar form. Nirakar means formless. Without attributes there is no perceived benefit and without form there is no proof. But those who worship Him that way face a big challenge and needs to attain moksha on their self effort and through sadhana.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 4

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 4

Samniyamyendriyagraamam sarvatra samabuddhayah;
Te praapnuvanti maameva sarvabhootahite rataah.

Having restrained all the senses, even-minded everywhere, 
intent on the welfare of all beings—verily they also come unto Me.

Interpretation

This shloka is the second part where Lord Krishna after talking about the imperishability and omnipresent nature of the formless being of God further tells how a person who worships God in His formless being comes to Him. He says that person should first restrain all the senses that are working on him. That will make him to focus on a single thing. The second thing Lord says is that the person should be even minded in everything and should have an intent where he should think about the welfare of all beings. Such kind of a person will attain salvation is what Lord says in this shloka.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The key for attaining moksha for a person who worships God in His formless being should be even-minded. What is the meaning of this? An even minded person sees everything in the same way. He neither gets too excited when something good happens nor gets disheartened when things dont go his way. When a person is even-minded he gains stability and he does not react to situations. Am not saying that he should not get angry or feel happy but what it means is he should be even minded when success comes to him.

Let’s look at an example. When Dhoni wins a cricket match he simply walks without showing any emotions on the face. The maximum you can see is a simile or a laugh. But if you see Kohli you will see many emotions on his face whether its victory or defeat. People with even minded head do not attribute the victory to themselves but they attribute it to God. That feeling when it comes from deep inside, such person never shows emotions. The same happens in defeat also where he thinks that despite all efforts God didn’t bestow victory to him so instead of feeling sad he goes into contemplation mode for the defeat.

This shloka teaches everyone to maintain even-headedness in all their works and not get overtly disappointed in failures or ecstatic in success. One needs to keep his senses under his control and should only think about the task he is doing and how it will help the mankind. His benefit comes next and the benefit of the society and humanity comes first. Such people alone will come to Him is what Lord says here.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 3

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 3

Ye twaksharamanirdeshyamavyaktam paryupaasate;
Sarvatragamachintyam cha kootasthamachalam dhruvam.

Those who worship the imperishable, the indefinable, the unmanifested, 
the omnipresent, the unthinkable, the eternal and the immovable,

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna moves to the other part of the question that Arjuna asks Him. After talking about the bhakti of the God with form, He now starts to talk about the worship of God without a form. This shloka is divided into two parts and this is the first part of the shloka. Here Lord Krishna compares His formless existence as imperishable, indefinable and un-manifested. That means a form that cannot die or cannot be defined and take any other form. Then He goes on to call that formless entity as omnipresent, unthinkable, eternal and unmovable. Omnipresent here is something that is simultaneously present everywhere.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We are all used to imagining God with a form. When you have an idol of Ganesha, you feel pious and starts worshipping it and you get a feeling of bhakti inside you. The same happens when you visit Lord Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala. The form of the Lord makes you to forget all the hardships you faced to reach the abode of the Lord. Now just imagine for yourself, is it possible for you to get the same feeling of bhakti in the absence of a form? That means you are not at the temple or you have any idol infront of you at home.

One has to understand that worshipping God with a form is only for the control of one’s mind and senses. The physical presence of His idol will bind your senses. But at some point one has to overcome that and experience God everywhere. That is why He is referred to as imperishable, indefinable and unmanifested. Do whatever you want to, but you cannot remove Him from every bit of ether space around you that He has occupied. He is in every bit of this Universe that includes even you. Such is the power of God that makes Him omnipresent and eternal. Let’s see what Lord says in the second part of the shloka.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 1

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Evam satatayuktaa ye bhaktaastwaam paryupaasate;
Ye chaapyaksharamavyaktam teshaam ke yogavittamaah.

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?

Interpretation

This shloka is the beginning of the 12th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita called “Bakthi yoga” or the Yoga of Devotion. The Yoga starts with Arjuna asking a question to Lord Krishna. This is a very important question that focuses on the form and formless of God. Arjuna asks a question to Krishna, that between two devotees, one of whom worships You and Your form with total attention and the other who worships the imperishable and un-manifested form of the Brahman, which of the two are better of in understanding the Bhakti Yoga?

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This is a debate that ever-raging in Hinduism from a long time. Can God have a form or is He formless? When you see a picture of Ganesha or any other idol, you are told that He is God. But the question is, Is He The God? If He is, then what about the Gods in other form? What is the difference between two forms of Gods? Or can we say that God is formless? Arjuna asks this question because during the Dwapara yuga time also the worship of Gods in their forms existed and there were also people who used to meditate with a view that God is formless and the only way to reach Him is through meditation.

Arjuna’s question also takes us to the core point of who is a real bhakt, the one who worships the image of God or the one who worships God in no specific form. One argument is soul is formless and it takes body and gets a form. So, if soul, created by God can have a form, then why the Creator Himself not have a form for Himself? Its an argument that cannot be done away with and here I would like to quote Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya who said “The Supreme entity is both personal and impersonal.  Practitioners of the spiritual path are also of two kinds—devotees of the formless Brahman, and devotees of the personal form.  But the path of worshipping the formless is very difficult.”

So, according to Adi Shankara, it is easy to worship God in a personal form. Personal form means the God you are worshipping. Since He possess a form its easy to relate to Him and worship Him. But the path of Worshipping the formless God is difficult as you cannot imagine Him but you only feel Him. A certain amount of spiritual growth is essential to take this path and the day you stop giving prominence to worshipping only in temples and start worshipping God in every form, including the form in temples you have been prepared to worship God in the formless. Now let’s see what Lord Krishna says to Arjuna.