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12.12 śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj (Original)

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

Chapter 12

<< Chapter 12 verse 11


śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj
jñānād dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate
dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas
tyāgāc chāntir anantaram

‘Next to (God-)devotion, (soul-)knowledge is preferable; next to (soul-) knowledge, (soul-)meditation is preferable; next to (soul-)meditation, surrender of work’s fruit; from surrender follows peace.’

If (God-)exercise or practising (God-)devotion constantly (=abhyāsa) (as a mere head-exercise) is hard, by reason of no response coming to it in the interests of the soul from the heart, then the next alternative is to attempt soul-exercise, or practise the akshara-path (Gi: XII-345) through which to attain to soul-vision (jñāna).

In the interests of the soul, next to the achievement of soul-vision (or soul-cognition), —not arising— the mere contemplation on soul-nature (dhyāna), (as Spiritual Books teach) is to be adopted as the next alternative.

If soul-contemplation be found hard to practise —then it is best to perform works, resigning fruits thereof. This would lead (gradually) to soul-contemplation.

Performing action this-wise; viz., —without interest in the reward,— results in the divorcement of sin; and thereafter comes peace of mind. (Thus):—

  1. From peace of mind comes soul-contemplation;
  2. From Soul-contemplation results soul-cognition.
  3. From soul-cognition arises Parā-bhakti (God-love)


Hence, to him who is inept for Bhakti-Yoga (=the Path of God-love), soul-devotion is recommended as (next) best; but to him who cannot bring a mind peaceful enough to try this, -let him devote himself to doing fruit-forsaken works, based on soul-faith. This would (gradually) lead to soul-contemplation and soul-vision (in order).

The qualifications required for such a disinterested worker are now enumerated:

>> Chapter 12 verse 13

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12.11 athaitad apy aśakto ’si (Original)

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

Chapter 12

<< Chapter 12 verse 10


athaitad apy aśakto ’si
kartuṁ mad-yogam āśritaḥ
tataḥ kuru yatātmavān

‘If, even to do this —with a view to My union— thou art unable, then, mind-controlling, resign all action’s fruit.’

With a view to My union (mad-yoga): means adopting the Bhakti-Yoga, which demands all love being centered in Me alone. Whoso then, —the follower of this Path,— always musing on My attributes, finds himself unable to perform all works for My sake, —from which procedure God-love would be born— then let him launch on akshara-yoga, or the contemplation on soul-nature, —described in the first six Lectures,— which would (gradually) engender Para-bhakti (or God-love).

The resignation or renouncal of the fruits of action, is preliminary, or the preparatory stage, to insure soul-vision.

Yat-ātmavān = yata-manaskaḥ = mind-controlling in this case, the mind made willing to do works without craving for fruition).

It is only to one, who is entirely cleansed of all his sins, that I become the Object of Love. It is only such a person who would converge all the strength of his intellect (buddhi) to Me (the Fullness of Love) as his sole Aim.

Thus, by performing actions —which in truth are forms
of My Worship,— and not craving for their reward,

  1. Soul-contemplation ensues;
  2. From Soul-contemplation results the obliteration of all beclouding impediments, such as ignorance (avidyā).
  3. From this follows Soul-vision (Pratyag-ātma-sākshātkāra), or the experiencing of soul-nature as essentially relate to Me.
  4. When this experience is had, Parā-bhakti (God-love + God-vision) for Me becomes a natural product.


It will be shown further on that ‘By worshipping Him by his acts, man wins the Goal’ (Gi: XVIII-46).

‘Relinquishing, and freed from ‘my-ness’, and in repose, he is made fit to become like unto Brahm’ ‘(Gi: XVIII-53).

‘Become Brahm-like and clear-souled, he laments not and longs not; same to all beings, he doth attain to My love supreme1’ (Gi: XVIII-54).

>> Chapter 12 verse 12

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  1. Supreme Love is Intense Love resulting in God-vision = parama bhaktim. Love has three stages: Parabhakti, Parajñāna, Parama-bhakti.