मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते |
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते || 26||
māṁ cha yo ’vyabhichāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
mām—me; cha—only; yaḥ—who; avyabhichāreṇa—unalloyed; bhakti-yogena—through devotion; sevate—serve; saḥ—they; guṇān—the three modes of material nature; samatītya—rise above; etān—these; brahma-bhūyāya—level of Brahman; kalpate—comes to
And he who worships Me with the yoga of undeviating love rises above the gunas and becomes fit to be one with Brahman.
Paramatma is beyond the three Gunas. To go beyond them is the way to become Brahman. But how to cross over the Gunas? A great deal of enquiry, self-control, meditation is necessary for it. But here, the Lord declares that self-realisation is possible for one who is devoted to Him with single-minded devotion (Bhakti). Bhakti helps the devotee to transcend the Gunas. It is to be noted that in every Discourse, whatever may be the yoga taught in it, the Lord emphasises Bhakti as the universal element in all kinds of practices. In this Discourse in which pure knowledge is taught, the Lord introduces the idea of Bhakti and the need for devotion at the end. Whether man takes to Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga or Dhyana Yoga, he should cultivate Bhakti, devotion to the Lord. This devotion is the life-force for all yogas. Without it, no spiritual progress is possible. Bhakti of the lower type is not enough. It should be ‘avyabhicharini‘ (i.e.) undivided, not attached to anything else except the Supreme Lord. Pure Bhakti requires the highest renunciation. The mind should be centred in the Lord totally and completely. The world has no place in the mind of the true devotee. The Lord only and nothing else that is the devotee’s attitude. When this attitude – is confirmed, the devotee easily goes beyond the Gunas, and the Brahmanubhuti comes to him of its own accord. To be constantly thinking of the Lord, his wonderful power, beauty, joy, peace, bliss and blessedness, to love Him as the life of his life and the soul of his soul, to see Him in all beings, in all actions, and thoughts, to sing His name and glory, to offer up everything to Him,- this is Bhakti. As Bhakti is more congenial for embodied human beings, the Lord emphasises the need for it in attaining the highest state of the Gunatita and Brahmajnana.
Samatitya: This term is used to show that the devotee can transcend the Gunas, totally and completely.
This verse is the Lord’s answer to Arjuna’s question “Katham chai tam stringunan ativartate” (How can a person go beyond those three Gunas?). By firm devotion, man acquires knowledge which takes him beyond the Gunas to Paramatman. This is the way to transcend the Gunas.