Purushah sa parah Partha bhaktyaa labhyastvananyayaa;
Yasyantahsthani bhutani yena sarvamidam tatam.
“He, the Highest Spirit, O Partha, may be reached by unswerving devotion to Him alone, in Whom all beings abide, by Whom all this is pervaded. ” (Gita: VIII-22. )
Bhaktya tvananyaya sakya ahamevamvidhorjuna;
Jnatum drashtum cha tattvena praveshtum cha Parantapa.
“But by devotion to Me alone I may thus be perceived, Arjuna, and known and seen in essence, and entered, O Parantapa. ” (Gita: XI-54. )
Mayyavesya mano ye mam nityayukta upasate;
Sraddhaya parayopetaste me yuktatama matah.
“Those who, fixing their mind on Me, worship Me, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, are the best in Yoga in My opinion. ” (Gita: XII-2. )
Yoginamapi sarvesham madgatenantaratmana;
Sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah.
“And among all the Yogins, he who, full of faith, with the inner self abiding in Me, worships Me, he is considered by Me to be the most completely harmonised. ” (Gita: VI-47. )
The Bhagavad-Gita, the greatest and holiest of Hindu sc riptures, emphasizes the importance of ‘Bhakti’ or loving devotion to God. Bhakti, says the Gita, is the only way to realize God.
In Chapter 2, Shlok (Verse) 7, Arjuna asks, “My soul is oppressed by a sense of frustration. My mind is unable to determine what is right. I am requesting you to tell me definitely what is for my good.
Lord Krishna’s Answer
But, Lord Krishna does not answer Arjuna’s request until Chapter 18, Shloks (verses) 65-66 where He says, “Let your mind be constantly directed towards me; be devoted to me; dedicate all your actions to me; prostrate yourself before me; over and above the claims of all Dharmas (duties) is complete surrender to me and me alone”.
However, Lord Krishna does partially answer Arjuna in Chapter 11, Shloks (verses) 53-55 after exhibiting His cosmic form, “It is not possible to see me as you have done through the study of the Vedas or by austerities or gifts or by sacrifice; it is only by one-pointed devotion (Bhakti) to me and me alone that you thus see and know me as I am in reality and ultimately reach me. It is he alone who dedicates all his notions and actions to me with a knowledge of my superiority, my devotee with no attachment and who has no enmity to any living being that can reach me”. Bhakti therefore, is the only way to the true knowledge of God and the surest way to reach Him.
Bhakti, according to the Gita, is the love for God and love reinforced by a true knowledge of the glory of God. It surpasses the love for all things worldly. This love is constant and is centered in God and God alone, and cannot be shaken under any circumstances whether in prosperity or in adversity.
BHAKTYAA MAM ABHIJANAATI YAAVAAN YASCHAAMI TATVATAH
The word, BHAKTYAA, meaning through devotion, shows that bhakthi is the means for the realisation of the truth of God’s nature. Advaita, Visishtadvaita, and Dvaita are one in this emphasis on Bhakti to obtain God’s grace. To whatever school we belong, we should invoke that grace through Bhakti, leaving it to Him to reavel the truth of His nature. All Achaaryas have stressed this need for Bhakti.
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