तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम् |
ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते || 10||
teṣhāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te
teṣhām—to them; satata-yuktānām—ever steadfast; bhajatām—who engage in devotion; prīti-pūrvakam—with love; dadāmi—I give; buddhi-yogam—divine knowledge; tam—that; yena—by which; mām—to me; upayānti—come; te—they
On those who are ever devoted to Me and worship Me with love, I bestow the yoga of understanding, by which they come to Me.
This is one of the key verses in the Gita, in which the link between bhakti and jnana, devotion and knowledge, is clearly stated. Bhakti, Jnana that is the natural order of evolution in Self-realisation. The Lord declares that to those who are ever devoted to Him in love, He gives ‘buddhi yoga‘-the yoga of discrimination and wisdom by which they come unto Him.
Brahmajnana is the gift of the Lord. The realisation of the Jiva that Brahman alone is and that he is no other than Brahman, is Brahmajnana. This knowledge is in the hands of God, and it can be obtained by means of loving and faithful worship. When the Lord is pleased with His devotee, He bestows Brahmajnana which unites the devotee and the Lord forever and ever. So Bhakti is the first step in spiritual evolution for all seekers. When we come across rare men who are born with Brahmajnana, it should be understood that they have spent many many lives in pure and loving devotion to the Lord.
Here two great qualities of the devotee are mentioned (1) steadfastness in devotion (2) worshipping with love.
(1) Continuous memory of the Lord is essential. How can the devotee have continuous memory of the Lord? This Discourse shows the way. The manifold manifestations of the Lord are vividly presented to fill the imagination of the devotee. Wherever he turns, the Lord is there in one form or other. If one recalls to his mind the verses 7 to 11 in the Seventh Discourse, and verses 16 to 19 in the Ninth Discourse, and the whole of the Vibhuti yoga, he understands the universal manifestation of the Lord everywhere. So the devotee should recognise the Lord’s presence everywhere and thus the devotion becomes continuous in course of time.
(2) Loving worship of the Lord is another attribute of devotees. Is not the Lord the friend of all beings? Though he is the sovereign of all the worlds. He is at the same time a friend of all. He declares Himself to be a friend again and again. Does He not say to Arjuna ‘you are dear to Me’? What then should be man’s love and affection for the Lord? Such love is needed, and since God’s love is infinite, no one should feel that His grace has not descended on him. Knowing full well from experience and observation that the foolish little things to which one is desperately clinging are vanishing into nothing, let the seeker have love for the Lord who is the only saviour from all the sorrows and miseries of life.
Buddhiyogam: What is Buddhiyoga? It is reason (vichara), the path of uncompromising discrimination between the Real and the unreal, between Atma and Anatma. Such analytical reasoning ultimately leads the seeker to the tremendous conclusion that his limited self manifesting as ‘I’ is nothing else but the Supreme Brahman. The ‘I’ dissolves in Brahman, even as a waterdrop merges in the ocean. Such discriminative reason is the gift of God. Reason (vichara) leads man step by step to the ultimate Reality. He who is firmly established in this Yoga holds on only to the essence of things (asti, bhati, priva) and does not recognise name and form (nama, rupa).
Several doubts crop up in the mind of the devotee in the course of his daily worship. “When shall I get true knowledge of Atma which is said to be within the five sheaths (panchakosa? I am only worshipping the external image, a picture or idol. Is this God? God is said to be Sachidananda. Of what use is it to offer fruits and flowers at the altar of a mute earthen or mental image? When shall my worship bear fruit in the realisation of God? When shall the mind turn within and see the Lord in essence in my heart ?” Such questions arise in the mind of all worshippers. The answer is given in this verse. The Lord says, “O mortal being! continue your worship of Me in the image or idol which pleases you most. Think of My form, beautiful and perfect, love Me as the repository of all noble qualities, as the Lord of the World. Let your mind be saturated with My thoughts and feelings. Give up all foolish thoughts of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ which bind you to the body and the world. Be devoted to Me. Then I will bestow on you the light of knowledge which will lead you directly to Brahmajnana. Your spiritual quest ends there.” So says the Lord to all sincere and eager devotees.
Thus Bhakti evolves into Jnana. If Bhakti is the flower, jnana is the fruit.
God with form (Sakara) is also God without form (Nirakara). God with attributes (Saguna) is also God without attributes (Nirguna). The transition from the Sakara to the Nirakara takes place spontaneously by the will of the Lord. The Lord silences all foolish talk about the superiority of Bhakti to Jnana. “My Bhakti is superior to your jnana – or my Jnana is superior to your Bhakti.” – Such half-digested nonsense should be given up once and for all. The Bhakta turns automatically into a Jnani and the Jnani takes to Bhakti when the mind is externalised. Who can be a greater Jnani than Adi Sankaracharya, and at the same time who can be a greater devotee? Do not his devotional songs, hundreds and thousands, breathe the very fragrance of Bhakti of the highest type? Taking any devotional song of his, one feels the thrill of Bhakti, of self-surrender, of ecstatic devotion, of perfect self-sacrifice. And on the other hand, his Vedantic proclamations ‘I am Siva and not – jiva’ show perfect oneness! There is no difference of God and devotee; it is all one undifferentiated ocean of Sachitananda. There ‘dasoham’ dissolves in ‘soham.’
The point to note is that Self-realisation is the free gift of God, when he is pleased with the love of the devotee. He knows the opportune moment when this Atma jnana can flash in the mind of the devotee. Till the field is ready, no intelligent farmer sows the seeds. The Lord who is Omniscient can see the ripeness of His devotee’s heart, and that very moment Self-realisation dawns on the human heart. The Lord says, ‘dadami‘ (I will give) making it perfectly clear that the devotee has to keep his heart pure and ready to receive the yoga of Knowledge. The price of knowledge is devotion to the Lord. All the aspirants have to pass through these stages of development till perfection is attained. And perfection is the reward of God to His humble devotees.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“The extremely beloved is desired; by whomsoever this Atman is extremely beloved, he becomes the most beloved of the Atman. So that this beloved may attain the Atman, the Lord Himself helps. For it has been said by the Lord: ‘Those who are constantly attached to Me and worship Me with love — I give that direction to their will by which they come to Me.’ Therefore it is said that, to whomsoever this remembering, which is of the same form as direct perception, is very dear, because it is dear to the Object of such memory perception, he is desired by the Supreme Atman, by him the Supreme Atman is attained. This constant remembrance is denoted by the word Bhakti.” So says Bhagavan Ramanuja in his commentary on the sutra “athato brahma-jijnasa”.[Source]
Swami Turiyananda about Sri Ramakrishna
One day he was illustrating his teachings with some very apt tales. I was surprised by the spontaneity with which these stories cropped up in his discussion, and I asked, “Sir, do you prepare your similes before you go out?”
He said: “No. Mother is always present. Wherever I am, Mother supplies me with ideas.”
Conversations with Swami Turiyananda
‘No matter about philosophy, or even the Gita. The thing to do is to Know Mother. That is the whole of religion. Nothing else counts.’ Then again, ‘Take all your troubles to Mother. She will right all wrongs.’
‘How will She right wrongs, Swami?’ asked someone.
‘By drawing you close to Her. When you know Mother, nothing else matters.’
‘Will Mother really enter into the details of one’s life?’ another asked.
‘By giving understanding. When you give yourself to Her, you will see everything in a new light. You will know that this life doesn’t matter.’
( Source: Swami Turiyananda: His Life and Teachings, Page 72 )
Question: How can man attain Moksha?
Answer: By Buddhi yoga (i.e) enquiry into the nature of the real and the unreal.
Question: How can man acquire the power of discrimination?
Answer: By loving devotion to the Lord, man receives Buddhi yoga as a divine gift.
Question: What are the qualifications of the devotee to receive the gift of knowledge?
Answer: Continuous and loving worship of the Lord.