Chapter 12 – bhakthi yOga or The Path of God-Love

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:


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ramanujar-4-formsbhagavath rAmAnuja at AzhwArthirunagari, SrIperumbUthUr, SrIrangam and thirunArAyaNapuram











Arjuna desired to see the unrestricted Sovereign Power of Parabrahma —The Blessed Lord Nārāyaṇa, —the Object of Worship to all treaders of the Path of Bhakti. And This Power (or Universal Dominion) was made manifest to him by the Blessed Lord of Will Resolute, —the Lord of the Divine Attributes, —countless and exalted, —of mercy, bounty, affability etc., of which He is the Ocean.

Also it was shown that one-pointed and profound Bhakti alone was the Means by which to know and see and gain the Lord in His real nature.

Next, in this Lecture (XII), the following points will be considered:

  1. The superiority of the Mode of Bhakti, involving God-meditation, over Soul-meditation (leading to Soul-realization only) in order to accomplish one’s hoped-for ambition (i.e., any of the Four Purushārthas),1—(superiority) in point of early fulfilments (of hopes), and in point of felicity of performance.
  2. The method of practising it (: xii-2)
  3. The Akshara-Path (Gi: xii-345) for him who is inept2 for Bhakti and its requisites.


The superiority of God-Love (Bhakti-Path) consists in the superiority of the Object of that Love, viz., God Himself. This superiority was briefly indicated in the Stanza: ‘More even than the Yogis and of all, is he said to be the most superior, who, in faith and with his inmost heart (manas) plunged in Me, worships Me.’ (: VI-47).3

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  1. Purushārthas are the Four Ambitions of man: (1) Dharma (meritorious works), subdivided into Vedic Sacrifice (ishta), and public works of charity such as tank-constructing (pūrtā) etc. (2) Artha (wealth), or the Ved-appointed means of achieving ‘works’ on the one hand
    and enjoyment (kāmā = 3) on the other. (3) Kāma (enjoyment), or the tasting of pleasures, be they of this world or other material worlds such as svarga. (4) Moksha (Deliverance or Salvation) is either Kaivalya or soul-enjoyment (=the Goal of Self-seekers), or Brahmānubhava or God-enjoyment (the Goal of God-seekers).
  2. The ineptitude comes from the absence of love in devotion. This is explained in the commentary to stanza 12 forward.
  3. See Foot note under this stanza where it was stated that it was the index stanza to the Middle Division of Gīta (VII-XII).

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