SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj
jñānād dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate
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-3–4–5) 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):—
- From peace of mind comes soul-contemplation;
- From Soul-contemplation results soul-cognition.
- 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:
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