” This verse 5 of the 12 th Adhyaya states the sufferings of the seeker who devotes himself completely only in the quest of understanding the formless un-incarnate through the physical. In this beautiful chapter of Bhakti Yoga, Even though Sri Krishna describes that devotion through any form reaches Him alone, he also describes in this verse that those seeking to attain an understanding of the formless un-incarnate and the metaphysical only through the physical -have to undergo a lot of sufferings and that even though success is possible it is quaint.
Kleshoadhikataras teshaam avyakataasaktachetasaam
avyaktaa hi gatir dukhamm dehadvadbhir avaapyate.|5|
The difficulties of those seekers and indeed great
Who are devoted in their quest of the formless un-incarnate
Success is quaint for such individuals trapped in the physical
With sufferings they realize the imperceptible metaphysical.|5|
Plz do lend your words on this verse.“
An excellent query has been raised by dear blessed soul Sushrut Badhe, author of the book:
“Bhagavad Gita: The Rhythm of Krishna.”
Arjun had a question in Chapter 12 of Bhagavad Gita.
He asked to Lord Krishn:
“Which of the two kinds of steadfast devotees,
they who always worship you in your embodied form
and the others who meditate upon your imperishable,
unmanifest Spirit, are superior in their mastery of Yog?”
Whether they worship Sri Krishn with self-surrender, a sense of identity with him, and with firm concentration, or they worship the unmanifest and imperishable God in whom he dwells with self-reliance rather than self-surrender, they both follow the way ordained by him.
Which of the two, however, are superior?
And said Lord Krishn:
“I believe them to be the most superior of all yogi
who always meditate upon me with concentration
and worship me
(the embodied, manifest God)
with true faith.’’
“And they who restrain all their senses well,
always adore the Supreme Spirit who is beyond thought,
all-pervading, indefinable, filled with equanimity,
immutable and immovable, and formless and indestructible ,
with total concentration, and who serve all beings viewing them
with an equal eye, attain to me.”
These attributes of God are not different from those of Lord Krishn.
And then Lord Krishn said:
avyaktāhi gatirduhkhah dehavadbhiravāpyate
“Achievement of perfection by men who are devoted
to the formless God is more arduous,
because they who feel conceited because of their physical bodies
find it more difficult to realize the unmanifest.”
Accomplishment is harder for worshipers who are devoted to the God who is devoid of all qualities (nirgun) because of their attachment to their physical existence. Attainment of the unmanifest, formless God is most difficult as long as a worshiper takes pride in his birth and prowess.
Yogeshwar Krishn was a Godlike accomplished teacher and the unmanifest God was manifested in him. According to him the seeker who, instead of seeking shelter under a sage, goes ahead with trust in his own strength, knowing his present situation and what it will be in the time to come, and with the awareness that he will ultimately realize his own unmanifest, identical Self, begins to think that the Supreme Spirit is no different from him and that he is “him.”
Entertaining such thoughts and without waiting for fulfillment he begins to feel that his body itself is the real “he.” So he wanders about in the mortal world, the abode of sorrows, and at last comes to a dead end. But this is not so with the worshiper who goes ahead under Lord Krishn’s gracious shelter.
Further Lord Krishn added:
“And, O Parth, I soon deliver my affectionate devotees
who have set their mind on me and who,
coming under my shelter and dedicating all their action to me,
ever contemplate and worship me-the manifest God-with unshaken intentness, from the abyss of the mortal world.’’
Sri Krishn then prompts Arjun to such devotion and throws light upon the way by which it may be accomplished.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that you will dwell in me
if you devote and apply your mind and intellect to me.”
Sri Krishn is conscious of his disciple’s weakness, for Arjun has confessed earlier that he considers restraining the mind as difficult as restraining the wind.
“If you cannot firmly set your mind on me;
O Dhananjay, seek me by the Yog of incessant practice (abhyas-yog).”
“Practice” here means repeated drawing back of mind from where-ever it roams and fixing it upon the desired goal. But if Arjun is incapable even of this, he should just long for Lord Krishn-only devote himself to his worship, If all his thoughts and actions are only for Sri Krishn, he will have the fulfillment of realizing him.
Lord Krishn said:
” In case you are incapable of even following the way of practice,
you may yet secure fulfillment by the performance of actions
which are meant only for me.”
“In case you fail to accomplish even this,
abandon all the fruits of action and take refuge in my yog
with a thoroughly subdued mind.”
If Arjun cannot even do this, he should give up all desire of the rewards of action as well as considerations of profit and loss, and with a sense of self-surrender find shelter under some sage with an accomplished Soul. The ordained action will then commence spontaneously under the prompting of this accomplished teacher.
Lord Krishn concluded:
“Since knowledge is superior to practice,
meditation better than knowledge,
and abandonment of the fruits of action higher than meditation,
renunciation is soon rewarded with peace.”
To engage in action by the Way of Knowledge is better than just the exercise of restraining the mind. Meditation is better than the accomplishment of action through knowledge, because the desired goal is always present in contemplation.
Even better than contemplation, however, is the abandonment of the fruits of action, for when Arjun has given up the fruits of action and surrendered himself to the desired goal with the purpose of realizing it, the burden of his exercise of Yog is borne by the adored God. So this kind of renunciation is soon followed by the achievement of absolute peace.
Lord Krishn has so far said that the yogi who performs selfless action with a sense of self-surrender has an advantage over the follower of the Way of Knowledge who worships the unmanifest.
Both of them accomplish the same action, but there are more hurdles in the way of the latter. He bears the responsibility for his profits and losses himself, whereas the burden of the dedicated worshiper is borne by God. So he soon achieves peace as an outcome of his renunciation of the fruits of action.
I bow down in lotus feet of revered Gurudev for such teachings to me.